Search

Raiders in bid for big Bison scalp to complete set and seal place at finals weekend

PUBLISHED: 14:30 23 March 2018

JJ Pitchley faces off with Bracknell's James Galazzi as Julian Smith looks on (pic John Scott)

JJ Pitchley faces off with Bracknell's James Galazzi as Julian Smith looks on (pic John Scott)

Archant

Raiders forward JJ Pitchley says the team have plenty of incentive to upset Basingstoke in the National League play-off semi-finals this weekend.

Raiders celebrate a goal against Bracknell (pic John Scott)Raiders celebrate a goal against Bracknell (pic John Scott)

The two sides meet in the first leg at Romford’s Sapphire Ice & Leisure Centre on Saturday (5.15pm), with the return in Hampshire the following night.

And, after eliminating Bracknell last weekend, Raiders will have to break new ground against the Bison.

The 24-year-old Pitchley was on target in Saturday’s 6-5 win over the Bees and said: “It was a great feeling to advance to the semi-finals, especially to get two wins against Bracknell, and being the only original NIHL team to advance is a great feeling too.

“And with that comes the last hurdle to get to Coventry. A goal that we have now set after achieving all of our goals for the regular season.”

The Division One South finalists will face their Division One North counterparts on the showpiece finals weekend at Coventry Skydome on April 7-8.

Peterborough and Swindon meet in the other semi-final, but Raiders face a significant hurdle in regular season champions Basingstoke, having lost all four meetings with them to date.

A 7-1 loss in October came after goalie Euan King was injured and captain Tom Davis took over, conceding three late goals.

Shut out 6-0 in Basingstoke a month later, Raiders saw Alan Lack score in a 4-1 home loss at Lee Valley in late January.

And Brandon Ayliffe’s goal looked set to give them a win at the Sapphire last month, before Bison netted twice in the last four minutes for a 2-1 victory.

So results have improved each time and Pitchley added: “It is going to be the toughest weekend of the season for sure. The league champions and a very, very skillful, well-drilled team.

“Then again we have caused some serious upsets and taken teams the distance so there’s nothing to take away from us. They are the only team we haven’t beaten and to do so and advance to Coventry will be the best ending to our first rebuilding season and will show the UK hockey is back in Romford!

“Thank you to all of the gold and blue army for the weekend’s support. Sunday was like being back at Rom Valley Way again, the noise was absolutely phenomenal. Let’s go again this weekend and then in Coventry!”

Latest East London Sports News

55 minutes ago

Ross Embleton admitted to feeling emotional after leading Leyton Orient to a 3-1 win over Walsall at the weekend.

13:00

East London's women had to battle for their 1-0 win over St Albans seconds.

09:00

Leyton Orient defender Joe Widdowson netted his first goal for the club in their 3-1 win over Walsall much to his delight, writes Jacob Ranson.

Yesterday, 10:36

Ross Embleton defended striker Conor Wilkinson following his red card in their win over Walsall on Saturday.

Yesterday, 10:00

London Lions won their second British Basketball All-Stars Championship in three years, beating Braun Sheffield Sharks 39-33 in the final at the Copper Box Arena.

Yesterday, 08:24

Tower Hamlets sealed a victory, Sporting Bengal United suffered a narrow defeat, while Clapton and Woodford Town had to settle for a share of the spoils.

Sunday, October 13, 2019

West Ham scored three on their way past a resilient Brighton side trying to find their way in the league this season.

Sunday, October 13, 2019

England have sought to overcome any loss of momentum caused by the cancellation of their World Cup group decider by engaging in a full-blooded training session on the day they would have been facing France.

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