Raiders one point from title

07:26 01 April 2012

AJ Smith netted a hat-trick in last night

AJ Smith netted a hat-trick in last night's win at Slough

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Win in Slough cut short by goalie injury

ENL Division 1

Slough 2 Romford Raiders 11

(Abandoned after 40 minutes)

Raiders need only a point from their final game of the season to be crowned champions tonight.

Danny Marshall’s men had eased into a convincing lead at Slough last night, before home goalie Ryan Bainborough was forced out of the action with a suspected concussion.

With no back-up available, the Jets had no option but to forfeit the match, meaning Raiders have to avoid defeat against their namesakes from the Isle of Wight at Rom Valley Way to claim the title.

Less than two minutes had been played at Montem Lane when the returning Andrius Kaminskas opened the scoring.

Matt Turner doubled Romford’s lead on a powerplay, before Juraj Huska made it 3-0.

And Julian Smith and Grant Taylor netted further goals to put Raiders 5-0 up, before Slough replied either side of the first break to cut the gap to three.

AJ Smith scored the first of his three goals to make it 6-2, then set up captain Anthony Leone before Taylor claimed his second of the night.

And two goals in the space of 18 seconds allowed Smith to complete his treble and take Raiders into double figures, before Turner made it 11-2.

Bainborough, having taken a slapshot to the mask during the second period as Romford bombarded the home net, was unable to continue after the break, though, and Raiders got an earlier than expected finish.

Now they are only 60 minutes away from only a third league title win in club history, following the successes of 1988 and 1997.

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