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Pitchley pleased with London Raiders return

PUBLISHED: 17:00 20 December 2017

JJ Pitchley attacks against Invicta (pic John Scott)

JJ Pitchley attacks against Invicta (pic John Scott)

Archant

London Raiders forward JJ Pitchley was delighted to go into the Christmas break on the back of a four-point weekend against Invicta.

Raiders skated to a 3-1 home win in the league on Saturday and a 3-2 overtime success in their last cup group match in Kent the following night.

And Pitchley felt it was a good way to end the first half of the campaign, saying: “It was a tough weekend as both teams were short a couple of guys, especially us on Sunday.

“Having three forwards missing is never an easy task, but we finished with two wins and four points which is the main point.

“It was good to see Zach (Grandy-Smith) get his first win Sunday, he has played well in the games he has started. All in all it has been a great first half of the season.

“The gap from the EPL teams has vanished and for us as a team we have hit all of our targets Sean set out in the summer, beating all the teams from the league last year and then the highlight road win in Peterborough in November.”

The winning weekend was overshadowed by a terrible facial injury suffered by Pitchley’s fellow forward Alan Lack during the game in Lee Valley.

Lack was badly hurt while trying to block a shot and had to undergo surgery, with Pitchley adding: “The incident with ‘Lacky’ on Saturday was a nasty one and you never wanna see that, especially a team-mate.

“But I’ve spoken with him on Sunday and during the week and he seems in good spirits considering the situation, but that’s Lacky and I’d expect nothing less!

“We wish him well and await his return to the ice as it’s a big gap to fill with him out of the line-up but we will pull together and make it work.”

Raiders have the next two weekends off before a return to National League action at Cardiff on January 6 and Pitchley admitted it was most welcome.

“It’s a nice festive break to rest, regroup and spend time with family and loved ones.

“Once again thank you to the gold and blue army for all their support, noise and energy. I hope you have a great Christmas and new year and let’s be ready to climb the table come January and get to Coventry for the play-offs!”

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