The Widnes Wild women’s team picked up their second win in succession with a tense and hard fought 6-4 victory over Kingston Diamonds in the Women’s Premier League at Silver Blades Widnes on Sunday.
Coming off the back of a draw and a win in their two previous home games, the Wild women were keen to extend their unbeaten run and were quickest out of the blocks.
After team captain Charlene Chapman combined well with Leen de Decker to fire Widnes ahead in the 5th minute, they raced to an impressive 4-0 lead with further goals from Vanessa Crickmore Clarke, Emma Pearson (assist Sophie Sinclair-Reeks) and Amanda Williams (asst Lucy Kirkham) before Kingston finally managed to get on the scoresheet themselves at 18.17.
The Wild women had been having problems in previous games with turning their superior possession into goals but not so on this occasion and they quickly bounced back to restore their 4 goal margin with de Decker netting from a Chapman pass just 22 seconds from the restart.
The Diamonds team began picking up penalties in the second period as the game seemed to be slipping away from them but they pulled a second goal back just prior to the half way mark. However a 2+10 penalty for a check to the head for Kingston’s Reagan Downing broke their momentum and there was no further scoring during the period.
The visitors upped their game in the third period and Widnes hearts were in mouths as they gradually began closing the deficit.
The returned-to-the-ice Downing hit a sensational unassisted short-handed goal on 46.30 to make it 5-3 and then Kingston’s Hannah Gibson (who also plays for the Diamonds’ Elite league team and Bradford Bulldogs in the men’s Laidler Conference AND is also a match official…) fired home to make it 5-4 with over 10 minutes remaining in the game.
It was a nervy final phase of play with Kingston pushing forward to try and force an equaliser and the Wild keen to defend their lead and then, in the 57th minute with Kingston shorthanded due to a tripping penalty, last season’s top points scorer for the Wild, Katie Hills, fired in a valuable powerplay goal (assist Kirkham) to settle the nerves and, indeed, settle the game.
The resulting two points mean that Widnes remain in 5th place in the Women’s Premier League table but have drawn level on points with 4th place Slough Phantoms, who didn’t play at the weekend.
Looking back at the game, Coach Owen Tennant said: “I think the score after the first period says it all really. The momentum seemed to shift during the second period and Kingston came out strong in the third. After the timeout mid-way through the third period, the girls went out and did exactly as was asked. They have the capability to beat any team in the league and that showed.”
The Wild women are on the road for their next two fixtures – away at Nottingham Vipers on 11th December and then at Streatham Storm on 8th January. Their next home game at Silver Blades Widnes will be on Sunday 15th January when they will face Streatham in a 5.30pm face off.
Sunday 27th Nov 2016 – Women’s Premier League
Widnes Wild Women 6 – Kingston Diamonds 4
Period Scores: 5-1, 0-1, 1-2
Shots on Goal: Widnes 43 – Kingston 36 (19-8, 15-13, 9-15)
Penalties In Minutes: Widnes 2 – Kingston 20
Widnes Scoring: Charlene Chapman , Leen de Decker 1+1, Vanessa Crickmore Clarke, Emma Pearson, Katie Hills, Amanda Williams all 1+0, Lucy Kirkham 0+2, Sophie Sinclair-Reeks 0+1