Northern Conference champions Franklin United have won the right to play in next year’s Lotto NRFL Men’s Championship.
They have beaten Lotto NRFL Southern Conference winners Waikato Unicol in a sudden-death promotion play-off at Hamilton’s Gower Park, thanks to a 63rd-minute goal from Harrison Sage.
Sage (29), making a rare appearance for United this season, helped his side replace his former club, Waiheke United, in the Championship.
Waiheke drop into the Northern Conference next year, after successive relegations since playing in the Northern League two years ago.
Franklin United’s victory also means next season’s NRFL Men’s Championship has the following teams:
- Takapuna (relegated from Northern League)
- Manukau United (relegated from Northern League)
- Ngaruawahia United (3rd this year)
- Mount Albert Ponsonby (4th)
- North Shore United (5th)
- Hibiscus Coast (6th)
- Ellerslie (7th)
- Fencibles United (8th)
- Northern Rovers (9th)
- Onehunga Mangere United (10th)
- Metro (11th)
- Franklin United (promoted)
Game played on Saturday September 16, 2023
Franklin United 1 (Harrison Sage 63′)
Waikato Unicol 0