Swindon claim a home triumph
Panthers secured their third trophy of the season as they won the EIHA Recreational Tournament title at the weekend.
The Link Centre-based tournament included 15 teams playing 15-minute games, with no checking allowed, with teams coming from as far as Cleveland and Gosport to take part.
Panthers enjoyed a stellar opening day as they beat every team in their group thanks to regular goals from Ian Richards, Johan Persson, Scott Gough, David Tombes, Kenny Redmond, Rob Croucher, and some top-drawer goal tending from Andy Webster.
Day two began with the winners of each group and the two top second placed sides being placed in an elite group, with the other two groups made up according to their positions the previous day.
Panthers won their first three games, with goals again from Croucher, Gough, Redmond, Persson and Wayne Fiddes, setting up a final game with Swindon’s other recreational team the Nationwide Knights.
The Knights had won two of their three games and drawn the other, making the second last game of the weekend effectively the final with the Knights needing the win and the Panthers able to seal the title with a draw.
The game started as expected, at top speed, with both teams trying to secure victory in the allotted 15 minutes with the first goal of the game scored by the Knights player Littlewood.
That geared the Panthers up and a goal was soon pulled back by Persson who had been quiet in the previous three games.
The goal settled the Panthers, who then started to control the game, and with six minutes remaining Jamie Thompson stepped up to rifle home from close range to give the Panthers the one-goal advantage The game was not dead, however, as the Knights kept up the pressure and some fine saves from Webster kept them at bay.
With time running down, Persson stepped up again to combine with Redmond to score the Panthers’ third goal to win their third piece of silverware.
Webster was named goalie of the tournament and forward of the tournament went to Panthers’ Gough.