Sunday 5th March – Moralee Division
Billingham Stars 8 – YKK Widnes Wild 1
The YKK sponsored Widnes Wild were brought back down to earth after Saturday’s impressive win against Whitley Warriors with an 8-1 drubbing away to Billingham Stars in the North West on Sunday.
Widnes never really got going in this game and the home side dominated the play for long spells, out-shooting the Wild by 60 to 17 over the course of the 60 minutes.
Things actually started quite brightly for the Wild with a close opening phase and it took until the 9th minute for the Stars to score the opening goal of the game. The score remained at 1-0 at the first period break and there still seemed plenty to play for.
Billingham edged further ahead with a powerplay goal on 24 minutes and then two more goals just 16 seconds apart pretty much ended the game as a contest from a Widnes point of view. The Stars deserved their 4-0 lead after two periods and the Wild were left with a mountain to climb in the remaining 20 minutes.
A further home strike just 76 seconds from the restart made the score 5-0 and Billingham continued to pepper the Wild goal with shots. A goal from Joe Greaves finally gave the travelling Widnes fans something to cheer about on 43 minutes but that was the only bright spark of the evening and the Stars immediately hit back with two more quick-fire efforts to bring the score to 7-1.
With 13 minutes left in the game, the somewhat overworked Miles Finney made way in the Widnes goal for Jake Lowndes to have his first taste of Moralee Division netminding and the former Wild Academy, Deeside and Altrincham ‘keeper gave a good account of himself, stopping 7 of the 8 shots that he faced.
Following a 4-point weekend during which they also won 2-9 away at Deeside, Billingham move into 2nd place in the Moralee Division table, leapfrogging Whitley Warriors, while the Wild remain in 5th place.
Widnes now have two away games in a row – at Solway Sharks this Sunday 12th March and Blackburn Hawks on Sunday 19th – before they play their last home fixture of the regular season against Solihull Barons on Saturday 25th March at Planet Ice Widnes.