ELTON Vale sealed promotion to the Manchester League Premier Division with a 1-1 draw against Division One champions East Manchester on Saturday.

The point, in a game that was a dress rehearsal for tomorrow night’s Murray Shield final, was enough to secure second place for Vale.

They could, and probably should, have bagged all three points after a determined display.

Central midfielders Chris Baynes and Shaun Carey harried East’s three in the middle throughout the game.

Pace and energy were the key for Vale as strikers Robin Greenwood and Steve Simms were ably supported by runs from Riccardo Williamson on the right flank. East’s keeper Sam Stock made an excellent save with his legs when Simms, who had benefitted from a defensive error, shot low but the ball just squirmed past the post.

Simms was also unlucky when, following another slick move, the ball hit the post.

It was not all one-way traffic and East looked dangerous on the break, with goalkeeper Curtis Hickman mopping up a number of threatening attacks.

Vale’s back four of Steve Kennedy, Rick Young, Marvin Browne and Danny Moult again looked solid and the first half ended goalless.

Vale started the second half brightly but were dealt a cruel blow when they were hit on the counter attack and an East Manchester forward was judged to have been pulled back as he broke into the box.

The resulting penalty was converted by Sam Jones. Vale responded well and were back on level terms within 10 minutes. Greenwood, who had worked hard all game, produced a superb finish following determination and skill in the box when he wrestled his way past two East defenders and beat the keeper.

Westbury Sports’ 3-2 win over Irlam Steel ensured no other team could catch Elton and an automatic promotion place was assured.

Tomorrow’s Murray Shield cup final against East Manchester will be played at Hyde United, kick off 7.45pm.

Walshaw’s place in the Premier Division is secure despite falling to a 2-1 defeat at Old Alts.

Connor Gately put them in front but the home side came back with a goal in each half.

Results elsewhere confirmed Walshaw’s safety.