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Dunfermline 0 Cowdenbeath 3: Rewarding future awaits Jimmy Nicholl after derby coup

A Sense of triumph spilled from the pitch and from a stand yesterday as Cowdenbeath's players cavorted with their supporters, both groups united in relief that a place in the SPFL Championship next season had been assured.

The feeling of satisfaction among the club's officials would be contained better within the directors' box but was not savoured any less: a place in the division bringing with it lucrative matches against Rangers, Hearts and, perhaps, Hibernian.

The Fife club can now relax into casual speculation since a comprehensive win away to local rivals Dunfermline Athletic ended the home side's ambitions of promotion through the play-offs. The tie spent last week in a fine balance following a 1-1 draw in the first leg but tipped in Cowdenbeath's favour after just 27 seconds - Kane Hemmings poking in his 27th goal of the campaign.

Thomas O'Brien doubled their advantage in the second half before Greg Stewart - a striker bound this summer for Dundee - delivered a parting gift with a third goal. After a regular season which ended with the uncertainty of the play-offs, Cowdenbeath were left in relative comfort.

"Financially, the difference is massive," acknowledged Jimmy Nicholl, the Cowdenbeath manager.

"In previous years I know for a fact that these directors have put their hands in their pocket to pay players' wages. So they are getting an opportunity to get all that money back and go and do something for the benefit of Cowdenbeath for years and years to come.

"Football-wise, it's so exciting for the players. Hopefully we can give them a few bob more than they're on as well and the whole picture changes dramatically."

The look of the tie altered almost immediately, with Hemmings able to react quickest to a knock-down from O'Brien. The latter profited from a weak goal-line clearance after the break and then Stewart cut into the penalty area for the third.

"We're a young team and we have come up a bit short," added Jim Jefferies, the Dunfermline manager.

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Football

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