We take a look around the league after the weekend which saw the Telford Tigers crowned as the winners of the inaugural NIHL National.
Raiders 3-5 Bracknell Bees
Bracknell came out on the right side of the result in the battle for eighth place with an away win in Romford. Dominik Gabaj and Roman Malinik put them two to the good before Brandon Ayliffe answered back before the end of P1. James Galazzi made it 3-1, before Aaron Connolly pulled another goal back. Malinik struck again before Connolly ensured it’d be a tight game right to the end. But Josh Ealey-Newman struck with just under five minutes to play to seal the win for the Bees.
Swindon Wildcats 5-1 Leeds Chiefs
Sam Bullas, Chris Jones, Toms Rutkis, Aaron Nell and Eddie Bebris all struck goals for the Cats on Saturday night as they eased to victory over Leeds. It was 3-0 to the Wildcats before the Leeds got on the board through former Phantom, Richard Bentham, with 43:14 to play. But Nell and Bebris added further goals for the home side.
Basingstoke Bison 4-5 Peterborough Phantoms
Jordan Marr made 34 saves as the Phantoms held on to victory in Basingstoke on Saturday night. Scott Robson scored twice for Phantoms, whilst Petr Stepanek, Martins Susters and Glenn Billing also found the back of Alex Mettam’s net. Adam Harding, George Norcliffe, Sam Smith and Michal Klejna struck for the Bison, but it was the Phantoms who claimed both points.
Milton Keynes Lightning 11-5 Sheffield Steeldogs
The Lightning were 5-2 down after 33:48 but struck nine goals without reply in the second half of the game to take a comfortable win. Kieran Brown, Nathan Salem, Vladimir Luka (2) and Alex Graham scored for the Dogs. But goals from Cale Tanaka, James Griffin, Tom Carlon, Liam Stewart (2), Tomas Kana (2), Leigh Jamieson, Rio Grinnell-Parke, Grant McPherson and Taylor Dickin ensured a comfortable victory for Lewis Clifford’s side.
Peterborough Phantoms 10-3 Swindon Wildcats
The result was secondary on Sunday night as Phantoms bid farewell to James and Robert Ferrara, two legends of hockey in Peterborough. In the game, the Cats raced into a 2-0 lead through Eddie Bebris and Tyler VanKleef. But strikes from Glenn Billing (2), Corey McEwen (2), Ales Padelek (2), Ross Clarke, Jarvis Hunt, Joe Hazeldine and James Ferrara left the visitors with no chance of picking up any points. VanKleef scored the third Cats goal with his second of the night.
Telford Tigers 7-3 Raiders
After the Raiders forgot their kit and had to play in Telford’s reverse colours, the Tiger comfortably sealed the win which won them the league. They raced into a 3-0 lead through Scott McKenzie, Brandon Whistle and Jonathan Weaver, before Mason Webster and Brandon Ayliffe pulled goals back. Whistle, Jason Silverthorn and Rick Plant sealed the deal for the Tigers before JJ Pitchley netted for the Raiders. Andy McKinney put the icing on the cake for the Tigers with 23 seconds to play. Congratulations to Telford!
Sheffield Steeldogs P-P Bracknell Bees
Hull Pirates P-P Basingstoke Bison
Leeds Chiefs P-P Milton Keynes Lightning
THE LEAGUE TABLE
Telford have now won the league with Swindon in second place, two points ahead of Phantoms.
Basingstoke are fourth, with the Hull Pirates in fifth.
MKL are sixth, five points ahead of the seventh placed Sheffield Steeldogs.
Raiders are eighth, with Bracknell a point behind in ninth. Leeds are tenth.