THE Motherwell Football Association began preparations for their 2012/2013 season with a knockout competition at the weekend.
When the new season kicks off later this month, three teams will be relegated from the Premier League, while four teams will be promoted from the First Division.
It became necessary to promote four teams while relegating three, after the municipal team dropped out of the Premier League during the course of the season.
Milan, NU29 Destroyers and Swallows will be relegated. Young Ideas, City Rangers, NU29 United Stars and Channel Porto will step up to the senior league.
While Young Ideas won the First Division comfortably, the battle for the remaining three promotion spots went down to the wire.
Eventually just three points separated the next five teams. Rangers and Stars tied for second place with Porto a point behind.
Camper United and Manchester missed out by one, and two points, respectively.
In the Premier League, FC Angels escaped relegation by one point.
“We had a terrific season last year and are looking forward to an even better one this year,” said Mofa president Simpiwe Mkhangelwa.
“The competition was intense and newlypromoted Ikamva Movers surprised friend and foe when they won the Premier League title at the first attempt.
“This year Young Ideas are being promoted after winning the First Division comfortably. We are expecting them to emulate Movers.
“Because of the exciting season, Build It will be sponsoring us once again.”
In this weekend’s tournament Ikamva Movers, who won the Premier League title comfortably in their first year in the senior league, had a battle on their hands in both their matches.
On Saturday they were held to a 1-1 draw by runners-up Shining Stars, going on to win 7-6 in a sudden-death penalty shoot-out.
In the quarterfinals the following day they drew again 1-1, this time with Tomorrow Stars who finished fourth in the Premier League. Movers won 4-3 in the penalty shoot-out.
Real City were also involved in two shoot-outs.
In the first round they beat Young Romans 5-4 on penalties, after the teams were tied at 3-3 at the end of regulation.
They were not so lucky on Sunday when they lost 3-2 on penalties to Crystal Palace. The score at the end of regulation time was 2-2.
Highland Spurs who scored the biggest win in the first round when they thrashed FC Angels 7-2, lost 5-4 on penalties to Real Strikers in the quarterfinals. The score at the end of regulation time was 2-2. Strikers thrashed Lion Stars 3-0 in their first round match.
The semifinals and finals will be played this weekend.