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London Raiders suffer Hornets sting

PUBLISHED: 09:15 29 February 2016 | UPDATED: 09:15 29 February 2016

Marek Nahlik netted twice as London Raiders beat Bracknell (pic: John Scott)

Marek Nahlik netted twice as London Raiders beat Bracknell (pic: John Scott)

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National League: Bracknell 8 London Raiders 5

London Raiders were brought back down to earth by lowly Bracknell in Berkshire last night.

Having ended their 14-match winless run with an 8-2 victory over MK Thunder the night before, Raiders were chasing the match for most of the night against the Hornets.

Elliot Farrell put the home side ahead in the 10th minute, but Michal Oravec levelled on a delayed penalty call, with former Raider JJ Pitchley set to be called for holding.

A delay of game minor against David Oliver allowed Bracknell the chance to regain the lead on the powerplay, though, through Brad Watchorn and the scoreline remained unchanged until just past the midway mark when Marek Nahlik got the visitors back on terms for a second time.

Pitchley put Hornets 3-2 up just before the end of the middle session, but Rio Grinell-Parke squared matters for a third time early in the final stanza.

Nahlik’s powerplay goal, after Daniel Hughes was binned for slashing, put Raiders 4-3 up with 11.27 remaining, but their joy was shortlived as Hughes levelled a minute later.

Stewart Tait and Hughes then beat Michael Gray in the space of a minute to put Bracknell 6-4 up, with Gray and Watchorn picking up double minors for roughing in the aftermath.

Frustrated Raiders saw Oravec, Matt France and John Connolly sent to the penalty box in the space of 14 seconds and Ryan Handisides netted a seventh for Bracknell on the powerplay.

France fired back a fifth for Raiders with just over a minute left on the clock, but the home side had the final say as Pitchley completed the scoring 36 seconds from time.

Victory allowed Bracknell to close to within five points of Raiders in the race for the last play-off place, but having already played one game more.

The two sides are due to meet again next Saturday, before Raiders return to their Lee Valley base to host Oxford.

Scorers, Bracknell: JJ Pitchley 2+2 Dan Hughes 2+2 Ryan Handisides 1+3 Stewart Tait 1+1 Elliot Farrell 1 Brad Watchorn 1 Jack Hayes 0+2 Jack Baveystock 0+1 William Stead 0+1.

Raiders: Marek Nahlik* 2+1 Michal Oravec* 1+1 Matt France 1 Rio Grinell-Parke 1 Sam Roberts 0+1 John Connolly 0+1 Tom Davis 0+1 Mason Webster 0+1 Seb Downing 0+1.

Penalty minutes: Bracknell 34 Raiders 24.

Shots on goal: Matthew Smital (B) 14-20-13=47-5 Michael Gray (L) 11-10-11=32-8.

Referee: Deana Cuglietta.

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