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Maximum return for Raiders

PUBLISHED: 12:06 05 November 2012

JJ McGrath celebrates a goal on his return from injury

JJ McGrath celebrates a goal on his return from injury

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Four-point weekend for defending champions

Defending champions Romford Raiders enjoyed a four-point weekend after contrasting wins in the National Ice Hockey League.

They were made to work hard for a 4-3 success over Cardiff on Saturday, but romped to a 14-1 success over Bracknell at Rom Valley Way last night for their seventh successive league win this season.

Having let a three-goal lead slip on their way to a 6-4 defeat at Invicta last weekend, Raiders took the lead in Wales through Matt Turner’s first period strike.

But they saw Cardiff score three times in less than three minutes early in the middle period to turn things around.

Danny Marshall replied 33 seconds before the break to give the visitors hope for the final stanza.

And they were back on terms within four minutes of the restart as Frankie Harvey netted.

A powerplay goal from defenceman Billy Phillips put Raiders ahead in the 46th minute and that was how it stayed as they held on for the points.

Shaun Yardley opened the scoring against the Hornets, with barely a minute played, and Tom Davis doubled Romford’s lead in the third minute.

AJ Smith made it 3-0, forcing former Raiders goalie Chris Douglas back to the bench, before Turner and Harvey found a way past replacement Adam Marashi to complete a dominant first period from the hosts.

Juraj Huska, Yardley and Andrius Kaminskas stretched Raiders lead to 8-0 in the middle period, before Turner and Harvey (powerplay) took them into double figures ealry in the final stanza.

Tom Fisher replied on a Bracknell powerplay to end Shane Kemp’s shutout hopes, but Kaminskas and JJ McGrath – back from injury – made it 12-1.

Huska completed his hat-trick with a late brace as Raiders captain and defenceman Julian Smith ended the night with five assists to his name.

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