Streatham player-coach Michael Farn admitted it was an amazing feeling after his side came from behind to beat Chelmsford Chieftains in the Britton Final play-offs, writes David Carr.
The South Londoners clinched their fourth trophy of the campaign thanks to a 4-2 victory over the Essex side, so long a nemesis over the years in the post-season stages.
The play-offs took place at a neutral venue for the first time, meaning fans from both clubs had to travel to Milton Keynes, creating a carnival atmosphere between them.
Chelmsford had been boosted pre-game by news of a suspension for Streatham’s top-scorer Vanya Antonov, dished out on the day of the game in light of video review of an incident in the semi-final 24 hours earlier.
Despite a subsequent reshuffling of lines, Streatham started strongly and missed numerous golden chances to take the lead. Chelmsford netminder Sonny Phillips denied Ben Paynter and Danny Ingoldsby early on.
The Chieftains barely troubled Tom Annetts in between the Streatham pipes but then took advantage of a late powerplay in the first period to take the lead. Top scorer Stan Lascek slotted home before wheeling away to the jubilant support decked in black and gold.
The second period saw more of the same with Streatham unable to break through despite possession and then Chelmsford scored on the powerplay again, this time through Julian Smith.
At 2-0 down and with the minutes ticking down, Streatham needed a goal.
It crucially came just before the buzzer as Josh Ealey-Newman beat the sprawling Phillips from close range.
The third period was set up for a big finale and when Ben Ealey-Newman drew Streatham level five minutes from the restart, momentum was with them.
With the Chelmsford defence now looking ragged, Ingoldsby scored from the slot before Josh Ealey-Newman bagged his second by roofing the puck into the top corner to seal the championship.
“It was an amazing ending,” explained coach Farn, who was appearing at his old rink for the final time as he steps down from his position at the end of the season.
“At 2-0 down I still had the belief the lads could bring it back, and they had it too. I said to them before the third that we’re champions for a reason, all of us have to believe that and we knew we could do it.
“To do this here in MK, where I spent so many years, is exactly how I wanted it. I couldn’t be prouder of what we’ve achieved and in front of our supporters.”
Streatham travel to Coventry this Sunday to take part in the National Final against Solway Sharks.
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