Streatham could lift their first league title since 1982 this weekend as another maximum points haul set them up for a potential early clincher with four games remaining.
Adam Carr’s side beat Slough and Bracknell in the space of 48 hours to increase their lead at the top of the table to six points, despite missing key personnel through injury and suspension.
January deadline signing Luke Brittle stepped up to the plate with four goals over both games including a hat-trick in the 7-4 win in Slough.
The following day in Bracknell a nervy home crowd watched on as the RedHawks edged out an in-form Hornets side 4-2 thanks to a brace from Michael Farn and goals from Brittle and Danny Ingoldsby.
The results made it 23 consecutive wins for the South London side, but weren’t as straightforward as previous encounters against both sides had been, as winger Ingoldsby admitted.
“We had a few key guys missing and it certainly made a difference. Brandon [Miles] and Scott [Bailey] being suspended meant we had to shuffle our forward lines, and the injury to Jordan [Gregory] gave the guys in defence more to do.
“In some parts we were outworked but we got the job done and now our attention turns to Solent and Chelmsford this weekend.”
Streatham will lift the NIHL South title if they beat second-placed Solent tomorrow in Gosport and be crowned champions on home ice on Sunday against third-placed Chelmsford Chieftains.
“We’ve already lifted the NIHL Cup in front of our fans, but the league is always the biggest test and we are in a great position,” said Ingoldsby, who joined last summer from Basingstoke Bison.
“I’m loving the season. Of course everything is better when you are winning. We just need to keep doing what we are doing and hopefully succeed not only in the league but also the play-offs too.”
Streatham were boosted last week when the EIHA amended the ban on Adam Wood so that he could ice.
Injury doubts remain over Gregory and star forward Ryan Watt.
Scott Bailey’s suspension for fighting has yet to be assessed further by the governing body and could spell further bad news for player-coach Carr, who is delving deep into his squad depth at the most important stage of the season.
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