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Hokushinetsu Prefectural Play-offs Tournament 2007
Results have only just become available from the three final rounds of the Hokushinetsu Prefectural Play-offs Tournament, that decides promotion between the relevant prefectures and Division 2 of the Hokushinetsu League - but despite a last-gasp defeat at the hands of the Niigata University of Health & Welfare, it is the familiar faces of Nissei Resin who will make their way back up to the level of Regional League football in 2008.

The Nagano prefecture-based company side were relegated out of the Hokushinetsu League just twelve months ago and indeed have a considerable amount of experience in that competition, having taken the title on no fewer than eight occasions. They will replace Toyama Shinjo Club, while Play-off runners-up the Health and Welfare students face a further pair of home-and-away games against Teihens FC to see if they can make the step up for what would be the first time.

Sun 07 Oct: LionPower Komatsu 0-2 Niigata University of Health & Welfare
Sun 07 Oct: Nagaoka Billboard FC 3-0 Tateyama Bears
Sun 07 Oct: Nissei Resin 2-0 Fukui KSC

Sun 14 Oct: Fukui KSC 0-1 LionPower Komatsu
Sun 14 Oct: Niigata University of Health & Welfare 4-2 Nagaoka Billboard FC
Sun 14 Oct: Tateyama Bears 2-4 Nissei Resin

Sun 21 Oct: Fukui KSC 3-1 Tateyama Bears
Sun 21 Oct: Nagaoka Billboard FC 0-1 LionPower Komatsu
Sun 21 Oct: Niigata University of Health & Welfare 2-1 Nissei Resin

1. Nissei Resin 12 (+9)
2. Niigata University of Health & Welfare 12 (+6)
3. LionPower Komatsu 9 (+2)
4. Fukui KSC 6 (-2)
5. Nagaoka Billboard FC 3 (-6)
6. Tateyama Bears 3 (-9)
Hokushinetsu Prefectural Play-offs Tournament 2007
Currently taking place in the Hokushinetsu region of Japan are the Prefectural Play-offs. This annual end-of-season tournament will determine which team from the Prefectural Leagues is promoted to Division 2 of the Hokushinetsu League in place of relegated side Toyama Shinjo Club; and which will take part in an additional Play-off against the team that finished second bottom of the Hokushinetsu League, Teihens FC.

Within the format of the competition, there is one participant from each of the five prefectures in the region plus one university team. Four of the sides have experience of Regional level football, with the exception of Tateyama Bears from Toyama and the Niigata University of Health & Welfare team. The full list of clubs taking part is as follows:

Fukui: Fukui KSC 福 井KSC
Ishikawa: LionPower Komatsu ライオンパワー小松
Nagano: Nissei Resin 日精樹脂工業
Niigata: Nagaoka Billboard FC 長岡ビルボードFC
Toyama: Tateyama Bears 立山ベア-ズ
Universities: Niigata University of Health & Welfare 新潟医療福祉大学

The tournament is a round-robin affair with each team playing each other team once over five consecutive weekends. The results from the two rounds of matches played so far are as follows:

Sun 23 Sep: Fukui KSC 0-2 Niigata University of Health & Welfare
Sun 23 Sep: Tateyama Bears 1-4 LionPower Komatsu
Sun 23 Sep: Nissei Resin 5-0 Nagaoka Billboard FC

Sun 30 Sep: Nagaoka Billboard FC 1-2 Fukui KSC
Sun 30 Sep: LionPower Komatsu 1-2 Nissei Resin
Sun 30 Sep: Tateyama Bears 2-1 Niigata University of Health & Welfare
Hokushinetsu League Division 2
Granscena Niigata sealed promotion from Division 2 of the Hokushinetsu League in the final round of matches on Sunday, their 2-0 defeat of Maruoka Phoenix being the team's ninth win in ten games since May. Ambitious Saurcos Fukui will take on Niigata University of Management in the play-offs, although they brought to an end their run of three consecutive losses with a 2-0 win over Teihens FC. Toyama Shinjo Club are relegated to their local Prefectural League despite drawing 2-2 with FC Antelope Shiojiri, and Ohara School JaSRA completed a good first season at Regional level with a 4-0 victory at CUPS Niigata.

