Ice-hockey: Sampford chilled out with a beer after Streatham made it clean sweep in National Cup

Streatham winger Alex Sampford admitted he enjoyed a cold beer after his match-winning performance in last weekend’s 3-2 victory over London Raiders, writes David Carr.

The 21-year-old scored a dramatic shorthanded effort in the third period of the game to propel the South London club into a potential National Cup quarter-final against Telford Tigers. It completed an impressive clean sweep of Group D for Jeremy Cornish’s side, as they won all eight of their matches.

“It was an exciting end to the game and that two-goal cushion proved useful when they pulled a goal back with three minutes to go,” said Sampford.

“Afterwards the energy in the locker room was great, as it has been all year to be fair. It’s a Sunday night, so most of the team headed for the post-game meal in The Earl Ferrers [pub] but I just enjoyed a cold beer and relaxed a little.”

Streatham now get to focus on league matters and attempting to pull themselves up the table after a run of poor results earlier in the season. The team have matches in hand but face a tough prospect of two games in the space of 48 hours this weekend with a visit to Basingstoke Bison on Saturday followed by a home clash with Bracknell Bees on Sunday.

The game against the Bees will be eagerly anticipated with former Streatham goal machine Callum Best returning to SW16 for the first time along with fellow ex-Streatham forward George Norcliffe.

The Bees are also boosted by the return of their star import Frantisek Bakrlik who ends his six-game suspension.

“It’s a very exciting weekend coming up for sure,” admitted Sampford. “ They are two big teams and we need to show we are a team who can compete with teams higher up the league.”

“I really believe we can get the points we need as long as we do all the small things we have been working on in practice consistently throughout the weekend.”

This season has been Sampford’s first full campaign in a Streatham jersey after joining midway through the 2016-17 season.

“I’m really enjoying the season this year, we may not have had the best of starts in the league, but the character in all the guys is second to none as we all want to get better every week and build on the things we need to,” he explained.

“The energy in the room is great, everyone’s positive, showing a good attitude towards the season and respecting all the members within the club.”

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