(Photo by Pyro Media)
The YKK sponsored Widnes Wild put in a battling performance away to league leaders Whitley Warriors on Sunday before finally succumbing 7-4 in the North East.
The reigning champions from the Covid-curtailed 2019/20 season took the lead on 3 minutes and then doubled the advantage some 5 minutes later but a strike from Joe Wyatt – his first of the season – just 45 seconds after that opened the account for the Wild.
A third goal followed for Whitley on 16 minutes but two quick goals for Widnes – in the last minute of the period – from Kieran Beach and Tom Stubley – dramatically tied the score at 3-3 at the first break.
By the half way point of the game, the score was still 3-3 and Widnes were giving a good account of themselves in their first ever league match away at Whitley Bay
However, they were unable to break through the stubborn Warriors’ defence and the hoe side scored twice more to lead 5-3 after two periods.
A powerplay goal from Liam Charnock on 44 minutes narrowed the gap to just one goal but that was as good as it got for Widnes as two unanswered strikes from Warriors’ top goal scorer this season, Latvian import Rolands Gritans, completing his hat trick, put the game beyond the reach of the battling Wild.
A fight between the Wild’s “Sheriff” Lee Kemp and Whitley’s Jordan Barnes livened up an otherwise low key final few minutes and both players received a 5+game for their troubles. Interestingly enough apart from a 2 minute call for hooking to the Warriors earlier in the third period theses were the only penalties handed out in the whole match.
Despite the win, the Warriors are knocked off the top of the Moralee Division table after Solway Sharks notched up a 4-point weekend with wins over Nottingham and Billingham. Both teams have 14 points but the Sharks are top by virtue of a better playing record against Whitley.
Widnes are currently 7th in the league table with 4 points from 6 games but they have played fewer matches than most of the other teams.
The Wild are next in action this Sunday 14th November when they take on the Billingham Stars at Planet Ice Widnes – 5.30 pm face off. It is Remembrance Sunday so there will be a minute’s silence before the game and the charity Help For Heroes will be in attendance.
- Sunday 7th November: NIHL Moralee Division
Whitley Warriors 7 – YKK Widnes Wild 4
Period Scores: 3-3, 2-0, 2-1
Shots On Goal: Whitley 46 – Widnes 28
Penalties In Minutes: Whitley 7 – Widnes 5
- Widnes Scoring: Tom Stubley 1+1, Kieran Beach, Joe Wyatt, Liam Charnock all 1+0, Richard Haggar 0+3, Vlads Vulkanovs 0+2, Ken Armstrong 0+1
- MVPS: Whitley – Callum Queenan / Widnes – Tom Brierley
- Match Officials: David Emmerson – Referee, Amy Campbell & Lisa Calvert – Linesmen