NIHL South preview: Raiders looking to challenge this season

London Raiders kick-off their NIHL1 South league campaign this weekend aiming to improve on last season’s disappointing eighth-placed finish.

The Raiders lost 4-2 in the D1S Cup at Invicta Dynamos last Sunday, but showed plenty of signs they could be a force to reckoned with this term.

They host Oxford City Stars on Saturday before travelling to meet Streatham IHC in the cup the following day, and new signing James Pentecost believes the Raiders will be challenging for silverware this year.

“I’d say on paper this is one of the strongest teams I’ve played with – we know we have the capability of doing some damage, we just need to prove it now, starting this weekend,” he told the Romford Recorder.

“I expect maximum points going into any game. Getting a win in your home opener can be a real boost and will help us going into Streatham on Sunday.

“Everyone knows this can be a big year for the Raiders, so we’ve all settled down quickly to work hard to meet those expectations.

“The travelling fans last week were unbelievably loud, so it we get that atmosphere again at home then I think everyone will be taking it to the next level to get two points.”

Sunday’s game at Streatham sees both teams looking to get their first points on the board in this season’s cup competition and Pentecost is looking forward to playing in back-to-back games.

He added: “I’m very excited for a double header. I tend to over-analyse games too much after they finish, so I like to be able to just move on and focus on the next day.

“Starting the season on a single-game weekend was a good transition for the guys, so I think we will be ready for the double.”

WEEKEND FIXTURES

NIHL1 South

Saturday

Bracknell Hornets v Streatham IHC
Invicta Dynamos v Solent Devils
London Raiders v Oxford City Stars
Wightlink Raiders v Chelmsford Chieftains (Cup)

Sunday

Chelmsford Chieftains v Invicta Dynamos
Oxford City Stars v MK Thunder (Cup)
Streatham IHC v London Raiders (Cup)

NIHL2 South

Saturday

Chelmsford Warriors v Peterborough Islanders
Slough Jets v Haringey Racers (Cup)

Sunday

Cardiff Fire v Swindon Wildcats NIHL
Haringey Racers v Invicta Mustangs
Wightlink Buccaneers v Bristol Pitbulls

(Image permission: John Scott)

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