SKATER HOCKEY: Flames fourth at nationals

SWINDON Flames Youth came fourth at the National Championships after suffering defeat in the semi-finals.

Flames fielded a number of players with little experience of big tournaments but the youngsters stepped up and performed well against the best young players in the UK.

Flames opened up against Borehamwood Crusaders, a side packed with players who took part in the Junior National Championship, and experience eventually told as they lost 6-3.

Flames slipped two goals behind before Liam Coleman pulled a goal back.

Jack Hayes scored another two but it wasn’t enough as the Hertfordshire side took victory.

After suffering defeat in their first outing Flames improved when they faced Eastbourne Edge, with Coleman grabbing a brace and Jacob Elliott-Latham and Harry Llewellyn strikes earning a 4-2 victory.

Next up were Flames’ SASH rivals KSF and the Swindon side looked good for victory when leading 4-2.

However, KSF responded late on with two of their own as the second flew into the net with just one second remaining.

Reigning champions Ash Avalanche were the final opposition for Flames on day one and they got off to the perfect start as they led 3-2 at the break after two goals from Llewellyn and one from Coleman.

Ash levelled matters in the second period and then edged into the lead, but inside the last two minutes Harry Gobey set up Coleman for an equaliser, only for Ash to find the winner seconds later.

The final group game saw Flames take the lead against eventual champions Havering Liberators courtesy of Harry Gobey. But Flames failed to hold onto that lead and eventually lost 8-1.

The semi-final was a rematch against Havering and this time Flames were able keep things closer as they went in just a goal behind at the break.

Liberators struck again midway through the second period before Gobey gave his side hope, although Havering struck again with 37 seconds remaining to make it 3-1.

Flames faced Crusaders in the play-off for the minor placings and lost out 2-1 with Coleman scoring their goal.

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