NIHL South preview: Raiders shuffle their pack

London Raiders host Wightlink Raiders in the NIHL1 South Cup on Sunday aiming for revenge after a heavy defeat in the last weekend’s reverse fixture.

London lost 9-3 in a bad-tempered clash at Ryde Arena last Saturday, but bounced back the following day to defeat Bracknell Hornets 4-2 in the league.

Despite that result, Raiders released import forward Kamil Kinkor earlier this week and have replaced him with Slavomir Buda.

The 25-year-old (above) has been a consistent points scorer in Slovakia 2 and Raiders have signed him on the recommendation of their other import, Marek Nahlik.

A club statement said: “While the season has started with many positives, we are aware that possession and shots on goal have not been converting into results.

“We hope to be heading towards an improvement in this area as we announce the signing of Slavomir Buda.

“Slavomir is described as a-hard worker, assisted by an athletic build and a consistent point scorer year-on-year, as opposed to a one-season wonder assisted by star line-mates.

“All the stats in the world tell you little compared with personal recommendations and Raiders have signed Slavomir largely based on those that have experienced his play.”

In D2S, Lee Valley Lions are hoping to improve on their miserable start to the campaign when they face Bristol Pitbulls in the cup on Saturday.

Lions have collected just a single point from four league games and Head Coach George Alley is expecting a difficult game.

“We haven’t played Bristol for a few years now but they still have their main core of players, like the Hargreaves brothers and Ady Smith,” he told the East London Advertiser.

“Looking at the rest of the team, they’ve benefited from Cardiff Devils NIHL folding so they’ll be quite strong.

“I think they’ll want to dictate the pace of the game with possession, so we’ll have the be prepared to go hard at them from the beginning.

“Aside from Peterborough the teams in the South East league are all pretty even, but if we don’t start getting rid of our own mistakes, we just punish ourselves.

“I know we are much better than results suggest.”

WEEKEND FIXTURES

NIHL1 South

Saturday

Bracknell Hornets v Chelmsford Chieftains

Sunday

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

NIHL2 South

Saturday

Haringey Racers v Invicta Mustangs
Lee Valley Lions v Bristol Pitbulls (Cup)

Sunday

Cardiff Fire v Slough Jets (Cup)
Swindon Wildcats NIHL v Wightlink Buccaneers

(Image permission: John Scott)

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