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!”


If you value what this story gives you, please consider supporting the East London Advertiser. Click the link in the orange box below for details.

Latest East London Sports News

19 minutes ago

With the Premier League back in action for the past couple of weeks after more than three months away due to the coronavirus pandemic, why not celebrate with another sports quiz?

Yesterday, 21:42

West Ham United manager David Moyes is ‘disappointed’ with yet another VAR decision going against his side as they lost 1-0 to Burnley.

The Hammers were left looking warily over their shoulders at the dreaded drop-zone following this disappointing defeat at London Stadium, where Jay Rodriguez’s 38th-minute header secured victory for the Clarets.

Yesterday, 19:48

England vice-captain Jos Buttler hopes his side’s decision to join their West Indian opponents in taking a knee sends a “very powerful message” about cricket’s support for the Black Lives Matter movement.

Yesterday, 15:00

West Ham will be desperate to continue their recent form as they take on Burnley in the claret and blue derby this evening (Wednesday).

Yesterday, 10:41

Leyton Orient can confirm that defender Marvin Ekpiteta has left the club following the expiration of his contract to join League One outfit Blackpool.

Yesterday, 10:00

West Ham United manager David Moyes is not expected to rotate the squad for this evening’s clash with Burnley as he looks to build on current momentum.

Tue, 16:30

West Ham United boss David Moyes believes Tomas Soucek was already becoming crucial to the team prior to the suspension of the Premier League.

PROMOTED CONTENT

The NHS Test and Trace service brings together testing, contact tracing and outbreak management into an end-to-end service to stop the spread of the virus and help us move out of lockdown.

The UK Government has launched a campaign to shine a light on businesses and employees across the country who have responded to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic in remarkable ways and are now going back to business.

Veterans are providing vital skills across a range of projects to help the country tackle the current coronavirus outbreak. From helping to build Nightingale Hospitals to delivering essential supplies to those who are shielding, they have helped thousands of people across the country. We take a look at how one such veteran is helping out.

Most read sport

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