VIDEO: Horsham Blades table tennis team win promotion to British League Championship

Champions Horsham Blades table tennis team have won promotion to the second highest division in Britain.

They gained promotion from National Division A to the Championship during a dramatic final weekend of the British League season.

Horsham Blades table tennis team. British League National A Division champions.'From left: Emil Ohlsson, Gabriel Kempi, George Hazell and Fredrik Nilsson

Horsham Blades table tennis team. British League National A Division champions.'From left: Emil Ohlsson, Gabriel Kempi, George Hazell and Fredrik Nilsson

Competing at Harlow they beat London Academy 5-4, York Gardens 6-3, Godalming 7-2 and lost the final match to Fusion II 6-3.

Delighted Blades No1 Emil Ohlsson said: “We have fought for this for a long time to get promoted to the Championship league so finally we made it. I am really proud of the whole team.”

On Saturday, Blades played London Academy without George Hazell, who had been unbeaten all season. He was absent because he was in Malta playing for England in the World Schools Games.

Young Robert Pelc, 16, made his debut in the team and played together with Swedish trio Ohlsson, Gabriel Kempi and Fredrik Nilsson.

Pelc had never played at this level before and he had to play the last deciding match when it was 4-4. He was 2-0 down against Valerio Bucci and 7-3 down in the third game but succeeded to turnaround the score and win 12-10 in the fifth set.

In the afternoon, Horsham Blades played the bottom team York Gardens, which was also a tough battle.

With the match level at 2-2, Nilsson came back from 2-0 against Andrew Norwood and won the following sets 11-9, 12-10, 13-11 to give the team a 3-2 lead before they went on to win the match 6-3.

On Sunday, Hazell was back in the team and helped Blades win a comfortable victory against Godalming 7-2.

Both Ohlsson, and number three player Gabriel Kempi played well with two wins each, both defeated highly ranked player Adam Laws.

In the last match, Blades had to face a very strong team in South London club Fusion II who had strengthened their team by including two players who had also just returned the previous evening from representing England Schools in Malta - James Smith and Joseph Hee.

Blades lost 6-3, and also lost two points in the league table.

Against the odds, second to bottom club Cippenham, with only three players, managed to beat joint-leaders Batts of Harlow 6-3. Blades eventually finished level on points with Batts but became champions having accumulated the better set ratio.

Although they did not play in the final weekend, three other Swedish players made valuable contributions for Blades during the title-winning campaign. They were: Gustav Fahlen, Isaac Nyheim and Jonas Berglund.