SUBRAIL Park was abuzz yesterday after Macuata defeated Ba 17-13 to remain in the Fiji Rugby Union major division next year.
The home crowd cheered and waved red cloths around the ground as the players of Caumatalevu ended the promotion-relegation with a sweet reward.
Macuata captain Viliame Gonevulavula dedicated the win to the people of Vanua Levu.
The Naitasiri lad was the crowd's favourite as men, women and children hugged and kissed him, thanking him for a good match.
Gonevulavula said although his side failed to win any matches during this year's Digicel Cup, he was adamant that a different result would be achieved next year.
"We wanted to win this game to retain our position in the major division next year for the people of the Northern Division. Macuata has been the only team from the North participating in the Digicel Cup and our win will mean rugby matches coming to the North," he said.
"When we have a lot of rugby games here, it will also develop the sport and reveal some hidden rugby talents."
Ba opened the match with a penalty kick to put them 3-0 up.
Macuata's Aporosa Vueta touched down an unconverted try 10 minutes into the game before teammate Nemani Biu crossed over again 25 minutes later.
Macuata led 12-3 at halftime.
The second half opened in Ba's favour with Solomone Naisau's converted try closing the scores to two points.
But Macuata closed off the game with strong defence and attack which resulted in its victory of 17-13 .
Former Fiji rep and Ba coach Gabiriele Naborisi was proud of his team.
"They played well and I am happy with their performance. The boys played against a better team that has played bigger and better teams in the major division," Nabirisi said.
"But this is not the end for Ba as we have a three-year plan which has already started this year. I am helping develop a team that will bring joy back to our vanua when we achieve our goal.
"The game was a strong one and I thank my boys."
Tui Macuata Ratu Wiliame Katonivere thanked the victorious team for a good game on home ground. He assured the boys that the vanua would continue to support them.