The Battle of Bretton – Twentieth Anniversary !

On 6th September 1998, Troy Walkington’s exciting new Pirates side played hosts to Kingston Hawks in a home Benson & Hedges Cup game. It was a game that is still remembered today by those who were there !

The Hawks were managed by Keith Milhench, backed up by assistant coach Bobby McEwan who would be best described as a person you might cross the road to avoid ….. a real cement-headed pitbull of a character !

Hawks hockey had already been stamped firmly on the British National League in the previous season when a home game with Telford Tigers managed to chalk up a record breaking 506 penalty minutes inside the first ten minutes of the game. Six players were thrown out, including assistant coach McEwan who jumped onto the ice to headbutt a Tigers player. Needless to say the game was abandoned soon after !

The game established a reputation for the Hawks that McEwan looked to build on during the summer of 1998, warning teams publicly that Hawks would take no nonsense from anybody and that rivals should tread carefully. It was clearly a move designed to intimidate but one that Pirates coach Troy Walkington was all too ready to put to the test when the sides met up !

The game had just under five minutes to play and Pirates had the game in the bag, leading 8-5 with the clock running down but the Hawks were in no mood to leave quietly and were hellbent on picking up a little trophy of their own as players headed out for a face-off. Retribution for the defeat would commence at a face-off involving Pirates new boy Chris Jamieson, a fresh faced all-American college boy with a “butter wouldn’t melt” demeanor ….. bad choice !

Straight from the face off and after an evident warning from Hawks player Lee Wilson, Jamieson was jumped but very quickly turned his assailant and handed out a severe beating that had Pirates fans punching the air with a mix of both joy and astonishment.

It didn’t stop there as Hawks continued to send out fighters desperate to add credibility to their pre-season warning only for the likes of Nathan Rempel, John Oddy and Graham Waghorn to send them crashing to the ice in a final five minutes that just went on …… and on ….. and on !

Here’s the video ………..