Daniel Mackriel completed a 9-1 win over Billingham Stars with his hat-trick goal, rounding off a successful weekend for Blackburn HAWKS.
Jared Owen’s resurgent side kicked off their double header by securing a 5-0 win over Whitley Warriors at Blackburn Ice Arena on Saturday.
Adam Brittle scored almost halfway through the first period before doubling the lead in the second.
Sam Dunford made it 3-0 at the start of the third period, while Owen’s superb solo run deserved a goal, but the player-coach’s shot hit the keeper.
Canadian forward Jon Adams was at the double to complete a 5-0 scoreline and five-star performance for Hawks in front of their home fans, setting them up nicely for Sunday’s trip to Billingham Stars.
And the Hawks were able to make ground on the second placed side after capitalising on a depleted line-up for the hosts. Two goals in 11 seconds made for a quickfire start, with Stars quickly cancelling out Brittle’s early opener.
But Billingham had no further answer to anything that Hawks had to offer.
Once Mackriel had restored their lead with the first of his treble in the fourth minute, the in-form East Lancashire team never looked back. Ric Hughes added a third before Brittle grabbed his second brace of the weekend for Hawks’ fourth.
By the halfway point Hawks had roared into an 8-1 lead, with Mackriel on the scoresheet again, along with Aaron Davies, Adams and Jake Nurse.
Mackriel celebrated his hat-trick at the end of the second period, and with it completed the scoring as Hawks saw out the final 20 minutes comfortably.
Speaking to the Lancashire Telegraph, Hawks captain Chris Arnone said: “Make no mistake, the title is still in our sights. We might be seven points off the top but with 11 games to go it is all to play for.
“Fourteen goals for this weekend, and only one against, tells its own story.
“We can only concentrate on what we are doing, but I think leaders Solway will start to drop a few points, and we’ve still got them to play twice more in the league – the second time on the final day of the season.
“The goals were largely spread around over the course of the weekend, and there is a nice healthy competition among the players.
“We have a full strength squad at the moment and people are fighting for their spots, which is good, because it keeps people on their toes. Everyone wants to play.
“And on the back of a 5-0 home win over Whitley it’s probably one of the best weekends we’ve had this season.”
The Hawks now sit just one point adrift of third placed Sutton Sting with fixtures against bottom clubs Telford and Manchester this weekend. The team also boasts the lowest goals against statistic in the Moralee Conference and have won their last five games, scoring 43 goals.
(Images by John Milton – togger.co.uk)