Your Full 9 Yards sponsored Blackburn Hawks played 2 Moralee league games at the weekend against the top two sides in the League. Saturday saw Hawks take on the Sheffield Steeldogs with an injury hit side and Ronnie Grimes Junior and Geoff Wigglesworth icing for them.
Sheffield Steeldogs 11 Blackburn Hawks 2
Despite the scoreline, Hawks put up a spirited performance against a very potent Steeldogs side running 4 full lines.
Hawks goalscorers were Aaron Davies and Petr Valusiak and the man of the match went to Petr Valusiak. Unfortunately the team picked up another serious injury to Bobby Streetly and all at Hawks wish him well and a speedy recovery.
Blackburn Hawks 2 Telford Tigers 6
Sunday’s game was never going to be any easier against free scoring Tigers, but yet again another gritty, determined performance that on another day could have had a different outcome.
Hawks were without Rick Ravey, Steve Duncombe, Adam Barnes, Bobby Streetly and James Neil. Ronny Grimes Jr, Owen Woods and Reece Cairney-Witter all iced for the Hawks. James Neil and Bobby Streetly on the bench.
Sniper Doug Clarkson was left one on one with Niks Trapans and a super shot beat Niks for pace and it was 1-0 Tigers timed at 3.10. Tigers were the more offensive team in the first period but Hawks gritty determination was still causing them some problems. Clarkson got himself on the scoresheet again on 13.59 when he poked in a rebound after Traps made a great save from Andy Mckinney. With the clock running down on the 1st period, Telford struck again. A bit of a scramble in front of Traps ended up with McKinney stroking the puck over the line. Timed at 19.26. 3-0 end of the 1st with Telford capitalising on Hawks’ errors although the home side were holding their own.
Hawks started well and Lee Pollitt and James Riddoch combined to move the puck forward. Lee skated hard down the win and found Ridds in front of the net but his tip was just off target. McKinney went to the box on 21.33 for a late hit and despite peppering the Telford netminder, Hawks just could not get on the board. Aaron Davies then missed an empty net and Lee Pollitt had a chance from a James Riddoch drop pass. Hawks were looking good at this point with Telford on the ropes. Petr Valusiak and Luke Boothroyd then both had a great shift with both of them forcing Hovell in the Telford net into two great saves. Tigers then made it 4-0 against the run of play with a power play goal from Adam Joseph Taylor. A bit of fisticuffs on 37.35 when Telford’s Ashton flattened Lee Pollitt onto the boards, resulting in Lee showing him the error of his ways. Both in the box for 4 minutes for fighting. James Royds also picked up a 2 minute tripping call in the same incident so Telford went on the powerplay. That came to nothing and the period ended with Tigers winning 4-0. A good period for Hawks with no reward.
Hawks started with Petr Valusiak going coast to coast but just failed to find Ridds at the crease. It is never a good idea to leave someone as capable as Doug Clarkson alone in front of the net and he duly punished Hawks with Telford’s 5th goal with a shot into the far top corner of Traps’ net. Hawks were still taking the game to Tigers although the result was a formality and great moves by Aaron Davies and Petr Valusiak again did not bring a deserved reward. With just short of 8 minutes left Clarkson struck again with his 4th goal of the evening. He played a neat 1-2 in front of the net with Taylor and put the puck away with a low shot just inside the post. Timed at 52.09.
The home side were eventually rewarded for their effort on 56.43. Valusiak took on the Telford defence, dropped the puck back to Aaron Davies. With the whole Telford defence focused on Petr, Aaron shot top corner for Hawks opener.
Twelve seconds later the crowd were on their feet as Valusiak picked the pocket of a Telford D man and before Hovell could set himself, the puck was past him for the home side’s second goal on 56.54.
A great finish for Hawks but the points went to Telford.
Doug Clarkson took the beer for our guests and a well deserved Man of the Match for Hawks went to Petr Valusiak.
James Neil commented after the game, “So proud of the lads tonight. We made some changes in training on Thursday night and executed them well tonight. Telford are a great side but we kept with them for long periods of the game. We may have suffered two heavy defeats but we really can take some positives from the games.”
@Photographs by Thomas Foy