Monday, 8 September 2014

NIHL North & South Round up - 6th & 7th September 2014

Defending league and cup champions Solway Sharks had a bad start to the new season as they crashed  to two consecutive cup defeats in the ECC North – losing 2-5 at home to Billingham Stars and then being shut out 4-0 away at Blackburn Hawks.

The Hawks had opened their Moralee Conference league account 24 hours earlier with an 11-3 win away at Manchester Minotaurs  - with new signing Luke Brittle top scoring with 2+2.

In the Laidler Conference, Widnes Wild had the proverbial weekend “of two halves” as they were soundly beaten at home by reigning champions Solihull Barons by 10 goals to 1 on Saturday night before beating Blackburn Eagles 7-0 on Sunday.

The Eagles still have plenty to crow about however as they won their opening game of the season on Saturday, beating last season beaten play off finalist Nottingham Lions 3-2.  As the game counts for double points, it means that the Eagles already have more points after one game this season than they picked up in the whole of last season all together and find themselves in a somewhat loftier position in the league table than they have recently been accustomed to at this early stage of the campaign. 

In the other Laidler match of the weekend, Deeside Dragons were beaten 1-2 at home by Sheffield Senators.

In the only game of the weekend in NIHL South 1, two teams met who might not have been playing this season had things gone differently.  London Raiders beat Cardiff Fire 6-4 at Lea valley with Jakub Klima top scoring for the host with 3+2.

Defending champions Chelmsford Chieftain are going to have a busy time this season with a 36 game regular schedule in South 1 as well as taking part in the ECC South cup against EPL teams and the South 1 cup as well.  They beat Solent Devils 6-4 in the opening fixture of the South 1 Cup qualifying group on Sunday night in a close fought encounter.

In the only competitive match in NIHL South 2, Basingstoke Buffalo beat Haringey Racers in the B group of the cup competition.   
Photo: Blackburn Eagles Captain Jordan Ashington celebrates taking the lead against Nottingham Lions (Photo by Matt Strong)