Sun 09 Sep: CUPS Niigata 0-4 Ohara School JaSRA
Sun 09 Sep: Granscena Niigata 2-0 Maruoka Phoenix
Sun 09 Sep: Teihens FC 0-2 Saurcos Fukui
Sun 09 Sep: Toyama Shinjo Club 2-2 FC Antelope Shiojiri

1. Granscena Niigata 31 (+9)
2. Saurcos Fukui 28 (+13)
3. Ohara School JaSRA 26 (+11)
4. FC Antelope Shiojiri 23 (+5)
5. CUPS Niigata 20 (-1)
6. Maruoka Phoenix 15 (+2)
7. Teihens FC 12 (-14)
8. Toyama Shinjo Club 5 (-35)
Hokushinetsu League Division 1
Matsumoto Yamaga Club took the title in Division 1 of the Hokushinetsu League on Sunday, thanks to a 2-2 draw at reigning champions Japan Soccer College. This enabled Yamaga to pip their near neighbours AC Nagano Parceiro on goal difference, despite the latter's 4-1 defeat of Zweigen Kanazawa. Niigata University of Management did their best to stay out of the relegation play-offs with a 4-2 win over a Fervorosa side who are releasing large numbers of players at present, but the fact that Valiente Toyama beat relegated Ueda Gentian means that the students will indeed have to play off in order to remain in the top flight.

Sun 09 Sep: AC Nagano Parceiro 4-1 Zweigen Kanazawa
Sun 09 Sep: Japan Soccer College 2-2 Matsumoto Yamaga Club
Sun 09 Sep: Niigata University of Management 4-2 Fervorosa
Sun 09 Sep: Ueda Gentian 0-3 Valiente Toyama

1. Matsumoto Yamaga Club 31 (+32)
2. AC Nagano Parceiro 31 (+17)
3. Japan Soccer College 29 (+24)
4. Zweigen Kanazawa 27 (+19)
5. Fervorosa 24 (+14)
6. Valiente Toyama 10 (-16)
7. Niigata University of Management 9 (-44)
8. Ueda Gentian 2 (-46)
Hokushinetsu League Division 2
The top two teams in Division 2 of the Hokushinetsu League both stumbled in their next-to-last match of the season on Sunday. Granscena Niigata could have made sure of the title and the single automatic promotion spot with a win at lowly Teihens FC - who were on a losing streak of five games - but were held to a goalless draw. And Saurcos Fukui remain in the play-off position after losing their third successive match at improving Maruoka Phoenix.

Going into the last round of matches in two weeks' time, Saurcos are under pressure from Ohara School JaSRA, 2-1 winners over relegated Toyama Shinjo Club. Neither can FC Antelope Shiojiri be completed discounted, although their 3-1 home defeat by CUPS Niigata makes it very difficult for the Nagano side to steal second place.

09 Jul 07 - Sigh. This photo is evidently the best that Granscena Niigata and Teihens can do

Sigh. This is evidently the best that Granscena and Teihens can do

Sun 08 Jul: FC Antelope Shiojiri 1-3 CUPS Niigata
Sun 08 Jul: Maruoka Phoenix 2-0 Saurcos Fukui
Sun 08 Jul: Ohara School JaSRA 2-1 Toyama Shinjo Club
Sun 08 Jul: Teihens FC 0-0 Granscena Niigata

1. Granscena Niigata 28 (+17)
2. Saurcos Fukui 25 (+11)
3. Ohara School JaSRA 23 (+7)
4. FC Antelope Shiojiri 22 (+5)
5. CUPS Niigata 20 (+3)
6. Maruoka Phoenix 15 (+4)
7. Teihens FC 12 (-12)
8. Toyama Shinjo Club 4 (-35)
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