It was party time at Ferney Park at the end of Ballinamallard's last game of the season when they eventually got their hands on the trophy as winners of the IFA Championship.

Mallards clinched victory with an Andy Crawford penalty in the first half after Chris Curran had been barged down in the box.

But the match itself was almost a sideshow as the large family-oriented crowd in bright sunshine were in celebratory mood. Mallards clinched the title almost a month ago, but had to wait until today to receive the Irish FA delegation.

In their 26 matches this season, the win over Ards was their 20th win, with three draws and only three defeats - a remarkable record for Whitey Anderson's side which put them well ahead of second-placed Newry.

Mallards were undoubtedly worthy champions and they deserved their party.

They will savour their history-making exploits before regrouping in the summer and preparing for the Irish Premier League in August, provided they are granted their licence early next week.

Signs of that preparation were there today, with a special souvenir programme showing an artists impression of what the two new stands will look like at Ferney Park.

That's for the future. On Saturday the champagne flowed, and deservedly so.