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Hurricanes set for semi-final clash

PUBLISHED: 12:00 13 May 2011

Romford Raptors are heading to the national finals

Romford Raptors are heading to the national finals

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Junior ice hockey teams make journey to Sheffield for vital games

Romford Junior Ice Hockey Club will launch a double raid on the National Finals in Sheffield this weekend.

South Under-14 League champions Romford Hurricanes take on Nottingham in their semi-final clash tomorrow (Saturday), while their clubmates in the Romford Raptors meet Northern champions Sheffield in the last four of the under-12 event.

And they will be hoping to claim the club’s first national crown, after seveal near-misses over the past 20 years.

Unbeaten Hurricanes won their league title thanks to 17 successive wins and their squad features 11 second-year players, plus early season recruits from Chelmsford, Haringey and Lee Valley.

In addition, their age group includes a further 10 development players who have also played their part in helping the team rach the finals and who are unbeaten in challenge games against Division Two opponents.

Hurricanes have iced 25 different players during this year’s league campaign and 14 have scored a point for the team. One of the regular features of their games has been the spread of goalscorers.

Coach Lenny Cole has crafted the group into an effective passing unit that works hard and plays to the final buzzer, as some of their opponents have found out.

Two Hurricanes were selected for international duty with England under-14s this season and one for England under-13s, including both netminders.

Nine players were selected to represent South East Conference under-15s or under-13s in Hull.

Team manager Peter Billing said: “We’re looking forward to a successful and enjoyable National finals weekend and the players wish to thank all the parents for their commitment and support. We recognise that behind every player there are committed parents and we look forward to hearing form them in the loud Romford way at our games!”

Raptors, meanwhile, combined a strong defence and forceful attack to finish as runners-up to Guildford, the only team to beat them in the under-12 league.

Eight members competed for the South East Conference in Hull, with some going on to earn places at the School of Excellence later this summer.

A spokesperson said: “A lot of hard work from the players and coaches has seen off all over rivals to have a very successful season with a mixed team of seasoned and developing under-12s and a few strong under-10s.

“All team members are determined to put every effort into their games over the weekend and all members, coaches, management and parents are proud to represent Romford in Sheffield.”


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