SKATER HOCKEY: Spitfires claims BISHA title
7:40pm Monday 7th October 2013 in Sport
THE FINAL day of the Bisha South West Senior Skater Hockey League saw final positions decided at Dorcan Leisure Centre.
Leaders Swindon Spitfires began the day with a comfortable win over the Stars, who were short of players, as Ben Moody led the scoring with five goals and Michael Wakelin, Will Harding and Simon Ryan each netted hat-tricks in their side’s 17-1 victory.
Cardiff Panthers confidently disposed of Oxford Blues 14-4 in their opening fixture as they looked to keep up the pressure on Spitfires, with the league’s leading goalscorer John Nash adding to his tally with six goals.
Swindon Devils were unable to raise a team and had to forfeit two games, which prevented them from competing for fifth, while the Chiefs took full advantage of the Stars’ lack of numbers and won their first ever game 7-6. Zac Dolphin led the way for the Chiefs with four goals.
Those results left Sprint Raiders and Oxford in a straight shootout for third place and qualification for the National Championships.
Sprint Raiders started well and Hayden Craven put them ahead but Oxford came back strongly to edge the Blues in front at the end of the first period.
The Raiders began to get their game together and took the second period 2-0 to edge in front but the Gloucester-based team were unable to extend their lead and when they ran into penalty trouble Oxford took full advantage to win the period 3-1 and take the game 5-4.
The final game of the season proved to be the league decider, with Cardiff Panthers needing to beat the Swindon Spitfires by two clear goals to take top spot on their head to head record.
The game was very tight early on before Spitfires broke forward and Matt Durham put them ahead.
Panthers levelled moments before the end of the first period and, with Spitfires incurring minor penalties, Cardiff took full advantage to move into a 3-1 lead. Spitfires came back strongly, though, and stunned the Panthers with four consecutive goals to lead 5-3 after two periods.
The final period was shared two-apiece and, although John Nash again netted a hat-trick for the Welsh team, doubles from Matt Durham and Will Crowder added to goals from Craig Davies, Jack Townsend and Ben Moody to see Spitfires to a 7-5 victory, an unbeaten league record and the title.
RESULTS: Swindon Spitfires 17 Swindon Stars 0; Oxford Blues 4 Cardiff Panthers 14; Sprint Raiders 5 Swindon Devils 2 - Forfeit; Swindon Stars 6 Swindon Chiefs 7; Oxford Blues 5 Sprint Raiders 4; Swindon Devils 0 Swindon Chiefs 5 - Forfeit; Cardiff Panthers 5 Swindon Spitfires 7.
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