Hawks coach Owen facing a tough choice

Lancashire Telegraph: Danny Brittle could return for the Hawks Danny Brittle could return for the Hawks

BLACKBURN Hawks player-coach Jared Owen has been left with a tough selection choice for Sunday’s NIHL Moralee Conference clash at Whitley Warriors (5pm).

Young netminder Stuart Ashton was given the chance to start in place of number one Danny Brittle for last weekend’s double header with Sutton Sting.

And Ashton did his chances of retaining his place between the posts for the long trip to the North East after he produced two outstanding performances.

He helped the Hawks to a 3-2 NLN Cup home win and then saw his efforts go in vain as they crashed to a disappointing 5-1 away league loss the following night.

Owen said: “Stuart had a really good weekend.

“It was no fault of his that we lost on Sunday. It was nothing to do with him, it was to do with the performances of the players in front of him.

“It was a good win on Saturday and we probably should have scored more.

“But we did not play well at all on Sunday. We were flat from the start.

“Credit to Sutton, they had a few bodies back and they deserved their win.

“But we need to improve for the Whitley game.”

Another positive to come out of the Sutton encounters was the goals of new overseas signing Jon Adams.

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The Canadian scored in both matches, leaving his boss highly encouraged.

Owen said: “He’d only trained with the team once before so it will take time for the chemistry to develop.

“But there’s still plenty more to come from him.”

The inconsistent Hawks are two points behind third-placed Whitley in sixth.

Owen, who will be at full strength on Sunday, said: “There can be no excuses.

“We have to transfer our form at home on to the road.

“We get big crowds at home and the players seem to play up to them and put in some hard-hitting performances.

“Now we need to do the same when we go to other teams’ rinks.”

Blackburn Eagles are home to Sheffield Senators in the NIHL Laidler Conference on Sunday (5.45pm).

They go into the game on the back of a 10-3 loss at Coventry Blaze.

James Hepburn Riddoch, Steven Hetherington and Daniel Jones replied for the Eagles.

Meanwhile, Blackburn Thunder women’s team were beaten in their latest National North Division One game.

The locals took to the ice at Coventry Phoenix and it was a thrilling game.

But they were edged out 8-7 as the Phoenix took the points.

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