RELEGATION was confirmed for both Heaton and Eagley on Saturday after rain forced the abandonment of all fixtures on the penultimate weekend of the Bolton League season.

Eagley will drop to the second tier after their clash with Westhoughton was called off.

The Dunscar outfit were cast adrift at the foot of the table for the majority of the season but three consecutive wins gave them late hope of survival.

Despite going most of the season without a win, they fell just short of safety as they sit nine points behind third-bottom Lostock with one game to go.

“We were relegated which was disappointing,” said Eagley skipper Dave Shuttleworth. “It shouldn’t have got down to the last games of the season because we are much better than that.

“We had a poor start to the season but showed great fighting spirit to give ourselves hope towards the end.

“Few people thought we would have had a chance to stay up but it’s a credit to the team we took it this far.

“It is just one of those things now. We have a few people retiring at the end of the season so we will see what happens over the winter.

“You never know, we might not even end up relegated after all. There is talk of the Premiership extending to 14 teams and the second division having eight teams so things might change.

“But at the minute it is only talk so we will just have to see and wait what happens. We will go with whatever the league says, we’re a tough club so we’ll be all right.”

Eagley will bow out of the top division against second-placed Bradshaw on Saturday. The match will be the last for Shuttleworth and former Bolton League professional Paul Rayment, who will hang up his bat after facing his former side.

Shuttleworth added: “Next season will depend on who stays and who goes. It will be a long winter. We have some good young players here but we will have to see if they stay or go.

“I’m retiring after 35 years, it’s time for me to stand down. P Ray is also retiring. It will be nice for him to play against Bradshaw in his final game. He used to pro for them so hopefully we can both give him a nice send off.

“Hopefully the game will be on and we can get the win, but time stops for no-one.”

Although already relegated, Heaton could climb off the foot of the table if they win at home to Kearsley this weekend and Eagley suffer defeat.

The Lower Pools outfit are four points adrift at the bottom having won only twice all season.

Lostock’s Premiership status was secured after their match with league champions Farnworth was called off.

The Chew Moor side will finish the season in eighth place regardless of the outcome of the final-day clash with Westhoughton.