NIHL South Round-up week 11

LONDON, UK – Romford moved back up to the top of the table and there were scenes of celebration in Gosport.
 
After a four point weekend the Chelmsford Chieftains were pretty pleased with themselves as they avoided potential banana skins in Milton Keynes and Streatham.

Solent cause MK pain (Paul Shergold)

Solent cause MK pain (Paul Shergold)

 
“They were both good wins and we played well in both games although they were far from easy despite the score line, particularly at MK Thunder,” said Player Coach Gary Clarke in an interview with the Essex Chronicle.
 
“But we have to keep the momentum going and not ease up. This coming weekend we face two hard games against Wightlink Raiders, one in the cup and the other in the league, so we need a repeat of last weekend’s performances”
 
Down on the Island, Raiders Coach Jeremy Cornish was at the other end of the mood spectrum, mainly due to his sides’ loss in Kent against the Invicta Dynamos on Sunday.
 
“We started our league cup against Slough this weekend and they decided it was acceptable to send seven players to the island on Saturday” said Cornish in his Coaches Corner on the teams’ official website.
 
“I feel sorry for the seven players that showed up, but on the other hand I would be really disappointed if the others that didn’t show up were my teammates”
 
“I’m not going to spend much time discussing the game, we won and now we can shift our focus to the next cup game this Sunday in Chelmsford”
 
“I enjoy playing in these cups, we are in the Southeast Cup finals in January and I think any silverware is worth trying for.
 
“Sunday we travelled to Invicta and once again we lost the points with late period mishaps. I have no patience for these mistakes we are making late in games. I consider it unacceptable that we battled back from two-nil to tie the game and then go and gift wrap them the game winner with less than two minutes remaining in the game”
 
“We may not have the firepower that Invicta has, but there is no excuse for playing lazy hockey in our own end of the rink. We didn’t need to chase the game at that point, we needed to stay strong and secure the point. I would have been more than happy with a draw in Invicta, especially when we started the game two goals down”
 
The Dynamos had also beaten Bracknell convincingly on the road the evening before the Wightlink game so unsurprisingly the mood was upbeat.
Moffat leaves (David Trevallion)

Moffat leaves (David Trevallion)

 
“The players could relax on the bench and have a bit of a joke” admitted Parrish, in an interview with the Medway Messenger.
 
“There was banter flying around and the team were outstanding. It was the best we’ve played so far and Bracknell just didn’t look like they wanted to be there”
 
Off the ice it was revealed that the ‘Fine Master’ for the Mo’s i.e. the person who collects the fines from the team for breaking dressing room rules, had been sacked.
 
Despite only being in the role three months the affable Northerner Tim Smith was fined himself for ‘being rubbish at fining people’.
 
For those that don’t know, team fines are a popular way of some teams maintaining team spirit and keeping decorum in a locker room environment. For example a public display of affection with a spouse within the rink could be deemed worthy of a cash fine as could texting on your mobile phone before games.
 
Down in Streatham, the team were recovering from a loss against Chelmsford the previous weekend. It is fair to say that results have not been going our way lately and I am sure I am not the only one on the team who feels our luck is out at the moment.
 
That’s the way it goes when you are down and struggling and it happens in all sports not just hockey.
Shut out Colclough (Nicky Craft)

Shut out Colclough (Nicky Craft)

 
We are probably just a couple of guys away from being a very good team but it is difficult to get such players in at this stage of the season, and we do look a little lacking in areas.
 
“I have known Warren (Rost) for a long a very time from being coached by him as a junior, playing alongside him when breaking through into senior hockey and being signed to play for him when he took over with the Jets” explained Redskins defenseman Stewart Tait, in an interview with the Redskins website.
 
“I thinks it’s fair to say that he coaches in a no nonsense manner, you know exactly what is expected from you and is very open and honest with everyone. Given time to put plans into actions I think long term Woz and Streaham could be the perfect match but things will take time, we are moving in the right direction”
 
There were emotional scenes expected during next week as the funeral of ex Bracknell Hornets manager Larry Lee is due to take place on Monday 12th November. The popular Lee has  asked that no one could attend wearing black which I found refreshing and obviously shows what a character he was.
 
Aside from the usual regular NIHL league and cup games the Oxford City Stars spent the week preparing for the returning Town v Gown game. I have personally played in this fixture twice before in 2003 and 2004 and despite having never lived in Oxford, by the end of those games I was well into the spirit of the occasion.
 
I think it could have been the ‘enjoy your shift in McDonalds tomorrow’ chirps that the snobby University guys were aiming at our players that set the match up into a slippery slope of brawling and chaos, but safe to say we won the games and the fights convincingly.
Smith on target (Tim Bowers)

Smith on target (Tim Bowers)

 
Obviously they will now be all earning big bucks and probably have second homes in the French Riviera but life is about small victories and not many were as sweet as a Town v Gown win.
 
Kirkcaldy bred goalie Andy Moffat announced that he would be quitting the Invicta Dynamos to concentrate on his family life. The Mo’s stopper has been sharing duties with David Wride this year at the Silverblades rink and the club announced his final game would be against Peterborough Islanders on the coming Sunday.
 
