HULL PIRATES bounced back from defeat to Telford Tigers to ensure Yorkshire rivals Leeds Chiefs ended the weekend pointless with a 4-2 victory.
In many ways it was the worst possible 48 hours for the Chiefs with the two teams directly above them - Milton Keynes and Raiders - both securing four-point weekends.
It means Sam Zajac’s side are cast further adrift at the bottom of the NIHL National standings, seven behind Raiders and, more importantly, nine behind Milton Keynes, who are in the eighth and final playoff spot.
As for Hull, their win on home ice - courtesy of goals from player-coach Jason Hewitt (2), Lee Bonner and former Chiefs’ forward James Archer - moved them up to fourth place in the standings.
They remain, however, 15 points behind Telford, who followed up their 5-2 win over Hull on Saturday with a 5-4 win at Sheffield Steeldogs last night.
The Steeldogs had gone into last night’s clash at Ice Sheffield buoyed by a stunning 4-1 win over second-placed Swindon Wildcats on Friday.
But, despite goals James Spurr (2), Ben Morgan and Vladimir Luka and coming from 4-2 behind, they were pole-axed by the latest of late winners when Telford’s Scott Mckenzie struck with just one second remaining, denying the hosts a deserved point.
Leeds - buoyed by the arrival of new forward Ashley Calvert - played host at yet another ‘home’ venue on Saturday, this time Coventry’s SkyDome Arena, but were left frustrated after losing out 5-4 to Raiders.
Lewis Baldwin (2), Adam Barnes and Steven Moore got on the scoresheet for the West Yorkshire outfit, but they couldn’t find that crucial fifth goal to earn themselves at least a point.