Search

London Raiders look to upset champions in play-offs

PUBLISHED: 17:00 31 March 2017

London Raiders captain Tom Davis challenges for the puck in Oxford (pic John Scott)

London Raiders captain Tom Davis challenges for the puck in Oxford (pic John Scott)

Archant

We can shock Chelmsford says captain Davis

London Raiders will look to upset the odds when they take on National League champions and cup winners Chelmsford in the play-off semi-finals this weekend.

Raiders welcome their fierce rivals to Lee Valley for the first leg tomorrow (Saturday, 5.30pm), before facing a return at the Riverside Arena the following evening.

And they know the Chieftains will be favourites, having already claimed an 8-2 aggregate win over the Raiders in the cup semi-finals in late February.

But captain Tom Davis, having seen his side ease past Oxford in the first round of the play-offs last weekend, sees no reason why Raiders cannot produce a shock.

He said: “Everyone knows we are the underdogs, but if we play like we can and we did against Oxford then I could see an upset being caused.

“It’s going to take hard work and playing as a unit, but again, we have shown already this season we can do that.”

Raiders won their first two meetings of the season with Chelmsford, in the group stage of the cup competition, but then lost all four league meetings and the cup semi-final matches.

And they had to come from two goals down to beat Oxford on home ice last weekend, with JJ Pitchley firing a hat-trick on his return from a two-game suspension, after Marek Nahlik had found the net for the first Raiders goal.

Davis added: “Saturday we knew we had no easy task on our plate and it was going to be a tough 120 minutes over the course of the weekend.

“We started the first period slow and that cost us to go 2-0 down. But we came together during the period break and knew we hadn’t shown up and had to do better.

“For the next 40 minutes we were by far the better team and we pulled the game back and went on to win.”

Raiders travelled to Oxford the following night, having come from three goals down against the Stars on their previous visit to draw their last match of the regular season.

And they put the tie well and truly beyond doubt as Pitchley potted two more goals, Nahlik helped himself to a treble and defencemen Andy Munroe and Stewart Tait also got in on the act.

Dominic Hopkins denied Euan King a shutout late on, but Raiders skated off 7-1 winners to the delight of their travelling supporters and Davis added: “Sunday was a nervous game as we knew from previous results and the way Oxford play at home that the play-off double-header was far from done.

“But we came out flying and did everything we had to do to win. We battled hard for the full 60 minutes and that’s why we got the 7-1 win. The fans were fantastic and played a big part.”

Alan Lack echoed those sentiments and feels a full-strength Raiders are a match for anyone on their night, adding: “The two games at the weekend were massive for us and it has got us through to the semi-finals with a huge boost of confidence.

“Having the team at full strength for the whole weekend, shows what we can do as a team. Now we’re looking forward to this weekend – it’s going to be a big one.”

Latest East London Sports News

Yesterday, 14:14

Leyton Orient director of football Martin Ling has signed a new two-year contract with the club.

Tue, 15:06

Essex proved themselves as serious Specsavers County Championship title contenders as they condemned table-toppers Somerset to their first defeat of the season.

Tue, 12:00

Sonali Othith have commenced training for over 50's and the management are calling on the community for support.

Tue, 09:00

Essex seam bowler Jamie Porter was pleased to play his part as they built a lead against Somerset in the County Championship.

Mon, 18:52

Home-grown heroes Aaron Beard and Jamie Porter celebrated signing new two-year contracts at Essex by sharing nine-wickets as the hosts took control of their Specsavers County Championship clash with Somerset.

Mon, 16:48

Leyton Orient has signed young duo Jayden Sweeney and Brendon Shabani to professional contracts.

Hammers youngster Trott looks for senior appearances for League One club

Mon, 15:26

Over 150 young women came together on Saturday to compete in a 7 a-side competition as part of the B Active summer showcase.

PROMOTED CONTENT

It's now just under a month since All Points East took over Victoria Park with two weekends of world-class music and a programme of free community events.

Curated by AEG Presents, All Points East is bringing an impressive line-up of multi-flavoured music to Victoria Park from May 24-26 and May 31-June 2.

Victoria Park - or 'Vicky Park' as the locals know it - has been the setting for many important events over the years.​ Here, we take a look at its unique cultural history.

Newsletter Sign Up

East London Advertiser twice-weekly newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Most read sport

Hot Jobs

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Docklands and East London Advertiser
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now

Most Read

Latest from the East London Advertiser

Hot Jobs

Show Job Lists