Tuesday 17 February 2015

Blackburn Hawks Win Moralee Conference Title

Blackburn Hawks have won the first ever league title in their 25 year history following their 8-2 home win over Sheffield Spartans on Sunday and, while I’m sure they might have liked to have won the league years ago – and several times by now - it is quite fitting that this should be "THE" year as the Hawks are preparing a big end-of-season bash to celebrate their quarter century in hockey with a special gala game on 25th April featuring top players past and present.

There is also a certain poignancy to events as the title was secured a matter of days after the sad death of Hawks GM Alan Amos – a man who worked tirelessly for the club over many years and to whom this success will undoubtedly be dedicated.

The win over Spartans coincided with nearest challengers Billingham Stars losing away at Sutton Sting which made mathematically sure of Hawk’s being crowned champions but in, all honesty, the title was already decided long ago.  From the very outset the Hawks proved themselves to be a better organised, more resilient and more of a “team” than their rivals. They have gone 18 league games to date without a single defeat - and that has included historic victories away at defending champions Solway Sharks, fellow title contenders Billingham Stars and ever-competitive Whitley Warriors – all very difficult places to bring a win away from.   

Just a quick look at the scoring tables tells its own story – Luke and Adam Brittle lead the way and 4 of the top 5 are Blackburn players with Jared Owen and Chris Arnone just behind Solway Sharks’ former EPL player Richard Bentham. Netminder Stuart Ashton has by far the best goals against average in the Moralee Conference at just 1.82 and fellow goalie Daniel Brittle also make the top 10 despite missing a lot of games through injury.

So, Hawks have secured the league title with 6 games left to play.  The target now must surely be to win those final six games and try and see out the rest of the season unbeaten.  This Saturday they face resurgent Sutton Sting who are currently in second place and look likely to reach the Moralee play offs for the first time. One of only two teams to have taken a league point off Blackburn this season, they will not be a push over  and there is still plenty of hockey to be played in the last quarter of the 2013/15 Moralee Conference season.  

Photo by John Milton - www.eventog.uk