BLACKBURN Hawks slipped to defeats in both the league and cup at the weekend.

On Saturday, Moralee North One leaders Solway Sharks proved to be too strong for the Hawks after running out 12-2 winners while on Sunday the Blackburn side renewed acquaintances with Sutton Sting in what was a thrilling Midland Cup clash.

The two teams have already faced each other three times this season with Sting edging the head-to-head scoreline 2-1.

With the last two encounters settled by a single goal, another close match in the latest round of the NIHL Midlands Cup was expected.

Sting arrived at the Arena in high spirits after beating Nottingham Lions the night before while the Hawks were licking their wounds following their Solway mauling.

But it was the Hawks who started the brighter of the two sides and Lee Pollitt had the first shot on goal for the hosts.

The Hawks were spurred on and efforts on goal came in thick and fast but they could not make the breakthrough - even when Sting’s Jonathan Williamson took a two-minute penalty for hooking.

With Hawks on the powerplay they set up around Sting and really put them under pressure with James Riddoch and Petr Valusiak battling hard at the boards while a Corey Lee effort from point was blocked by netminder Ben Ward.

And they paid the price for not taking advantage when Sting broke and opened the scoring when Jamie Scott chipped the puck over Niks Trapans’ shoulder in the Hawks goal.

It was fast and furious stuff as the Hawks came back at their visitors but Sutton stood tall.

Sting’s Sam Jones and Hawks' Tom Revesz both clashed and received two minute penalties for interference and roughing respectively.

Ethan Mayoh, Hawks, and Craig Wallis, Sting, also picked up two minute penalties and in the closing stages of the opening period Trapans made a series of solid saves to deny Sting.

But in the 18th minute the visitors did double their lead when a fierce shot from Stanislav Lascek beat Trapans.

And they got off to the perfect start at the beginning of the second quarter when they scored a third after just 36 seconds when, controlling the puck behind Trapans’ net, Stanislav Lascek found the unmarked Oliver Mitchell who made no mistake.

The Hawks continued to attack but they couldn't find away through and when they did, Ward was in inspired form in goal, making a series of fine saves.

And just as they had done earlier in the game, Sting charged forward and while the Hawks looked for an offside call that didn't come, Scott Morris fired home to make it 4-0.

Sutton were now in charge but Hawks had no plans of throwing in the towel and started the third period on the front foot.

And they finally managed to beat Ward when, after good work from young Hawk Jack Murray and Pollitt, Vakusiak drew the puck and Ward wide left before lifting the puck into the far top corner.

Hawks all-time leading scorer Aaron Davies then thought he had pulled another one back only for Ward to make another superb save.

With six minutes remaining, Hawks stayed strong at the back and didn't give Sting a look in.

And they cut the gap to 4-2 when Pollitt and Valusiak combined to find Davies and his effort deflected off a Sutton defender to deceive Ward.

With time ticking away, it was all or nothing for Hawks who took off netminder Trapans to play with six outskaters.

But the Hawks lost the puck and Morris’ long-range effort travelled the length of the ice to seal victory.