Romford Junior Raiders head coach predicts 'great weekend' against rivals

Romford Junior Raiders in action against Milton Keynes Thunder

Romford Junior Raiders in action against Milton Keynes Thunder - Credit: Nicola Day

Romford Junior Raiders head coach Mark Saunders is expecting a "great weekend" as they come up against rivals Chelmsford Chieftains and Invicta Dynamos. 

Raiders' second team will play host to fierce rivals Chieftains at the Sapphire Ice and Leisure Centre on Saturday (September 18) before making the trip across the Dartford Crossing to face Anthony Leone’s Dynamos the following evening. 

Saunders is hoping his side can build on the character they showed in beating Milton Keynes Thunder on the opening weekend of the season. 

“Two points earned, onto this weekend with our first meeting at home with Chelmsford Chieftains and then an away game at Invicta Dynamos - a great weekend coming up,” Saunders said. 

After the enforced lay-off due to the Covid pandemic, the head coach said his team was "raring to go" for the new season.

Romford Junior Raiders Alan Lack rushes the puck forward against Milton Keynes Thunder

Romford Junior Raiders' Alan Lack rushes the puck forward against Milton Keynes Thunder - Credit: Nicola Day

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Raiders sealed a 4-3 win over Milton Keynes Thunder in their home opener on Saturday (September 11) thanks to goals from Donald Campbell, Sam Cooper, Sam Robinson and Gian Luca Pascale. 

“Saturday’s home game against Milton Keynes was a frustrating one for the most part, feeling like we couldn’t find the flow to our game and struggled to break down a stubborn Milton Keynes defence.  

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“I feel we did well to battle through to a win, our first two points of the campaign, giving us a few things to iron out to get fluidity into our play.” 

The following evening they suffered a 5-2 loss to Streatham IHC with a short bench due to injuries and youngster Cooper stepping up to play for the Raiders' senior team. 

“Streatham was another tough game, having lost two players to injury on Saturday night and Sam Cooper making his Raiders debut we were short benched, gave us a need to rally round and battle together for another tough sixty minutes.  

“I felt the team made a huge effort against a strong side, real character performance and we took a lot of positives from the game despite losing out on the two points.  

“The boys came together well and battled right to the end, with Nik Romahs getting ten minutes of game time at the end.” 

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