 
Saturday
 
Cardiff headed down to Brixton with former Redskins defenseman Rupe Quiney in tow. In a close game which was pretty much end to end at points the Devils walked away with a 7-5 win.
 
Sean Scarbrough and Ricky Deacon both hit a brace for the Devils with James Warman getting one. It was a memorable night for Cardiff youngster Owen Griffiths who got his first senior goal and a free puck courtesy of Streatham.
 
Veteran forward Alan Armour was kicked out thanks to some colourful language aimed at Referee Ian Hayden, and other than that there was little else to say really.
 
Bracknell reversed their recent poor form with a big 9-3 win over Solent & Gosport at the Hive. Two goals each from Nick Minhinnick, Danny Hughes, Ryan Webb and Tom Fisher did the damage for the Hornets with Jordan Gregory also on the scoresheet.
 
Devils goals came from Mitchell Murray with a brace and a lone goal from Kris Abbott.
 
Wightlink Raiders gave themselves a massive boost and at the same time put Chelmsford’s title hopes in big trouble as they had an astonishing 1-0 win on the island.
Town v Gown

Town v Gown

 
It is not often a shut out is achieved on Ryde Arena’s small ice pad but Raiders hero Matt Colclough kept out the usually potent Chieftains forward lines despite facing 32 shots in the game.
 
Craig Tribe got the goal for Wightlink whose fans were delighted with the win.
 
The final game of Saturday took place in Milton Keynes where Romford Raiders skated away with a 5-2 win.
 
A four man officiating system did little to calm this feisty affair with both sides complaining at the end about calls made.
 
Nidal Phillips and Connor Goode got MK’s goals. Shaun Yardley hit a brace for Romford with Danny Marshall, Tom Davis and Juraj Huska.
 
 
Sunday
 
There are some games when you wouldn’t mind the ice plant failing and everyone being sent home midway through the game and in Romford on Sunday playing for Streatham it was one of those occasions.
 
Despite taking the lead through Joe Allen, we then proceeded to get humped from the start of the second period onwards.
 
The score ended 14-3 and that pretty much tells the story really.
 
Romford scorers were Grant Taylor and Juraj Huska with a hat trick each, a brace each for Andrius Kaminskas, Danny Marshall and AJ Smith, and lone goals for Frankie Harvey and Ryan Giles.
 
Scorers for Streatham other than Allen were Joe Johnston and Eddie Temple.
 
Romford once again look to be a very good team with some of their goals being particularly excellent. As ever it will be whether their rivals for the title can get some consistency and if the Raiders themselves can stay out the penalty box in key games that will determine if they retain their league crown.
 
Andy Moffat signed off his time with the Invicta Dynamos as he back stopped them to an 8-1 win over Peterborough in the cup.
Abbott foils Wojciack (Kevin Slyfield)

Abbott foils Wojciack (Kevin Slyfield)

 
Dynamos scorers were Justin Noble with a hat trick and Callum Best with a brace. Other scorers were Peter Vaisanen, Nicky Lewis and Tom Avery. For the Islanders it was Connor Stokes with the goal.
 
They were dancing in the aisles of Gosport Ice Rink as the resident Solent & Gosport finally got their first win of the season with a 5-3 victory over Milton Keynes Thunder.
 
Mitchell Murray got a brace for the Devils as did Kev Tanner with Greg Wyatt getting one. For MK it was Joe Day, Greg Randall and Connor Goode with the goals.
 
Congratulations to the Devils who must have wondered where their first win was going to come from after a number of close calls so far this season.
 
The last game of the night saw Chelmsford inflict a revenge in kind on Wightlink in the Cup at the Riverside. A shut out for Chieftains goalie Ben Clements was the highlight as Julius Sinkovic got on the score sheet along with Danny Hammond and Gary Clarke in the 5-0 win.
 
The results leave Romford Raiders back at the top of the league for the first time since they won it last season and they have games in hand over their nearest rivals in second and third.
 
At the bottom Solent & Gosport still have more to do to get off the foot of the table but they will be buzzing tonight.
 
One final thing to note is that Oxford City Stars beat Oxford University in an ill-tempered game (that’s a surprise) and lifted the Town v Gown trophy with a 6-3 win. Well done to all the City Stars.  
 
 
Results
 
Saturday 10th November 2012
 
Streatham Redskins 5-7 Cardiff NIHL Devils
Milton Keynes Thunder 2-5 Romford Raiders
Wightlink Raiders 1-0 Chelmsford Chieftains
Bracknell Hornets 9-3 Solent & Gosport Devils
 
Sunday 11th November 2012
 
Romford Raiders 14-3 Streatham Redskins
Invicta Dynamos 8-1 Peterborough Islanders (Cup)
Chelmsford Chieftains 5-0 Wightlink Raiders (Cup)
Solent & Gosport Devils 5-3 MK Thunder
 
Contact the author david.carr@prohockeynews.com
 
Or follow @carrsy2 on Twitter.
 

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