OXFORD City Stars went down fighting as NIHL Division 1 South champions Streatham proved too strong in their play-off quarter-final.

Shane Moore’s men had a mountain to climb after losing the first leg 4-1 at Oxpens, but they battled to a respectable 5-2 defeat in the return fixture.

It saw them go down 9-3 on aggregate.

Stars now switch their attention to the 2022/23 season, by which time they expect to have a new permanent head coach in charge.

Moore, whose official role is head of hockey operations, led a stand-in team following Dean Birrell’s exit last month.

Stars dug deep from the first buzzer at Oxpens and only trailed to Brandon Miles’ strike, although the hosts thought he should have been penalised for holding Will Birch.

Streatham scored twice more to lead 3-0 at the end of the second period, while a fourth goal in the final 20 minutes gave them a commanding lead.

Josh Florey reduced the deficit in the last 60 seconds of the contest, but Stars still travelled to the capital 24 hours later with only a glimmer of hope.

Their chances increased when Jakub Klima put them ahead with a sensational finish, only for the champions to quash any thoughts of a comeback.

Josh Ealey-Newman outpaced the Stars defence to equalise on the night and make it 5-2 on aggregate, with Danny Ingoldsby scoring Streatham’s second just before the end of the first period.

Ealey-Newman’s second strike moved the hosts further in front, although Moore’s men stuck at it and Dax Hedges halved the deficit midway through the match.

Streatham scored twice in quick succession to give them a 5-2 lead ahead of the final period, but Stars stopped them adding to their lead.