The emotional rollercoaster of top competitive skater hockey goes on for Hallamshire Hornets.
Some three weeks after their European Cup Final challenge evaporated in the dying seconds in Germany, Hornets suffered further heartache, this time in the British Puck National tournament in Rotherham.
Up against fellow Sheffield club, Norton, the action had gone into overtime after the teams had finished 2-2 at the end of normal time in their semi-final showdown but with just 30 seconds remaining, Hornets conceded that dreaded ‘Golden Goal’ to make an agonising exit.
The competition had started brightly for Hornets with a 7-2 victory over Peterlee in their opening group stage match, a brace of goals from Pearman and Lane being the pick of the bunch.
Paul Lane then grabbed a double and further goals from Matt Tarpey, Alex Pearman and Walsh saw them overcome Cardiff Capitols 5-1. A lone goal from Tarpey was enough to seal victory over Southern based champions, Valley Commandos and earn them a quarter-final against Benarty. The Scottish side posed few problems as a Pearman hat-trick eased Hornets to a 7-2 win.
Pearman was again on target in the semi-final with two wonder strikes, his second bringing his side level at 2-2 before that last gasp agony.
In the third-fourth place play-off, Hornets overturned a 3-0 deficit at the interval to run out 5 – 4 winners over the Commandos, Mark Hallam leading the onslaught with a hat-trick.
Some consolation came with John McEwan winning the ‘Top Netminder’ points category and Pearman being voted into the tournament’s ‘Dream Team.’
Ironically, in the final it was Norton who suffered a ‘Golden Goal’ defeat against the Warriors from Manchester after the teams were locked 2-2 at the end of normal time.
Hornets now change codes and revert to the Northern Skater Ball League in mid-August and the quest to the Skater Ball Nationals in December with the possibility of a return to the European stage in Switzerland in 2012.