BRAINTREE Rugby Club are looking forward to a return to the London Leagues next season after wrapping up the Essex League division one title in style.
The Black and Ambers have been imperious this year and an 83-0 demolition of Billericay not only extended their perfect record of wins in the league but ensured that they would claim the crown and earn promotion.
Their move up will complete a renaissance for Braintree, who voluntarily withdrew from London League division two north east towards the end of the 2014/15 season.
Their management team made the difficult decision to drop down two leagues after being unable to field a team for two successive games.
Forfeiting a third would have meant automatic relegation along with a points deduction, so Braintree took the initiative to remain masters of their own destiny.
They dropped into the Essex League, where they finished third last year, and will now savour their return to the higher level.
Chairman of selectors David Gilder said: “It was tough dropping two leagues but it was the right thing to do because we were getting beaten every game and the lads started to lose their love for the game.
“We got a lot of grumbles from some clubs in Essex One last season, with some claiming we were too strong for the league, yet we only managed to finish third and missed out on the play-offs.
“We have managed to rebuild, which was the whole point of the exercise, and have saved senior rugby at the club in the process.
“We’ve had former players returning to us from university, at least four youngsters coming into the side from the academy and senior players finding a new lease of life.
“This promotion has been hard fought and well earned.
"Now we want to try and end the campaign unbeaten and win the President’s Shield next month to make it a cracking season.”
That President's Shield final will be on April 22, but Braintree are back in Essex League action before then when they travel to Docklands to face Millwall on Saturday in what promises to be a far from straightforward fixture.