Blackburn Hawks brought the curtain down on their league and cup campaigns with two morale-boosting displays against Billingham Stars.
Hawks beat Billingham 4-0 in front of their home fans in the English Cup on Saturday night, before slipping to a narrow 4-2 defeat away to the newly-crowned champions in their final league fixture.
The impressive performances provided Hawks with the perfect preparations for this weekend’s play-off semi-finals against Whitely Warriors.
David Meikle and Stuart Ashton were the stars of the show in the 4-0 win, with the recently-returned forward bagging a fine brace and the back-up netminder keeping his first shut-out of the season.
Hawks then travelled to the North East with a very short bench, but were again more than a match for the title-winning Stars.
Hawks trailed 3-1 going into the last period, before a goal from Ollie Lomax set up a frantic finale.
The visitors pulled their goalie in the closing stages as they looked to earn an equaliser, but it was Billingham who found the empty net to secure the points.
Team manager Graham Lomax said: “We have played two games against the league champions and overall I felt that we were the better team, which stands us in good stead for the play-offs.
“We had a very short bench on Sunday, with just two lines to their four, but we went and competed and came out with a moral victory over the two days.
“Player-wise, I feel that our personnel is as strong as anyone’s in this league an hopefully we can go one better than last season when we take on Whitley in the play-offs this weekend.”