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STANDING FIRM; Bombers blast Hawks to keep top spot.


BILLINGHAM Bombers remain top of ENL Division One after shooting down Blackburn Hawks 5-2.

End-to-end flowing hockey dominated a scoreless first session with the Hawks out-shooting the Bombers by 12 shots on goal to seven but excellent saves from keeper James Flavell thwarted the home side's attacks.

A four-minute, second-session blitz saw the Teessiders blast four goals past their Lancastrian hosts.

Billingham came into the session with a renewed sense of purpose.

Jimmy Moutrey hit a power play opener, assisted by Phil Pritchard and Dave Thomas.

Roles were reversed a minute later as the Bombers played short-handed as Simon Hehir sat out a two-minute charging call.

An opportunist goal came Blackburn's way. Hawks' David Miekle pounced on a deflection off the referee that settled in front of the goal and lashed the puck home.

With Simon Hehir's penalty cancelled by Hawks' equaliser, the Bomber returned from the penalty box, gained possession from the mid-ice face off, skated up the right wing and blasted a shot past keeper Ian Thirkettle.

Thirty seconds later Bombers' insurance marker came from Anthony Price and continued their goal blitz soon after as Moutrey hit his second assisted by Windridge and Thomas.

Having conceded four goals in four minutes, Hawks' player/coach Wayne Slater called a time out to allow his side to regain some composure.

When play resumed Bombers went shorthanded and Hawks' response was to pull their keeper to increase their outfield numbers.

Despite a six-on-four advantage Blackburn could not break down the visitors and restored their goalie.

Bombers grabbed a fifth early in the final session as Anthony Price hit his second of the night assisted by Stuart Gibbon and James McCabe.

With six minutes left, Tim McKay reduced Bombers' lead to three goals and the Hawks threw caution to the wind in the last three minutes as they removed their goalie to bolster a power play advantage. Again the Bombers stood strong to seal a 5-2 win.

Anthony Price picked up his second man-of-the-match award this month.

Bombers manager Allen Flavell admitted the first session could have gone either way, but his side's second session onslaught robbed Blackburn of their composure.

He said: "We were scoring goals faster than the commentator could announce them. We were missing a few players, but it was a great team performance.

"It's a good lift for us going into next weekend's big game at Whitley, the way the table stands the game is a true four-pointer.


DOUBLE TOPS: Bombers' Anthony Price, left, picked up his second man-of-the-match award this month after scoring twice in the 5-2 win over Blackburn Hawks which cemented Bombers' position at the top of the table
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)
Date:Oct 21, 2008
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