WELSH PREMIER FOOTBALL

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BARRY Town United clinched a fairytale return to the top flight of Welsh domestic football with a 3-0 victory over Goytre United at Jenner Park on Tuesday night.

The league's first full-time professional club, who went on to lift seven Welsh Premier titles, return after an absence of 13 years and their promotion confirms the relegation of Rhyl, who ironically were champions in the season that the Dragons were relegated.

Four years ago, under the controversial ownership of Stuart Lovering, Barry were withdrawn from the Welsh League and it took a High Court battle with the FAW to see the club reinstated in Welsh League Division 3.

Since then, Barry have gained successive promotions to reach Welsh League Division 1 under manager Gavin Chesterfield, but failed to win promotion to the WPL last season when they were beaten to the title by Cardiff Met.

"The lowest point was when there seemed no way back for the club into the Welsh Leagues," says secretary David Cole. "Since then really it has been like a fairytale to have climbed back up through the leagues.

"The whole thing has not just galvanised the fans and the players at the club, but the whole town. Reaching the Welsh Premier, where we once were, is the perfect ending to all that we have struggled to achieve."

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26 April 2017

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