Aridai and Abdon celebrate Mallorca's second goal against Badalona. | Miquel Àngel Borrás


Real Mallorca won Group III of Segunda B to enter the play-offs for promotion to La Segunda when they comfortably beat Badalona 3-1 on Sunday lunchtime. There was a carnival atmosphere in the build-up to this match and the fans weren't let down as Real Mallorca put on one of their best home performances of the season. We went ahead after just three minutes, a slick passing move involving Joan Sastre and Aridai saw Arta's Abdon Prats hammer in the opener. That strike settled early nerves for both the fans and players alike as Mallorca dominated play. Just before the half-time break, after an Abdon Prats assist, Aridai's shot went through the Badalona goalkeeper Marqueta's legs putting Mallorca in easy street.

One minute after the interval Bonilla took a spectacular long distance shot, again the visiting keeper looked suspect as his attempted save was spilled before hitting the post and staying out - a huge let-off for Badalona. To their credit, they tried to get back into the game and Reina made a couple of great saves but in the 74th minute came a magistral strike from the “Silver Fox” Salva Sevilla. His 30-metre effort zipped into the net to put Real Mallorca well into the driving seat. There's no doubt the experience of veteran Salva has been a major contribution to Mallorca's success this season and he seems to relish playing a further forward role. Although we looked home and hosed, our defence went to sleep in the last few minutes when Badalona got a late consolation, Xisco Campos slicing the ball into his own net. By this time the celebrations had begun and nobody was really bothered as the game finished 3-1. Let the party begin.

* Mallorca got over the line and made it into the play-offs after a brilliant campaign in which we only lost five games. We were the second highest scorers (51) only bettered by Elche, 54, and we had the best goals against stat with 27. We've led Group III for 31 games, going top and staying there from 1 October. Halfway through the second period the crowd started their chants of “Campeones, campeones” as the carnival atmosphere took over. I don't think I can ever remember a game in the last four years when our fans were so happy as we cruised to an easy three points.

Now comes the hard part. As to the all-important play-offs, rumour has it they'll take place on 20 and 27 May. Likely opponents are Rayo Majadahonda, Mirandes or Cartagena. Mirandes are the team who virtually put us down to Segunda B last season and are the only team we could do well to avoid. Cartagena in the Murcia region would be the most accessible to Mallorca fans with a sea crossing a cheap option.

American owner Robert Sarver made a totally unexpected appearance at the game. As the players left the pitch, he was on hand to give every one a hug.