Tuesday 23 September 2014

South 2 Weekend Review - Provided by Bristol Pitbulls

Week 3 of the 2014-15 NIHL2S season gave us our first insight this season to four teams.

Wightlink Tigers trip to play in the new Slough Jets Live first home game was ever bit as difficult as it looked on paper as they started the season with an 11-1 cup loss.

Tigers did hold their hosts to a 1-1 when Ricky Attrill answered an early Ben Ealey-Newman goal. But, Attrill scored from one of only th...ree shots on goal created by Tigers in that first period. While their shot count did go up as the game went on, Slough simply skated away with the game in the second half.

Zoran Kozic made an early claim on the scoring title with 3+6. Alan Green's 2+6 and Josh Ealey-Newman's 4+2 would suggest the trio could be fighting for that honour amongst themselves.

A much improved Peterborough Islanders scored in the first minute at Oxford Ice Rink against the Bristol Pitbulls to start their season in spectacular fashion with an 8-4 cup road win against a team who had a phenomenal road record last season.

3-0 down at the end of the first period, Bristol spent long periods chasing shadows. In fact, they found themselves 5-0 down with nearly half the game gone before they finally started to ring the red light themselves. The fact that they won the second half of the game 4-3 will be of little consolation.

Nathan Pollard led scoring with a 2+3 performance, while his brother Connor, Shaun Yardley and Connor Stokes all chipped in with a brace each. For the home team, Jordan Smith also got two, while Adrian Smith finished on 3 points.

As we suggested in the preview, Cardiff was the place to be this weekend as Swindon Wildcats managed a four-goal comeback to beat the Cardiff NIHL Devils 4-3.

A goal up after 19 seconds and 3-0 up after just nine minutes, thanks in part to Zak Sullivan's two goals, Swindon replied with four of their own to take a rare win out of South Wales. Last season, Cardiff didn't lose at home until the last game of the season. This year, they've started with a loss.

Ben Nethersell led scoring with three assists. Former Pitbull, Luke Merrick, played his first game for Cardiff, coincidentally against the team he'd left.

Finally, Bristol responded to their poor showing against Peterborough with a convincing 9-3 league win at the Basingstoke Buffalo.

In a fast-paced game, Bristol showed a greater level of quality in front of the net to take a 4-1 lead. After that, Bristol looked comfortable controlling the game.

In his 100th game for the club, Matt Thornhill was the only Pitbull to score multiple goals with a deuce. Adi Smith, Olly Shone, Jordan Smith and Grant Richardson also scored single counters. But, special mention has to go to Zach Dolphin scoring his first for his new team, just eight days after his brother Josh had done the same, Janne Virtanen scoring against his adopted hometown team in his first game back from injury and Tom Asprey scoring only his second senior goal in eight years of trying.
Words by Graham Goodman - Bristol Pitbulls Media Officer
Photo: Bristol Pitbulls v Peterborough Islanders courtesy of Flyfifer Photography www.flyfifer.co.uk