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Match Report: Wild Ladies 5 - Telford 4

Charlotte Cramp (#29) was the Wild Ladies' MVP against Telford (photo by Paul Breeze)

Sunday 8th January – WNIHL Div 2 N

Widnes Wild Ladies Team 5 – Telford Wrekin Raiders 4

The Widnes Wild ladies team got the new year off to a flying start with a 5-4 victory over title rivals Telford Wrekin Raiders at Planet Ice Widnes on Sunday.

The last time that the Wild women played at this level, they spent the majority of the season locked in a three-way battle for the title with Solway Sharks and Telford, so positive results against those teams are vitally important if the Ladies are to mount a serious challenge again this season.

The opening phase was very close - with both teams testing each other out - and the first goal did not come until the 13th minute when Katy Fairclough finally broke the deadlock in Widnes’ favour.

A second Fairclough goal followed with just 29 seconds left in the period and Widnes were able to take a 2 goal lead into the first break.

The Widnes attack looked formidable in these early stages and they went 3-0 up on 26 minutes with a goal from captain Leen de Decker. Telford had their own chances in front of goal and gained more puck possession as the game went on, but they were thwarted at every turn as Wild netminder Stephanie Drinkwater performed heroics to keep them out.

A 4th goal at the mid-way point in the game scored by Danielle Skilander looked to have put Widnes well in charge but things can change very quickly in ice hockey.

A routine netminder change saw 18 year old Ellie Green take over from Drinkwater in the Wild goal. Telford thought they had scored with their very next attack but Green managed to smother the puck and, after some discussion, the match officials decided that it hadn’t crossed the line.

Just 2 minutes later, Widnes went 5 goals ahead with a second strike of the game from De Decker and looked to be cruising but Telford had other ideas.

After a roller-coaster second period during which they actually outshot the Wild team by 2 to 1, the Raiders eventually scored their first goal of the game in the 37th minute

Widnes still looked pretty secure with a 5-1 lead after two periods but Telford scored again just 2 minutes after the restart – and alarm bells began to ring.

Two more goals followed for Telford on 54 and 56 minutes with the clock ticking down much slower than anybody in the Widnes camp would have liked. The Wild bench called a timeout after the 4th Telford goal to discuss last gasp defensive tactics and the tension around the rink went up a couple of notches.

Telford put in a battling display in the last few minutes but the Widnes defence stood strong and held out to secure the win.

The Kate Luard Memorial MVP awards – sponsored by Poet-in-Residence Lucy London – were presented by match timekeeper Howard Smith and went to Tegan Hyatt for Telford and Charlotte Cramp for Widnes.

The result sees the Widnes Ladies leapfrog Telford into second place in the Division 2 North table with 4 wins from 5 games. Leeds Roses also move above Telford after their 7-0 win over Whitley at the weekend and join Widnes on 8 points. Solway Sharks Ladies currently lead the table with 10 points, having won all 5 of their league games to date.

The Wild women are next in action on Saturday 21st January when they play the return match away in Telford and they are then away to Sheffield on Sunday 29th January. They are next at home on Sunday 5th February when they take on Kingston Diamonds at Planet Ice Widnes, 4.15pm face off.


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