BLACKBURN Hawks have reached the final of the NIHL Midland Cup after securing a superb 10-6 aggregate win over Sutton Sting.

The Hawks sealed a double victory over Sutton - who had won three of their four previous encounters this season - to set up a final showdown with Solihull Barons next month.

James Neil’s side have saved their best performances for the cup this season and so it proved once again as they won 6-3 at Blackburn Arena before coming away from Sheffield in the return leg with a 4-3 victory to wrap up a memorable weekend.

The final will take place over the weekend of February 15-16, a two-legged aggregate tie with overtime and penalty shots in the second leg if necessary.

Just like the semi finals, Blackburn will be at home in the first leg on the Saturday (face off 6pm) before travelling to Hobs Moat Road the following day.

A spokesman for the NIHL management group said: “The season is reaching its business end and this Midland Cup Final is the start of a series of set piece events for the league, running up to the end of regular season into the playoffs.

“We are delighted to have the Midland Cups set and both clubs will be fantastic hosts for the occasion. Solihull have had a great season, winning against the league leaders and sitting in third place in the league.

“Blackburn have come good in recent weeks and played very well on both nights last week to defeat Sutton Sting in their semi final.

“We wish both teams well and hope the clubs and their supporters have a weekend to remember.”

In the semi final, it was a fast and furious start to the first leg with plenty of end to end action with Petr Valusiak scoring for Hawks and Stanislav Lascek replying for Sutton.

In the second period, Sutton managed to forge a two-goal lead as George Crawshaw and Ollie Mitchell both found the back of the net. But the Hawks stormed back and Jack Murray halved the deficit with a fierce shot from the blue line.

Crucially, Hawks claimed three more well worked goals from local lad James Riddoch, Lee Pollitt and Valusiak to go in to the final period leading 5-3.

Riddoch then scored a fine solo goal in the third period to give the Hawks a three-goal advantage going in to the second leg.

Sutton needed to start strongly in front of the home crowd and did just that as they opened the scoring before Joe Greaves levelled for Hawks on the night.

Sutton dominated the second period but only had a fine solo effort to show for their efforts as they cut the overall gap to two goals.

But Hawks weathered the storm and goals from James Royds and Aaron Davies gave the Hawks a four goal aggregate advantage going in to the final period.

Both sides continued to attack and scored a goal each - Valusiak on target for the Hawks who booked their place in the final.