Leone: Raiders can lift title
PUBLISHED: 12:47 22 January 2011
Captain wants 19 more wins
Romford Raiders can win the English National League title - according to captain Anthony Leone.
Last weekend’s 9-6 win over defending champions Invicta left Raiders 12 points behing leaders Isle of Wight, with five games in hand.
And it also had Leone checking the fixture lists.
Raiders welcome Bracknell to Rom Valley Way tomorrow (Sunday, 5.15pm) and Leone said: “If we win all our games, we will win the league.
“We’re on a good run and we’ve got a good run of games coming up now, while some of the others have got harder games.
“We’ve beaten all the other top teams now this season and I said all along we could beat them.
“We played really well and the boys were buzzing. We’re gelling more and more all the time and we outmuscled them.
“I know they’re going through a bit of a rough patch and we caught them at the right time. We knew it would be high intensity and it was close all the way, but we threw a couple of big hits here and there and deserved to win.”
Raiders still have to visit Invicta twice, Chelmsford once and play Wight home and away.
But Leone’s calculations were spot on: 19 more wins and Raiders will finish with 67 points, pipping Invicta by one point should they win all their remaining games.
However, Bracknell should not be taken lightly this weekend, having held Raiders to two draws on their own ice earlier in the season.
Romford won 4-2 when the sides met at Rom Valley Way in November and Leone added: “Bracknell only lost by one [at Chelmsford] last weekend and they can be threatening.
“They play from start to finish, but being at Romford it shouldn’t be a problem. I think we’ll do well.”
Young defenceman Billy Phillips picked up a goal, an assist and five minor penalties on his return to copmetitive action for the club and Leone believes he will be a good addition to the team as the race for honours hots up.
He said: “I’ve never really seen him before but he has looked good in training and is a good player.
“He’s a confident boy and a good physical defenceman. It was good to see him get his first goal and I think he’ll do really well for the rest of the season for us.”
Remaining Big Four games, Jan 22: Wight v Invicta. Jan 30: Invicta v Chelmsford. Feb 13: Invicta v Wight. Feb 26: Wight v Romford. March 6: Chelmsford v Invicta, Romford v Wight. March 20: Invicta v Romford. March 26: Chelmsford v Romford. April 3: Invicta v Romford.
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