THERE were unprecedented scenes after a nervous 90 minutes at Moss Lane as fans of two great UniBond Premier League rivals came together to celebrate elevation to Conference North.
A first-minute goal achieved Altrincham the victory they needed to secure their place in the new division.
But the nine points accrued earlier in a gruelling week, coupled with Ashton United's home defeat, was enough to secure the final automatic qualification place for the Linnets.
Runcorn have succeeded in adversity after losing their management team and three of their best players.
Player-manager Chris Lightfoot said: "There aren't many teams who could have played as many games as us in the last three weeks and won so many. All credit to every one of them - they have been absolutely brilliant."
Runcorn got off to a bad start when keeper Tony McMillan failed to deal with a 35-yard free-kick from Barry Shuttleworth.
The Linnets could have found themselves further adrift but staged a terrific second-half rally which deserved an equaliser.
ALTRINCHAM: Coburn, Rose, Shuttleworth, Maddox, Talbot, Kielty, Scott, Craney, Hallows (Bailey 60), Band, Wright (Lunt 56, Baguley 88).
RUNCORN: McMillan, Garrity, McGinn, Nolan, Spearritt, Ness, Lally, Morley, Lightfoot (Kissock 81), Courtney, Rendell. Subs: Aldridge, Parkinson.