Full 9 Yards sponsored Blackburn Hawks played two North Cup games over the weekend with mixed results.
On Saturday they entertained the high flying Hull Pirates and although they lost 1-3, the performance deserved much more.
Hawks took the lead with an unassisted opportunist goal from Kieran Brown on 4.37 and took the game to a rattled Pirates side. Ashley Smith in goal had to be on his best form as chances rained down on him in the first 20 minutes of the game. Hull were still well in the game and Niks Trappans in the home net made a couple of good saves before the period ended with the home side a goal to the good.
Hull obviously had a good talking to in the break as they came out fast at the start of the second period and equalised on 22.56 when Bobby Chamberlain scored.
A great end to end period ensued with both netminders making key saves to keep the scores level at the end of 40 minutes play.
Three minutes into the third period, Hull took the lead with Bobby Chamberlain’s goal in the the 43rd minute. Hawks kept their heads up and continued to press for an equaliser but Smith kept the puck out of his net and Hull managed to score a third, heartbreaking goal on 59.24, a hat-trick goal from Bobby Chamberlain. That finished the scoring a 3-1 to Hull, however Hawks can feel a little bit disappointed as they put on a great performance against one of the top teams in the league.
Fantastic effort from every player, reflected in Coach Steve Duncombe’s post match comments.
Steve said,” Very disappointed with the result but really pleased with everything the team did tonight. We talked about situations in training and every one of them completed their tasks during the game. We are so close to getting the monkey off our back and we are going to Billingham tomorrow (Sunday), determined to bring back a result.”
On to Sunday and a trip up the A1 to Billingham to take on the Stars. Obviously still without Bobby Streetly and with Peta Valusiak not travelling, Coach Duncombe drafted in Hawks2 player Jack Murry on defence.
If we thought Saturday night’s start was impressive, words failed the travelling Hawks fans as their favourites rushed to a 2 goal lead with only 2.41 on the clock. Firstly, Aaron Davies hit a belter that was in the back of the net before the Stars nettie could react. Adam Barnes made it 2-0 26 seconds later to the delight of the travelling Hawks fans. Niks Trappans had to be sharp on 10 minutes with a big save to keep the biscuit out of the net. With Rick Ravey in the box on a high sticks call, Stars pulled one back, timed at 10.15. Hawks kept their heads up and James Royds returned the Hawks to a 2 goal advantage after a great set up by Lee Pollitt. Stars changed their netminder with Flavell going between the pipes. 12.55 on the clock and it was 4-1 to the visitors as James Neil found Danny Nomanovas on the back post to slot home. Stars were pressing Hawks but Trappans was up for everything including a save with his blocker and covering up any chance of a rebound. Lee Pollitt went on a mazy skate, making his way past 3 Star players but just failed to beat Flavell on the backhand. End of the first period and Hawks looking good with a 4-1 lead.
With a partnership re-kindled from their junior days, Adam Barnes and Kieran Brown were linking up well with some great short handed play to keep the pressure on Flavell. 5.12 gone in the second and Billingham pulled a goal back but just over a minute later Kieran Brown struck back with a top shelfer for 5-2.
The period ended with no further score but Stars are far from out of this game as they gave the Hawks’ fans a few heart attacks with their attacking play.
Could Hawks hang on for a long overdue win ? That question was partly answered on 45.10 when Nomanovas slipped the puck to Kieran Brown who slotted it home for 6-2. The goalfest continued with Billingham grabbing a third on 46.04, then 51 seconds later James Riddoch got in on the act with Blackburn’s 7th.
Stars were not giving up and still giving Hawks some problems in their defensive zone.
The Hawks’ fans held their breath, remembering what happened to Bobby Streetly in Hull only a week ago, when Rick Ravey went down with a facial injury. He managed to skate off under his own steam, acknowledging the applause from both sets of fans. A superb 1-2 between Adam Barnes and Kieran Brown ended with a superb finish by the latter for his Hat-trick goal, timed at 50.24.
A couple of minutes later , Hawks hit a 9th goal with another Aaron Davies slapshot and the Hawks fans were by far the noisiest in the rink. All credit to the Stars, who never gave up and scored a 4th goal with just over 3 minutes left to make the score 4-9. That ended the scoring for the evening and a jubilant Hawks team mobbed Niks Trappans, absolutely delighted with their evening’s efforts.
The beers went to Shaun Galloway of the Stars and Kieran Brown after a hat-trick performance.
A superb effort from the Hawks, fully deserving the big win, making the long journey home much easier.
Coach Duncombe commented after the game,” Over the moon tonight, great game, superb effort by absolutely everyone and getting that all important win. Fine debut by Jack Murray who slotted in well to the Defence and great link up play by Kieron and Adam. Not singling anyone out though, it was a fantastic team effort in front of a very loud and noisy bunch of Hawks fans.”