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Season ends in derby defeat

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Romford Raiders forward AJ Smith revealed his frustration after losing the ENL play-off final to Essex rivals Chelmsford at Rom Valley Way.

Smith put Raiders ahead in the second leg, after a 4-4 draw in Chelmsford on Saturday.

And after Chieftains struck either side of the first break to turn the tie on its head, he set up linemate Matt Turner to get Romford back on terms.

Two goals in a minute put Chelmsford 4-2 up, though, and they struck twice more in the final period to successfully defend their title.

Smith said: “I’m gutted with the way it ended.

“I really thought the treble was going to be ours. There’s nothing worse than being on home ice and having to watch another team lift the trophy.

“Having said that it’s still been an amazing season and a very successful one too.”

Raiders clinched the regular season title after finishing one point ahead of Chelmsford at the top of the table.

And Danny Marshall’s men also lifted the South East Trophy after winning all six of their matches against top four rivals Chelmsford, Isle of Wight and Invicta.

Smith added: “I’m proud to be a Raider and congratulations to Chelmsford. There’s no point being a sore loser.

“It has been a hell of a season and thank you to all the Raiders fans that supported us week in, week out. I hope we made you proud!”

Raiders hold their end of season awards night at the Collier Row Catholic Club on Saturday (7pm).

Tickets cost £6 adults and £3 for under-16s, with under-5s admitted free.

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