From Lancashire Telegraph

Blackburn HAWKS hauled themselves up to second in the NIHL Moralee Conference by winning an 11-goal thriller with .sheffield Spartans on Sunday.

Jared Owen’s side’s 7-4 success, combined with the Billingham Stars’ 5-1 defeat to local rivals Whitley Warriors, moved them up a place and kept them within seven points of table topping Solway Sharks.

It also stretched the red hot Hawks’ winning run on home ice to nine matches.

The sides’ latest victory owed a great deal to the support they received from the stands.

The Hawks faithful lifted their side on several occasions when major penalty calls went against them.

The third-from-bottom Spartans made the most of their powerplay opportunities to stay in the game, but the home side’s class told when they were at full strength and they eventually proved too strong for the Yorkshire side.

Goals from Ivo Dimitrijevs, Chris Arnone, Jon Adams, Adam Brittle, Aaron Davies, Daniel MacKriel and Scott Robson gave Blackburn their 11th victory from the last 12 games, but the win came at a cost for the Hawks who went into the fixture carrying a number of injuries.

And on Sunday, Reece Cairney-Witter suffered a mild concussion that could see him sidelined for the coming game against Whitley Warriors. He will be assessed in training on Thursday ahead of the fixture with the fifth placed Tyneside club.

Captain Chris Arnone, who also picked up a knock, is expected to lead out his side this weekend. Speaking to the Lancashire Telegraph, Chris said: “We played pretty well. We went for a seven or eight-minute period when we were giving penalties away to some harsh calls.

“We conceded a couple of goals during that time and the momentum shifted a little bit.

“But when it was five-on-five we were always the better team.

“Sheffield are a well-drilled side, they’ve got a good set-up and they’ve got some good calibre players who are always going to give you a tough game.

“But thankfully we did the business and got the win.

“I’ve read a few things after the Spartans match and apparently it was one of the best games people have seen. That’s fantastic as we want people to keep coming back to the Arena to watch us.

“We’ve had some new faces down there who have said it is the best sport they’ve watched.

“Obviously we’re doing something right – now we just have to keep it up.”

(Photos by John Milton – Togger.co.uk)

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