Coventry ENL Blaze 6
Solihull Barons 3
Whitley Warriors 8 Solihull Barons 4
DESPITE two gutsy performances, Solihull Barons were once again left empty-handed on their travels after defeats to title-chasing Whitley Warriors and rivals Coventry ENL Blaze, writes Matt Johnson.
The double defeat means that the Barons must now win all of their four remaining games and hope Coventry lose theirs if they are to avoid the relegation trapdoor - difficult, but not impossible.
It was a weekend where Darren Bellerby’s injury woes continued, with barely two full lines available to dress for the trip to Whitley Bay.
But nonetheless, a stubborn Barons battled neck and neck with the Warriors until a calamitous last 11 minutes swung the tie in favour of the home side.
Four power play goals courtesy of Dale White, Phil Lee and Rob Eley’s 99th and 100th career goals for Solihull kept the Barons in contention for an unlikely away point at 4-4, but they ran out of steam in the third period and four goals from the home side capped off a far from comfortable 8-4 victory.
Twenty-four hours earlier, a 6-3 defeat to fierce rivals Coventry Blaze served a massive dent in the Barons’ hopes of avoiding the drop.
Three of the Barons four remaining games take place at fortress Hobs Moat - the first on Sunday against Blackburn Hawks in what is much more than just a league clash.
The game will double up as the Steve Perks Memorial Trophy match and the Barons will be keen to keep the iconic trophy on Solihull soil again after defeating Flintshire Freeze last season.