Just under two years after lifting the NIHL Southern Cup the Invicta Dynamos earned the right to fight for the trophy again in 2016/17 after a 5-2 home win against Streatham sealed a comfortable 12-4 aggregate semi-final victory and another cup final berth.
Both teams would have 18 players at their disposal – Streatham without Jack Tarczycki, Vaclav Drabek and Brett Shephard and the Mos minus Nicky Lewis, twins Haydn and Taylor Wootton, Adam McNicoll and Damien King. Ashley Jackson made his return to the SilverBlades after a month playing field hockey in India. John Dibble and Matt Colclough were the starting netminders.
With arguably one foot, a leg, two arms and a torso already in the final following a thumping 7-2 road win in the 1st leg the night before, the Dynamos knew they would have to fend off an ambitious Streatham fightback to secure their place in the final two. Scoring the first goal of the night was a killer blow then as the Mos registered at 03.26 – Elliott Dewey’s clearance bouncing under the skate of Joe Johnston putting Adam Rehak in behind and the Czech shifted left, then right, then left again to lead Matt Colclough on a merry dance before tallying for 1-0. Alex Sampford tried to level but he found John Dibble blocking his near post shot from close right before a slashing penalty on Sean Scarbrough placed the visitors in trouble again. At 11.24 Dewey found Callum Fowler on the left faceoff dot and the captain despatched a wrist shot between the pads of Colclough and the front upright to make it 2-0. Not wanting to disappear out of sight Streatham managed a reply at 13.07 – Ryan Webb’s shot from close left straight into the pads of Dibble but George Norcliffe seized upon and fired in the rebound from the other side of the net to cut the deficit to 2-1. It would have been level moments later but for some great athleticism from Dibble that saw him somehow deny Jacob Ranson from right in front. At 16.50 that save was all the more valuable as the hosts tallied again for 3-1 – Mason Webster finding Rehak close left and the import beating Colclough with some quick hands again for a 10-3 aggregate lead.
In the second period the Mos swiftly turned a 7 goal advantage into 8 – Ondrej Zosiak claiming the puck on the halfway line and skating down the right channel before firing beyond Matt Colclough at his near post to make it 4-1 on the night at 24.50. The remainder of the frame was then a scrappy affair with Streatham unable to make the most of a holding penalty on Joshua Condren as Adam Wood fired into the mask of John Dibble from the slot. On his return Condren could have added to the two goals he had tallied the night before as Zosiak found him clear at the back post but the forward struggled to control and fired into Colclough from point blank range. A second period short of chances then drew to a close with the Dynamos now leading 11-3 on aggregate and 20 minutes from securing a cup final spot.
In the final frame Callum Best tested John Dibble from the slot but found the netminder’s shoulder blocking his path before a Casimir Madren-Britton slip allowed Adam Rehak to go clear but Matt Colclough stopped his breakaway effort to spare the defenceman’s blushes. Rehak was again hunting for his hat-trick moments later as the puck dropped for the Czech point blank right but again Colclough denied him once more to keep the score at 4-1. Come 49.13 Streatham had cut that deficit to 4-2 – Sean Scarbrough shooting into the pads of Dibble from the blue line and Steve Fisher turning in the rebound close left for muted celebrations. A rare defensive giveaway then saw George Norcliffe gifted possession right in front but again Dibble stood firm to keep the visitors firmly behind. They were even further behind at 54.34 as the Mos then tallied the last of the night – Rehak holding the puck in the right corner before feeding Ashley Jackson who had made a sprint across the crease and tucked in at the back post to seal the 5-2 win – 12-4 on aggregate.
So it was a comfortable night for a Dynamos side that looked rejuvenated in comparison to the performances of recent weeks and will now faceoff with the Chelmsford Chieftains for the right to lift the NIHL Southern Cup in mid-March. Man of the match awards went to Daniel Rose of Streatham whilst Adam Rehak took the spoils for the Dynamos.
Written by Paul Bennett.