Match Report:  Wild Ladies @ Firebees
 
Sunday 22nd May: Firebees 8 – Widnes Wild Ladies 2

The Widnes Wild Ladies team finished off their roller-coaster Women’s Premier League season with an 8-2 defeat away to the Firebees in Slough on Sunday.

The home side took the lead 3 minutes into the game but Widnes drew level just 2 ½ minutes later with a superb goal from Katie Fairclough.

Two more quick-fire goals followed for the Firebees just 40 seconds apart and then a further strike late in the period saw them leading 4-1 at the first break.

Widnes had a much better second period in terms of puck possession and shots on goal but found themselves caught out at the back as they pushed forward trying to narrow the deficit. This led to three answered goals, which gave the Firebees a commanding 7-1 lead at the mid-way point of the game.

Wild heads did not drop, however, and the continued Widnes pressure was eventually rewarded with a goal from team captain Leen de Decker on 38 minutes.

There was just one goal in the 3rd period – for the home side in the 44th minute to bring the score to 8-2 – and embattled netminder Stephanie Drinkwater put in another heroic performance in the Widnes goal to keep the score down.

In fact, she turned away an incredible 60 of the 68 shots that she faced over the course of the game and actually finished the match with a better overall “save percentage” than her opposite number on the winning team.

Another interesting statistic saw the Wild women not incur any penalties for the third game in a row – quite possibly some sort of record – and this was, indeed, the 7th out of 16 league games overall this season where they managed to go penalty free.

Sunday’s win over Widnes meant that the Firebees made sure of a 4th place finish in the league table and thus clinched the final spot in the end of season play offs.

The WPL regular season programme finishes off next weekend with Kingston v Slough on Saturday and Bristol v Firebees on Sunday and the top four teams will meet in the play off weekend, which will be held at the Planet Ice rink in Widnes over 4th & 5th June.

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