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ICE HOCKEY: Double joy sees Stars reach new heights
DARREN Elliott hailed Oxford City Stars’ first league and cup double as a triumph for the entire club.
The South Division 2 Cup winners sealed the league title with a 9-3 victory at Basingstoke Buffalo on Sunday night.
Defeat would have seen Slough Jets, who won their final game the night before, finish on top, but after a tight start the visitors romped to victory.
They were boosted pre-match in the changing room with posters full of good luck messages from supporters and once they took to the ice a large contingent of travelling fans gave them plenty of backing.
For Elliott, Stars’ player-coach, completing the double was his best moment in 24 years at the club and he felt it was more than just the players who deserved credit.
He said: “To have 220 people come down and watch us lift the trophy was unbelievable.
“I’m just the lucky guy who has been in charge for the last two years.
“I’m Oxford through and through and this has been the highlight.
- Darren Elliott celebrates winning the league title at Basingstoke
“So much has happened in the last two seasons, it’s really impressive.
“It not just the players, it’s the off-ice team as well.
“It’s a club achievement.”
Early goals from Mike Whillock and Alan Green were cancelled out by the hosts and the score remained 2-2 until five minutes from the end of the second period.
A quickfire double from Josh Florey and Joe Oliver put them in charge.
And the soon-to-be champions stepped on the accelerator in the final frame, with Green, Elliott, Florey and James Pentecost making it 8-2.
Basingstoke responded, but Josh Oliver had the final say two minutes from time.
Remarkably, it was a 9-3 win at Basingstoke which wrapped up the title for Stars last season.
Elliott admitted defending the title had been far tougher than winning it last season.
He said: “Without a doubt, last year we were a few points clear, but this year it went right to the wire.
“You want to be pushed and go into every game with butterflies, knowing if you make mistakes teams will jump on you and take advantage.”
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