Celtic and Hearts B teams will be back at Netherdale next season after Lowland League clubs voted to keep them in by the narrowest of margins.

The vote to decide if they would be allowed to continue in the league took place at the AGM on Monday night with eight clubs backing the plans and seven voting against. One club abstained from voting.

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Gala Fairydean Rovers were among the eight in favour along with East Kilbride, Cumbernauld Colts, Stirling University, Civil Service Strollers, Broomhill, Cowdenbeath and Edinburgh University. Gretna 2008 abstained.

The seven sides that voted against year were Tranent Juniors, Bo’ness United, Linlithgow Rose, Berwick Rangers, East Stirlingshire, Albion Rovers and Caledonian Braves.

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A statement from the Lowland League board said: “The Scottish Lowland Football League can confirm that the majority of our members have voted in favour of continuing with B teams for at least the next two seasons.

“Following a process which began in October, a democratic vote was held in line with our rules at a General Meeting tonight.

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“The board would like to thank all our members for their contributions to the discussions in recent weeks.”

The team that wins the league enters a pyramid play-off for the chance to compete in the fourth-tier and the bottom two sides drop into the sixth-tier.