Full 9 Yards sponsored Blackburn Hawks played 2 games in the NIHL Moralee Division last weekend and came out with 2 points from 4. Their Saturday night game was a tough fixture away to Telford Tigers and although they lost heavily 12-1, the team showed plenty of spirit. Harrison Walker had the unenviable job of keeping the puck out of the net and despite the scoreline, brought off some outstanding saves to continue showing his great potential. Hawks only goal came in the 54th minute and Harrison nailed his man of the match performance with an assist on the goal. Aaron Davies also assisted by firing off a shot into the body of Sam Gospel and Danny Nomanovas was on hand to tap the rebound into the net.
Final score Telford Tigers 12 Blackburn Hawks 1
Sunday saw the Nottingham Lions make another visit to the nest with everybody hoping for more than 20 minutes hockey this time.
Hawks were missing Ross Kennedy, Adam Barnes Harrison Walker and Kieran Brown with Steve Duncombe back in the team after recovering from concussion. Niks Trapans was the Hawks’ custodian.
Hawks were all over the Lions in the early stages of the game but could not find the net. That was, until 8.30, when some neat passing around the Lions defensive zone ended up with Danny Nomanovas in space and his shot easily found the back of the net. Coach Duncombe was given an assist on the goal. Hawks continued to dominate and against the run of play Lions equalised on 16.02, scored by Jack Crowston , assisted by Hamish Hall and Bailey Challans. With just over 2 minutes left in the period, Lions Tyler Poole took offence to a hit from Rick Ravey and the gloves were off and both players sat out 2+2 for roughing. Hawks took the lead on 18.25 with Bobby Streetly and Lee Pollitt combining to set up Petr Valusiak to score. That was the last of the action and the teams went for their first cup of tea. 2-1 to Hawks.
Lions came more into the game in the early minutes of the second period and Trapans had to be on his toes to keep the Hawks’ lead. The home side doubled their lead on 25.14 with a short handed goal as Ollie Lomax sat out a 2 minute roughing penalty. A James Neil shot found its way over the shoulder of the Lion’s netminder and into the top corner. Assists went to James Royds and Danny Nomanovas. Danny then took a 2 minute penalty for tripping and Lions pulled a goal back on 26.05. Joseph Gretton got the goal, assisted by Callum Medcalf and Ruskin Hughes. Lions were becoming more of a threat and Trapans again stood strong as the Hawks team seemed to lose focus. All was well with the world again on 37.16 as Lee Pollitt worked his way forward and put the puck right onto James Riddoch’s stick and the latter tapped the puck home. Third assist went to Petr Valusiak, 4-2. The two goal advantage did not last long and on 37.16 Lions again made it a 1 goal game. Jack Crowston bagged his second of the night assisted by Ruskin Hughes. This time it was the Hawks who reacted best and Lee Pollitt had a one on one with the Lions’ netminder and Aaron Davies was in the right place to squeeze the puck over the line. End of the second period and 5-3 to the home side.
It took Hawks only 77 seconds to increase their lead and Danny Nomanovas went coast to coast to score the goal of the evening. James Neil was given an assist on the goal. Hawks were again dominating a tiring Lions side and scored their 7th of the night on 45.43. Steve Duncombe worked the puck through traffic and his shot hit James Riddoch and into the net. A fortunate goal but as it was James’ hat trick goal, who cares !! That was enough for Miles Finney in the Nottingham net and Luca Sheldon took over between the pipes. With just under 6 minutes left, Hawks completed the win with their 8th goal. Petr Valusiak to Luke Boothroyd who threw the puck in front of goal and Aaron Davies slammed the puck home from short range. 8-3 the final score and a well deserved man of the match award to Jack Murray who was all over the ice all night.
Final Score Blackburn Hawks 8 Nottingham Lions 3
Head coach Steve Duncombe said after the game, “That was a good win after last night’s result against Telford. The boys played well and great to see young Jack get the man of the match. Now we need to add some consistency to our game and I am sure the wins will come. We face another tough one next week against the Steeldogs but we will be up for it as always. Thanks to the fans for their continued support, we really appreciate it.”
Match info supplied by Shona Welch and photos by Tom Foy