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SKATER HOCKEY: Title hopes up in Flames
6:00am Saturday 17th November 2012 in Sport
SWINDON Flames Juniors came up just short in their bid to retain the British Inline Skater Hockey National Championship.
The under 19s side represented the southern area in Rotherham and first took on LESHA champions Stansted Warriors Stansted opened the scoring in the period against the run of play, but Flames hit back through Baker and Townsend to run out 2-1 winners.
A goal from Townsend gave Flames a 1-0 lead over the north east’s Aztec Dragons at the break, and despite a Harding strike after the break, Aztecs tied the match at 2-2.
In the closing stages, fitness told as Baker, Townsend and Couling-King fired Swindon to a 5-2 victory.
The final match on Saturday saw Swindon record a comfortable win against south east champions Eastbourne Edge.
Leonard grabbed a brace and although Eastbourne pulled one back, Townsend scored a third seconds before half-time.
Despite completely dominating the second half, Flames could only grab one more goal through Couling-King.
In Sunday’s semi-final, London Knightz took an early lead and Flames then ran into penalty problems, playing at least a man down for much of the first half.
That allowed Knightz to increase their lead and end the first period 3-0 up.
The lead became 4-0 soon after the resumption and although Swindon came back strongly, solid netminding kept them out.
Baker registered with three minutes remaining and Harding quickly scored another, but 4-2 was how it stayed.
In the third-place play-off Flames faced Stansted again and Townsend scored first before the equaliser arrived.
A further three goals from Townsend and one from Harding saw Swindon go into the break 5-1 up.
Although Stansted played better in the second period, Swindon eased to a 5-2 win.
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