SOLIHULL Barons capped an incredible first season in the Moralee Division 1 with a place in the play-off final but they were unable to get the better of eventual winner Balckburn Hawks.
After finishing third place in the league, this is all the more remarkable in that this feat was achieved as a newly promoted side in a competition dominated by teams who have played at this level for many years and with the impressive but rookie coach Perry Doyle at the helm.
Saturday evening’s semi-final saw the league’s second and third ranked sides, the Whitley Warriors and the Barons face-off and it was the Warriors who got off to the better start with a goal on six minutes by Harry Harley.
But by the mid-period the Barons had started to adapt to the ice and the game moved into a much more end to end affair.
As the game re-started for the second period, the Barons drew back level with Tom Soar finding the net on 24 minutes before then putting the Barons ahead a few minutes later.
By the end of the second period the Warriors were back on level terms which set up a barn storming final period.
On the re-start it was Soar who once more put Solihull ahead but the travelling support’s joy was short-lived as the Warriors immediately cancelled out the lead.
With ten minutes left the Barons went ahead again thanks to the finishing touch of Soar and this time the lead would stick and when Josh Bruce netted number five with a shot to the top corner of the Whitley net, a place in the final was assured.
Sunday’s final saw the Barons comes up against the Blackburn Hawks and Solihull ambitions were quickly put on the back foot as the Lancashire side netted twice in the first four minutes.
By the period end the Barons had started to come more into their own and kept themselves very much in the game when Andy Whitehouse leapt on a rebounded shot from Kieran Papps for Solihull’s first.
By just after the half hour mark the Hawks had however raced to a 6-1 lead but the Barons scored either side of the second period break – a close in push over the line from Perry Doyle and a well taken deflection from Niklas Ottosson – to put a more respectable slant on the scoreline.
The Hawks nonetheless maintained control of the game, picking up a seventh goal on the way to clinching the Moralee Play-offs thanks to a 7-3 scoreline.