25th May 2014 - 07:00 PM at Billingham ForumSee More
Cleveland Comets travelled to Nottingham to take part in the British Masters (Over 35) tournament at the weekend and posted an impressive 8 game unbeaten streak to lift the Championship Trophy.
With a number of former Bombers, Stars and Wasps players in their lineup there was occasions when the games resembled a replay of the former Heineken League’s heyday as players from Blackpool, Durham, Grimsby, Solihull, Milton Keynes and Nottingham faced each other 20yrs further down the line.
Though the pace may not have been as fast as those glory days the skill was still evident for all to see with the passion for the game shining through.
Comets posted an impressive first day in the group stages as the won all four games to top their group and most importantly secure the no 1 ranking for Sundays championship games.
Opening against their derby rivals Durham Dragons, Comets shared the spoils with a 2-2 tie though felt justifiably robbed after a freak bounce of the boards saw the puck deflected to unmarked Mark Foster in front of net for the simplest of taps home to give Durham the equalizer just minutes from time.
Undaunted Comets went into the second game to destroy Grimsby Lightning with an emphatic 4-0 win to get their title challenge back on track.
It all looked to be in vain as Blackpool Seagulls led by a single goal from their Canadian star Dave Anthony but with just 2 secs left Simon Hehir proved why he was named forward of the tournament as he rifled the puck into the roof of the net for the equalizer. That draw keeping Comets hopes alive.
Durham, where now in the driving seat with the destiny of the trophy in their hands. However Grimsby had other ideas as they ended Dragons dream with a 3-1 defeat.
That No 1 seeding now came to Clevelands aid as they faced Nottingham in the tournament’s final game knowing that not only had they to win but needed to score 5 goals into the bargain to take the top spot.
To add to their problems the injury to Martin Lewis in the 3rd game looked to be a broken hand and he was unable to ice for the final match denting Cleveland’s firepower.
Nottingham may have been in their own building and with the majority of the crowd behind them but Comets outstanding team work came shining through.
The home net was peppered by shots as Comets gave every last ounce of effort in search for goals. The first 3 came pretty quickly as Cleveland raced into a 3-0 lead. With their own hopes of victory now gone Nottingham had every intent of spoiling Comets party
Stout defending, excellent netminding and the pipework continually denied the Comets assault on Nottinghams net, Goal no 4 came with 9 mins left and seemed to lift Clevelands tiring limbs.
A last gasp push saw Tony Boynton pick out Simon Hehir in front of the Nottingham net and the former Durham Whitley and Billingham star showed he had lost none of the clinical finishing with advancing years leaving the netminder motionless as he rifled that all important 5th goal into the net to give Comets that Masters Championship title.
A weekend of friendship with former league rivals 6 wins and 2 draws made Cleveland Comets worthy winners of this prestigious tournament.
Members of the Cleveland Comets will be partaking in the annual Miles for Men race for Cancer UK 27th July. If you wish to donate towards this cause please use the following link
Miles for Men is a North East charity, based in Hartlepool, which hosts male only fun-runs around the country to raise funds for cancer charities across the UK.
To date they have raised almost £85,000 within 15 months of launching our first event in Hartlepool. This 3 mile (5km) fun-run took take place on the 19th August 2012 with over 1000 male participants raising over £40,000 alone!
Due to the overwhelming support of men around the country, there are now 5 races setup in Hartlepool, Newcastle, Sunderland, Gateshead and Liverpool!
The notion of Miles for Men started in April 2012 when Michael Day Jnr was talking about his late father, Michael Day Snr, who sadly lost his battle with throat cancer in 2007 aged 67.
Michael wanted to do something in memory of his father and suggested a sponsored run for men. After 5 months of overwhelming support, organisation and many a late night... Miles for Men was born.
The Cleveland Comets were out in full force this weekend to support the Billingham Community Challenge 2014. The "Its a Knock Out" inflatable course played host to 20 teams made up of residents and staff from the Teesside area.
Taken from the Gazzette...
Fun was had at Bede Sixth Form when people took part in the Billingham Community Challenge.
More than 20 teams, made up of residents and staff from Teesside businesses, went head-to-head in a fun inflatable assault course.
The event, launched last summer in a bid to keep the Olympic legacy alive, is organised by The Billingham Legacy Foundation.
Organiser Pat Chambers said: "The aim is to bring the community together, helping introduce young people and their families to the wealth of activities here on our doorstep throughout the year."
The Comets took maximum points tonight as they faced the Solihull Vikings for the second time in the 2014 Summer Cup North competition. After a slow start in the competition and already suffering defeat in the Away fixture, the Comets were out for revenge.
The game was physical from the off set, with both teams clocking up hits and penalty minutes earlier on. Solihull broke the deadlock first midway through the first period with a penalty shot after a tripping call denied the Vikings a goal scoring opportunity. The Comets struck back quickly, Tom Suggit adding his name to the score sheet as the period came to a close at 1-1.
The second period began much like the first as a physical, hard hitting match continued. Comets struck next taking the lead mid way through the second. The lead didn't last long, and the Vikings answered quickly to make it 2-2.
However with the last defeat still at the forefront of their minds, the Comets pushed on, every player giving 100%. Working hard as a unit, the Comets put pressure on the Vikings and scored twice in the third period to take a 4-2 lead. Goaltender Chris Outhwaite mad some crucial saves protecting the Comets lead.
A consolation goal late on wasn't enough for Solihull, and Comets snatched the W with the final score at 4-3. A great performance and an important win. Comets man of the match was Tom Suggitt.
Comets Score Sheet:
Ben Suggitt 1 Assist, Chris Lutz 1 Assist, Daniel Flavel 1 Goal, Daniel Steel 1 Assist, Graeme Harrison 1 Assist, Scott Williams 1 Assist, Mark Cadman 1 Assist, Martin Lewis 1 Goal, 1 Assist, Peter Johnson 1 Goal, 1 Assist, Tom Suggitt 1 Goal
The Cleveland Comets are a Recreational Ice Hockey Team from the North East of England, playing their games out of the Ice Forum in Billingham. The Comets have a rich history in UK Ice Hockey, established in the 70s and have even survived a rink closure.