Tuesday 16 September 2014

Laidler Match Report - Deeside Dragons 6 - Widnes Wild 7

Wild's tough start to the season continued with a visit to Queensferry to meet the Deeside Dragons - league runners up last season. Former Wild player Aled Roberts lined up for the Dragons with former Dragon, Matt Wainwright in the yellow of Widnes. A noisy Widnes following led by horns and drums welcomed the team.

In a lively opening, both teams found themselves shorthanded as referees continue to clamp down on spoiling tactics. Both netminders were called on to make close range saves with Nicole Jackson in the Widnes net making a series of vital stops. The game came to life when, after continuous Dragons pressure, Shaun Dipnall was sent clear down the ice and he slotted low under the netminder for the opening goal. Despite a couple of 3 on 5 advantages, the visitors couldn’t find a vital second goal. A Ben Brown breakaway at 16.35 almost opened up the Dragons defence. As the period drew to a close measured passing in the Deeside end saw Pavel Vales pass quickly to the edge of the crease and Lee Pollitt to make it 2-0 to the Wild at 19.46.

The second period opened sensationally with Bobby Caunce feeding Filip Supa to fire past George Cox to make it 3 -0. Within minutes the Dragons were back in it a defensive error saw the home side on the scoreboard. The crowd were on their feet when a late hit on Wild saw both sides exchanging punches.

It ended with two Widnes and four Deeside players in the penalty box. Deeside scored a second at 25.46 a distance shot from Aled Roberts flying past Jackson. It was 3 -3 at 28.14, Roberts again finding the net. Tom Jacksons thunderous shot from the blue line at 32.29 came loose and Bobby Caunce restored the Widnes lead. Two minutes later a big Kieron Strangeway shot was fumbled. Filip Supa took control of the puck and fed Ben Brown to force the puck home to give the visitors a 5-3 lead.

The final period opened with a disallowed Widnes goal but at 44.58, pressure on the Widnes net saw Mike Jones force the puck home to bring the score to 5-4. An incident on the boards in the  Widnes end saw Dragons stalwart Parsons sent from the game. A minute later at 48.20 Filip Supa cut inside from the right to fire an accurate shot into the top left corner to give the visitors a 6-4 lead. Within seconds another wild effort was cleared off the Deeside line. In the 51st minute Shaun Dipnall's cross ice pass was tipped in by Supa for a 7-4 Widnes lead. By this stage the big Widnes fan contingent were roaring their favourites forward.

The last 5 minutes were pure torture for the visiting fans . A mix up in defence saw Andy Chappell fire high to pull one back for the Dragons.

At 56.57 Paul Davies also went to the dressing room for misconduct. A sixth Dragons goal at 58.20 brought the tensest finish possible but the Wild held out to record a famous derby victory. Matt Wainwright, a former Dragon , took the MVP for Wild.

Next week the Coventry Blaze are the visitors to Widnes with an 18.15 Sunday face off. Last season's third placed team are sure to provide top opposition for the fast improving Wild.

Dick Gillingham

Photo: Filip Supa scored a hat-trick at Deeside. Photo by Geoff White - www.gw-images.co.uk