A SERIOUS injury to Stewart Tait took the gloss of Oxford City Stars’ successful start to their English National League campaign.

The defenceman suffered a broken ankle during their opening 8-2 victory at home to Slough Jets in Division 2 South and is expected to be out for at least three months.

Stars followed this success with a 7-1 win against Bristol Pitbulls, but it was Tait’s injury that was uppermost in their minds.

Head coach Kenny Redmond said: “It’s a great start for us to launch the season with maximum points from a double-header weekend.

“Sadly we lost Taity and the victories were really tempered by that.

“It’s a big loss to the team and very frustrating.

“Taity is an experienced player and a big competitor, we’re devastated for him and wish him a quick recovery.”

Stars, who were also without Dom Hopkins due to a shoulder injury, soon took charge against Slough, scoring three times in the first 15 minutes through Joe Edwards, Darren Elliott and Dax Hedges.

Edwards made it 4-0 with his second at the start of the second period, before Liam Underdown pulled one back for the Jets.

The hosts sprinted clear in the final period thanks to strikes from Conor Redmond, Lee Richardson and Michal Oravec.

Sam Talbot scored Slough’s second before Matthew Lawday – Stars’ seventh different scorer – made it 8-2 in the 59th minute.

Oxford continued their good form, in their scheduled away game next day against Bristol which was switched to Oxpens as Pitbulls’ rink is being refurbished.

The visitors actually took the lead against their slow-starting opponents when Nathan Chilcott netted in the 16th minute.

Alex Staples levelled with a powerplay goal in the first period, before the hosts took charge in the second.

They scored four times without reply through Richardson (2), Elliott and Josh Oliver.

Edwards and Oravec completed the success in the final period, much to the delight of coach Redmond.

He said: “As a club, wanted to make a strong start and show our determination to be competitive again in what we know will be an intense league this season.

“We’ve come through our first two tests and we know there is more to come from this team.”

Stars will be hoping to maintain strong start to the season when they entertain Peterborough Phantoms on Saturday.

Kenny Redmond said: “The fans were brilliant, and we’d encourage as many people as possible to come along and be part of it.”