This coming weekend your Full 9 Yards Sponsored Blackburn Hawks have a double game Saturday/Sunday On Saturday they entertain the Billingham Stars, looking for revenge for their defeat last time out at the Nest. On Sunday they hit the M62 for an encounter with the Hull Pirates. Hull are currently in third place but a win at Sheffield Steeldogs on Friday night could see them top the league. Both these games are in the NIHL Moralee Division.
Last weekend Hawks only had one game, a war of the roses encounter with Sheffield Steeldogs in the North Cup. Although losing 4-1, Hawks gave one of their best performances of the season, matching the Dogs for long periods of the game. Highlight was an outstanding performance from young netminder Harrison Walker.
On to this weekend and a preview of our home game with Billingham Stars. Stars are having a tough season with only 4 wins out of 15 league games but they did beat the Hawks 5-3 at the Nest last month. Hawks will be going all out for revenge in an attempt to get themselves up the league
Billingham Stars Three to Watch
36 year old Durham born winger, Michael has experience at most levels of British Ice Hockey. At 16 years old he played for the Sunderland Chiefs in ED1 and stayed for 3 seasons before moving to the Hull Thunder in the BNL. A season with the Newcastle Vipers followed then back to Hull with the Hull Stingrays. A season with the Peterborough Phantoms followed before he moved west to Slough Jets for 6 seasons. Bracknell was his next home before the call of the North got to him and he signed for the Billingham Stars and he is still there. Al in all Michael has iced over 600 games in the BNL, EPIHL and the NIHL spanning 22 years.
Another Durham born lad, Michael played 4 seasons for the Newcastle Vipers at u16, u18 and in their ENL2 side. Billingham came calling in 2011 and he has stayed ever since, icing in over 200 games for the Stars. He was made captain last season and rewarded the Stars with an outstanding season, hitting 20 goals and 20 assists in 31 games.
Staying with the Northern theme, Andrew Finn, 27 year old Darlington lad, played at Billingham before moving to Sheffield to play for the Rapiers (u-16), Steelhawks (u-19) and the Spartans in the ENL. One season in the EPIHL with Swindon Wildcats past before he too, took the road north and played for the North Stars including a guest appearance with the Newcastle Vipers in the Elite League before settling down with the Billingham Stars. Andrew has now iced over 160 games for the Stars.
Coach Steve Duncombe commented, “After a good performance last week at Sheffield I am looking for a bit of consistency from the lads. If we play like we did last Sunday night we will get something out of the weekend.”
Don’t forget it is a Saturday game with an 1800hrs face off. It should be a good night as we will have over 600 guests from local primary schools coming to the game. Last time we had the kids in, the atmosphere was awesome. Should be the same this week and one not to miss.