BLACKBURN, UK – NIHL1 North leaders Solway Sharks made it twelve wins in a row after easily disposing of Whitley Warriors on Saturday. Mark Gallagher
Billingham Stars remain three points behind Solway after they also beat the Warriors the following evening. Stars fell behind early on to a Jamie Tinsley strike, but they came roaring back in the second as Michael Bowman, Michael Elder, James Moss and Anthony Price turned the game on its head. Ross Hanlon made it 5-1 in the final period to keep the reigning champions firmly in the title hunt.
Just four points separate the bottom four after the weekend’s fixtures. Coventry Blaze and Sheffield Spartans met on Saturday at the Sky Dome with Blaze running out comfortable 5-2 winners – Kieran Papps, Josh Gent, Dale White, Adam Alfoldy and Dale Buckland got their goals. The following evening Blaze travelled to face Blackburn Hawks but narrowly lost 5-4 – Jared Owen (2) led Hawks’ scoring. Telford Titans moved off the bottom of the table with a 4-2 win at home to Trafford Metros – Karol Jets, Ashley Stanton, Dan Harrison and Paul Rigby got Titans’ goals.
Nottingham Lions have opened up a three point lead at the top of NIHL2 North after a 2-1 win at Solihull Barons. Jake Larkin gave the home team an early lead, but Gareth O’Flaherty and Luke Branin put Lions ahead before the end of the first. Barons pushed hard for an equaliser, but found Lions’ netminder Sam Gospel in inspired form and the visitors held on for a hard fought victory.
Next weekend sees Solway travel to face Trafford, while Sutton Sting host Telford.