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Hokkaido Block League Play-offs

The Block League Play-off Tournament in order to decide promotion to the 2008 Hokkaido League has been taking place over the weekend in the small provincial city of Obihiro. The four participants are simply the winners of the four local Block Leagues that comprise the second tier of club football in Japan's northernmost large island, the format of the competition being a straightforward round-robin group with the top two moving up to next year's Hokkaido League.

As such, they will replace Tokachifairsky Genesis and Hokushukai, both somewhat unlucky to be relegated given that there was only one point dividing the bottom four teams. That said, however, Tokachifairsky always struggled to come to terms with the higher standard of football during their two seasons at Regional level, despite receiving additional sponsorship money from the Genesis Entertainments Company; Hokushukai meanwhile go straight back down after having been promoted just twelve months ago.

The Play-off was won by R Superb Kushiro from the Eastern Block League, a club formed in 1999 and one who last participated in the Hokkaido League itself in 2005. Joining them in the local top flight next year will be the spectacularly named SSS Shefield from the Central Block around Sapporo, who did well to beat off the challenge of the more experienced Nippon Steel Muroran.

Central Block: SSS Shefield SSS シェフィールド
Eastern Block: R Superb Kushiro R . シュペルブ釧路
Northern Block: Kyokushukai 旭蹴会
Southern Block: Nippon Steel Muroran 新日鐵室蘭

Sat 06 Oct: R Superb Kushiro 2-0 Kyokushukai
Sat 06 Oct: SSS Shefield 3-2 Nippon Steel Muroran

Sun 07 Oct: R Superb Kushiro 2-0 Nippon Steel Muroran
Sun 07 Oct: SSS Shefield 8-0 Kyokushukai

Mon 08 Oct: Nippon Steel Muroran 5-2 Kyokushukai
Mon 08 Oct: R Superb Kushiro 6-1 SSS Shefield

1. R Superb Kushiro 9 (+9)
2. SSS Shefield 6 (+4)
3. Nippon Steel Muroran 3 (-)
4. Kyokushukai 0 (-13)
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