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This was a season that just goes to prove money doesn't buy you happiness.  Reputedly the highest spending member of the league, Stan Marple signed a team that just couldn't quite gel and narrowly failed to light up the British National League.  It was made all the more frustrating for Marple's army by the way they came so close to silverware, quarter and semi finals, before flickering out.  

In a disastrous start to the campaign, Flames not only failed to retain the Benson and Hedges Plate but were knocked out of the competition in the first round after gaining only one point on the road.  Perhaps the team needed longer to settle after Terry Kurtenbach's retirement and the loss of several major import players.  Marple's key signings included English defender Paul Dixon from Superleague Newcastle and forwards Basingstoke's heavy hitting Canadian, Chris Crombie and Karry Biette, making the step down from Ayr in a quest for more ice time.  Mark McCoy left to make way for 6ft 4in defence man Tom Brown and the well travelled Lee Cowmeadow.

With the added man power by the time the ntl: Christmas Cup rolled round, Flames were able to squeeze past Hull Thunder in the quarterfinals, thanks to club stalwart Ryan Campbell.  After rescuing a 3-goal deficit in the first period at home, to win 4-3, all seemed lost when Hull claimed early goals but Campbell's second tally with less than three minutes from time in the second leg was enough to put them in the semis.   Nagging doubts that this might not be Flames' year set in when they out shot Bison at home in the first leg only to crash 7-2 to their rivals who got four gaols from Wayne Crawford in the second leg.

Their league chances still looked good, though.  In January they were three points behind leaders Peterborough with three games in hand and the only other threat came from Flyers. With the signing of GB Captain Ian Cooper from ISL side London Knights' on deadline day, moral took an upturn for a while.

After a lot of jostling for position by early February, Flames had inflicted their second defeat on Fife in the Spectrum, a rare experience for the all-dominating Flyers, and were top of the table by two points from the Scots.  The crunch game came on 12 February in Fife where Flames had lost 5-1 in November.  This time they held on for a 2-2 draw with three minutes left.... then collapsed horribly to lose 5-2, improving their league position by one place, finishing as runners-up to the all-conquering Fife Flyers.  

With the League title out of their grasp, Flames turned their attention to the one remaining competition and their last chance of silverware for the season.  Unfortunately fate dealt them a cruel hand yet again and knocked them out of the playoffs on a three-way-tie-break.  

Many personal milestones were achieved during the year.  Pete Kasowski and Derek DeCosty scored their 100th goals, Marple coached his 100th game, Campbell scored his 500th assist and John Hepburn jnr. scored his first senior league goal.

League Table
British National League  GP  PTS  GF  GA 
Fife Flyers 36  28  58  176  89 
Guildford Flames  36  26  56  184  98 
Basingstoke Bison  36  23  11  50  138  85 
Hull Thunder  36  20  12  47  149  132 
Peterborough Pirates  36  22  13  46  171 128 
Slough Jets  36  19  14  41  109  100 
Solihull Blaze  36  13  20  30  161  172 
Edinburgh Capitals  36  25  21  118  192 
Milton Keynes Kings  36  28  13  114  202 
Paisley Pirates  36  30  11  103  226 
Player Stats
Player  GP  PTS  PIMS 
Karry Biette 55  37  52  89  107 
Barclay Pearce  54  33  45  78  100 
Pete Kasowski  54  35  34  69  52 
Derek DeCosty  55  35  33  68  44 
Ryan Campbell  55  28  33  61  58 
Chris Crombie  54  30  22  52  129 
Rick Plant  56  19  26  45  50 
Paul Dixon  50  32  39  30 
Rob Lamey  52  11  17  28  22 
Tom Brown  48  11  18  44 
James Manson  56  15  18  76 
Ian Cooper  13  12  14  20 
Gary Clarke  20 
Russ Plant  43 
Simon Howard  56  64 
Andy Einhorn  24  85 
Lee Cowmeadow  17 
Dominic Hopkins  34 
Jason Moses  24 
Mark McCoy 
Stan Marple  14 
Patrick Flanagan  16 
Johnny Hepburn 
Anthony Page 
Scott Stephenson 
Tyrone Miller  11 
Michael Plenty 
Tom Boney 
Simon Griffiths 
David Alexander 
Ben Hammond 
Michael Simmons 
James Clarke 
Adam Franks 
Rory Alexander 
Matt Thornhill 
Netminder  Mins  SOG  GA  SV %  GAA 
Jamey Organ 3050  1464  153  89.55  3.01 
Jamie Thompson  309  147  23  84.35  4.47 
Grant King 
Simon Lavis 
Vicki Robins 
Looking Back

Guildford Spectrum
Parkway, Guildford
Surrey GU1 1UP

Tel: 01483 452244

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