Whitley Warriors suffered at the hands of the Brittle brothers on Saturday night.
The pair combined for seven of Blackburn Hawks’ goals in a 9-4 home win for the league leaders in the NIHL North Division 1 fixture.
Warriors were able to include both Daniel Pye and Scott Cooper in their line-up after both players successfully made their comebacks from injuries against Manchester Minotaurs the previous weekend.
But they were still without a number of senior players as Jamie Tinsley, Daniel Harris and Paul Matthews were all out through injury.
Prior to the match getting under way a minute’s silence and then a minute’s applause were held in memory of Blackburn general manager Alan Amos, who passed away recently.
Once the action got under way Hawks were quickly into their stride and they took the lead after 61 seconds when Adam Brittle fired home with his brother Luke picking up the assist.
But Warriors were not behind for long as Martin Crammond finished off a lovely move orchestrated by stand-in captain Adam Reynolds under two minutes later.
As the period progressed the home side created numerous offensive opportunities and by the end of the first session Hawks held a 4-1 lead thanks to a Luke Brittle hat-trick.
And the home side started the second period just as positive and made it 5-1 just 22 seconds in when the league’s top scorer Luke Brittle got his fourth goal of the contest.
Warriors got a goal back after 22 minutes when Dean Holland fired home high into the net after being nicely set up by DJ Good.
Whitley continued to trouble the Hawks defence and under 40 seconds later Good and Holland combined once more to make it 5-3 with Good finding the back of the net with a sweet strike.
Whitley were having their best spell of the game and Hawks netminder Stuart Ashton looked a little rattled, unfortunately an untrue bounce off the boards saw Adam Brittle pick up the puck in space and Hawks’ number 26 coolly took advantage of the situation and slotted home past Warriors netminder Richie Lawson.
The home side extended their lead to 7-3 towards the end of the middle stanza when Luke Brittle grabbed his fifth goal of the game after he was set up by Adam Brittle and Chris Arnone.
Both teams then ran into penalty trouble with a number of minor infringements being issued alongside a rare misconduct penalty to Warriors forward Reynolds.
The final period saw Blackburn net two more goals through Arnone and Lomax before Kyle Ross grabbed a late consolation for Warriors which saw the game end 9-4 in the home side’s favour.
As the final buzzer sounded Callum Watson and Hawks’ Tom King exchange blows and both players were given penalties two plus two roughing penalties by referee Pering.
Whitley blue liner Rob Wilson picked up Warriors’ man of the match award while Hawks’ in form marksman Luke Brittle was chosen as the home side’s best player.
After the contest Warriors forward Reynolds said: “I thought we played well despite being short of bodies and we managed to frustrate them at times in the game.
“We did make a few mistakes out on the ice that proved costly, however, I do not believe it was a 9-4 game as we competed well throughout.”
Whitley are next in action on Sunday, February 8, face-off 5pm, when Sutton Sting visit Hillheads for a NIHL North match which should be a game of high intensity hockey given both sides are fighting it out for an end of season play-off berth.