League shake up denies OLOP promotionBy John Cunningham
June 26, 2008
Our Lady of Peace IMPACT, have been dealt a devastating blow to their promotion hopes having finished four-points clear in Division One South and West.
Any other season, that would have gained automatic promotion to the British Premier League, but they had to settle for joint third following the Premier play-offs at Cippenham Table Tennis Arena.
The decision by the British League to form three Division Ones this season, North, South and South and West, was made to expand top-league table tennis in Britain.
However, under pressure from the existing premier clubs, it was decided to promote only two teams.
The decision to include the runners-up, which then made six teams instead of three in the play-offs, was taken without any consultation with the clubs involved.
The result was a farcical situation where a team that finished a well-beaten second to OLOP was able to field a strong side for the play off and gain promotion.
Indeed only one of the three Division One winners (Fusion) was promoted.
During the play-off weekend, OLOP’s chances evaporated on the Saturday as they went down 5-3 to Fusion and then 6-2 to Dewent One. A 4-4 draw with Westfield was their only bright point.
OLOP finished the weekend with a double victory over Nottingham (6-2) and Brighton (5-3), but the damage was already done.
It was a disappointing weekend for OLOP IMPACT, who were clear winners of their division, but were beaten to promotion by a team who had failed to defeat them all season.
The squad must now pick themselves up for the new season, which starts in September.
Our Lady of Peace is currently selecting senior and junior teams for national, regional and local leagues.
Any interested players can contact John Cunningham on 0118 9665907.