Ice hockey came to Peterborough for the first time on Saturday - and was voted a huge success. Peterborough Pirates took on English League side Nottingham Trojans for the maiden match at the East of England Ice Rink in Bretton, and delighted the 400 plus crowd by winning 7-3.

"The whole evening was a marvellous success - it was an experiment as much as anything and I did not really go out of my way to advertise it", said rink manager Paul French. "If the thing is promoted in the right way, I am certain it will take off in Peterborough" he added. "The sport is fast, brutal and exciting, and whether you like it or not, that it what people love to see".

Such was the success of the venture that Paul believes more seating will have to be created at the rink to accommodate future matches. "Our seating limit is about 750 but I think we will have to try and extend that to around 1,200 once things get moving" he said. Paul was also encouraged by the cross-section of public at rink, particularly the number of families. "We have smashing facilities here. Viewing is good and there are bars and places to get food. We are ideally equipped for an evening out".

Peterborough Pirates are to join the English League - albeit one of the lower divisions - and to assist them in their preparation, Paul is trying to arrange another match against Grimsby at Bretton. He hopes that will take place in a couple of weeks. Amazingly, most of the Pirates team couldn't even skate before the ice rink was opened six months ago, so to beat an English League Third Division side was really quite incredible. Peterborough begin their league programme in September in the same division as Nottingham and if their performance on Saturday is anything to go by, they can look forward to the challenge with some confidence. Peterborough scorers: Tony Hunter (2), Roger Mawditt, Kevin Hunter, Sandy MacDonald, Pekka Hakkarainen, Barry Cade.