|Sharks celebrate NIHL North title win|
Solway Sharks retained their NIHL North title in style with a pair of impressive victories. Following an 8-5 success at home to Whitley Warriors, Sharks ran out 4-0 winners at Billingham Stars to clinch the Moralee Conference crown.
Whitley boosted their play-off hopes with a 3-1 win against Sutton Sting. Sheffield Spartans were held 3-3 at home to Blackburn Hawks, while Manchester Minotaurs won 5-3 against Telford Titans.
Laidler Conference leaders Solihull Barons triumphed 8-0 at Blackburn Eagles. Ben Simister grabbed a hat-trick in Deeside Dragons’ 9-3 win at home to Coventry Blaze. Widnes Wild stretched their winning run to four after a 4-3 success at Nottingham Lions.
Invicta Dynamos kept their NIHL1 South title hopes alive after a four-point weekend. Callum Fowler hit a hat-trick in their 8-5 win at Bracknell Hornets and they followed up with a 3-2 home success against league leaders Chelmsford Chieftains. Jakub Klima scored three in London Raiders’ 6-4 victory against Wightlink Raiders. Streatham Redskins beat Cardiff Devils 3-2 to boost their hopes of a top four finish. Solent & Gosport Devils won 6-4 at MK Thunder and 7-3 at home to Bracknell.
Slough Jets closed the gap at the top of NIHL2 South to one point after a 5-3 win at home to Chelmsford Warriors. Swindon Wildcats won 3-1 at Chelmsford, while Haringey Racers beat Basingstoke Buffalo 10-4. Wightlink Tigers claimed a 7-6 home win against Cardiff Devils and Invicta Mustangs won 6-2 against Lee Valley Lions.
EPL leaders Manchester Phoenix beat Peterborough Phantoms 5-2 – Frantisek Bakrlik scored a couple – while James Archer’s late goal clinched a 1-0 win at Telford Tigers. Joe Greener hit a hat-trick in Basingstoke Bison’s 6-2 success at MK Lightning and they followed up with a 7-2 win at home to Slough Jets.
Guildford Flames slipped to double defeat, crashing 4-1 at home to Telford and 2-1 at Bracknell Bees. Jan Bendik’s late strike sealed a 4-3 win for the Bees at Swindon Wildcats. Andrew Hirst scored three in Sheffield Steeldogs’ 7-3 victory at Slough, while Greg Chambers’ empty netter capped a 4-2 home win against MK Lightning. Peterborough lost 4-0 at home to Telford. MK Lightning reached the final of the EPL Cup after securing a 10-9 aggregate win against Manchester.
Belfast Giants completed a four-point weekend in Nottingham with a pair of 3-1 wins against the Panthers to secure the Elite League and Erhardt Conference titles. Joel Champagne (2) & Kevin Bergin (2) led the scoring in Braehead Clan’s 8-4 win against Hull Stingrays. Clan failed to follow up, blowing a four goal lead to lose 6-4 at Fife Flyers, before ending the week with a 4-2 reverse at Coventry Blaze.
Cardiff Devils lost 7-3 at home to Coventry and 5-3 at Hull, but bounced back to beat Sheffield Steelers 3-2 after a shoot-out. Jack MacLellan scored twice in Dundee Stars’ 4-2 win at home to Edinburgh, but the Capitals gained revenge in the reverse fixture with a 4-3 success. Ned Lukacevic & Jordan Fulton both scored twice in Fife’s 7-2 win against Hull. Nottingham beat Sheffield 5-3 in the Challenge Cup semi-final first leg.
(Image permission: David Morrison)