MORE THAN £3,000 was raised for Cancer Research UK as a crowd of around 1,000 turned up to watch the John Summerbell Memorial game last Saturday at the Basingstoke Arena.

The game was played in memory of the popular player with the Basingstoke Raptors recreational team, who lost his battle with cancer earlier this year, writes JAMIE COX.

The match saw the Raptors take on a Summerbell select team made up of Bison legends like Steve Moria and Tony Redmond, along with members of the Herd’s double winning team Nicky Chinn, Stuart Mogg and Connor Standing.

They also boasted former Bison players Joe Miller, Neil Liddiard and Craig Tribe, along with some of the Basingstoke Buffalo stars.

The game started well for the Raptors, who drew first blood with a laser of a shot from the blue line courtesy of Dean Smith, which was tipped in by Mark Austen.

The Summerbell Select were quick to react, and answered with some fine build-up play before Miller fired the puck into the back of the net with an assist from Chinn.

The remainder of the first period saw the Raptors skate their legs off.

The select team scored a second from Alex Barker as he netted from Redmond and the gap continued to widen in the second period, with the Summerbell side showing their great skill and ability, much to the delight of the crowd.

Their goals came thick and fast in the middle session, with Steve Moria, Nathan Taylor, Ryan Sutton, Craig Tribe, Barker and Neil Leary all netting.

The Raptors dug deep and replied through Austen, Darren Jones and Steve Inglis, but the damage was done.

The Summerbell Select continued to dominate in the final period, with goals from Paul Thomason and Kurt Tyrrell, while the Raptors replied through Daniel Pearce and Austen.

The third period saw the highlight of the evening, when young George Summerbell took to the ice wearing his late father’s number 15 jersey and scored an amazing goal which almost lifted the roof off the rink, both teams jumping on the ice to celebrate with him.

Summerbell went on to score a further two goals to complete his hat-trick and take the game puck.

The game ended 15-6 to the Summerbell Select, but the Raptors put up a valiant effort and, with £3,000 in donations on the day, the game proved a great success.