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Big weekend for Raiders

PUBLISHED: 17:34 23 November 2012

Matt Turner attacks the Streatham net in Romford's most recent outing

Matt Turner attacks the Streatham net in Romford's most recent outing

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Our guide to the weekend's ice hockey fixtures

Saturday

Romford Raiders v Cardiff (5.15pm)

Sunday

Chelmsford v Romford Raiders (6.30pm)

Raiders return from an enforced break with two tough fixtures in National League Division One.

The defending champions welcome Cardiff to Rom Valley Way for a rare Saturday home match, having come from behind to win in Wales in their previous meeting this season.

Then comes an eagerly awaited Essex derby with title rivals Chelmsford at the Riverside the following evening.

Raiders lost both meetings with their neighbours in the South East Trophy group phase – and missed out on a place in the two-legged final to Isle of Wight.

Chieftains netted seven powerplay goals and an empty-netter in an 8-6 success on home ice, before Ryan Bainborough turned aside 51 shots in a 5-0 success in the return meeting.

But Raiders have a 100 per cent record to defend in league competition this term, after nine successive wins, and will want to lay down a marker after their recent rest.

Manager Mick Cahill said: “This could be a landmark weekend. If we all do our jobs and play to our best, we expect to win.”

Basingstoke v Romford Fury (6.30pm)

Fury hit the road for a third weekend in a row, looking to end a four-game winless streak in Division Two.

Having battled back from three goals down to draw with Bristol and Chelmsford, Romford have suffered back-to-back defeats at Cardiff and Oxford in recent weeks.

Their frustrations got the better of them last weekend, with Sam Roberts and Mel Bidder ejected in the closing minutes.

But coach Dan Sampson said: “ “We need to go back to basics to get everyone going again.

“We are a little flat at the moment. A two-week gap has not helped.”

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