Solihull Barons 7 Coventry ENL Blaze 5
Solihull Barons supporters turned out in their masses to witness their side’s thrilling 7-5 victory over Coventry ENL Blaze in a heated A45 derby at Hobs Moat Road, writes Matt Johnson.
The 811-strong crowd were treated to a display of frenetic hockey that was decided by two goals in the final two minutes from Tom Parker and Richard Slater to secure victory for Solihull.
The Barons have strengthened in numbers and morale since the 9-2 drubbing by Coventry at the Skydome two months ago, including the re-signing of former captain Rob Eley, and the talisman bagged himself two goals on his return.
The Barons found themselves 2-0 down but early in the second, a resurgent Solihull drew level with goals from Lui Brindle and the returning Eley. Coventry responded to retake the lead, but Slater made it 3-3.
In the final period the home side struck twice early on to go 5-3 ahead through Erik Bakalar and Eley’s second, but Coventry had pegged them back to 5-5 to leave both sides with it all to play for.
In a frenzied final ten minutes, it was ill discipline that cost the Blaze when two players were kicked out of the game. From the resulting five-on-three powerplay, Parker was left free to rifle home with two minutes left to put the Barons ahead and all but seal the victory.
Slater added extra gloss in the final few seconds, tapping into an unguarded net to cap a memorable 7-5 win for Darren Bellerby’s outfit.
Solihull take on Sheffield Spartans on Sunday. Face-off is at 6pm with tickets priced at £6 adults and £3 concessions.