ICE HOCKEY: Elliott delighted as Stars tame Pitbulls to lift cup

A champagne-drenched Oxford City Stars coach Darren Elliott lifts the ENIHL South Division 2 Cup

A champagne-drenched Oxford City Stars coach Darren Elliott lifts the ENIHL South Division 2 Cup

First published in Sport

Head coach Darren Elliott hailed Oxford City Stars historic night as they won the English National League South Division 2 Cup in front of their own fans.

Elliott was named man of the match as Stars beat their great rivals Bristol Pitbulls 3-1 in a scintillating final at Oxford on Sunday.

It was the first time for 30 years that Stars had hosted a cup final weekend, and they made home advantage tell.

They secured a place in the final the previous night, easing past Wightlink Tigers 4-0 in the semi-final thanks to goals from Josh Florey, Mike Whillock, Alan Green and Elliott.

A packed Oxpens Road rink saw a superb final.

After five minutes, tempers flared and Oxford’s James Clark and Bristol’s Adrian Smith were sent to the sin-bin.

While they were off-ice, Green combined with Andy Cox and Elliott before putting Stars ahead.

Oxford Mail:

The puck flies into the back of the Bristol Pitbulls net as Alan Green (centre) puts Oxford City Stars 1-0 ahead in the final

James Pentecost then fed Elliott, who doubled Oxford’s lead.

Just 25 seconds later, disaster struck Stars, when Whillock received a five-minute match penalty for butt-ending a Bristol player.

A minute after Stars returned to full strength, a defensive error allowed Bristol’s Adrian Smith to halve the deficit.

Five minutes into the second period, Pentecost flew down the wing, before passing to an unmarked Elliott, who buried the puck for 3-1.

Bristol threw everything at Oxford, whose netminder James Skaife produced a triple-save as Stars held on for a famous victory.

Afterwards, Elliott said: “It’s been an amazing night, with a huge crowd, and the boys were absolutely tremendous, especially James, who conceded just one goal all weekend.”

Captain Nick Oliver said: “We’ve gone from a team two years ago that was struggling, to picking up silverware.

“It’s been an amazing weekend.”

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