Monday 22 May 2023

Match Report: Connah's Quay Cobras 6 - Trafford Thunder 9

Connah's Quay Cobras team photo by Sophie Harrison-Jones (HJ Photography)

Sunday 21st May 2023 - Challenge Match: Connah's Quay Cobras 6 - Trafford Thunder 9

The Connah’s Quay Cobras put in a battling performance against the Trafford Thunder, narrowly losing out 6-9 in a highly entertaining challenge game at Deeside Leisure Centre on Sunday.

This was only the Cobras’ second ever game, with the team having just been formed at the start of the year, and the roster is composed of an interesting mix of youth an experience, including a number of former Deeside junior players, recreational players  and players with league experience.

Despite the overall scoreline, the Cobras easily gave as much as they got, out-shot their opponents by more than 2 to 1 over the course of the game and were unlucky to come up against former Altrincham Aces and Manchester Minotaurs league netminder Aran Fox - who was also once on the Manchester Phoenix Elite League roster - in the Trafford goal.

Trafford took the lead just two minutes into the game and were 0-3 up by the time the Cobras managed to score their first goal – from former Deeside Dragons player Sam Krempasky on 16 minutes.

A further goal for the Thunder saw them leading 1-4 at the first break and they extended their lead yet more with a 5th goal just 40 seconds into the second period.

Two more Trafford goals followed but a goal from former Dragons junior Luke Wainwright doubled the Cobras tally for the game on 28 minutes and a strike from former Slough Jet Stewart Cutting 5 minutes later further narrowed the score.

Trafford fought back with two more goals of their own to lead 3-8 at the second break but the Connah’s Quay team were growing in confidence and looking ever better as the game went on. 

A goal early in the 3rd period put the Thunder 3-9 ahead and, despite the Cobras continuing to pepper the visitors’ net with shots, the game seemed pretty much over as a contest.

However, the home side moved up a gear in the closing stages and three unanswered goals – from Wainwright on 48 minutes, and a brace from former Dragon and Bradford Bulldog Gez Evans  on 49 and 55 – made the score look infinitely more respectable.

The MVP awards went to Radovan Spavelko for Connah’s Quay and John Leach for Trafford.  An honourable mention must also go to Aran Fox in the Thunder goal who saved 90 of the 96 shots that he faced for an impressive  Save % of 93.75

Full Line Ups and Statistics

Connah’s Quay Cobras:  Matthew Harrison Jones, Stewart Cutting (1+1), Gez Evans (2+0), Kenny Williams, Evan McKinney, Louis Ellwood (0+2), Mike Filek (0+1), Brad Bannon (2PIM), Luke Wainwright (2+1), Paul Jones, Slavomir Sykora, Radovan Spavelko, Libor Krempasky (0+1), Sam Krempasky (1+0)

Netminder:   Paul Jones – 60 Mins, SA 42, GA 9, 78.57 Sv% 

Trafford Thunder:  Aaron Baldwin (1+1), Adam Kennedy (1+0, 2PIM), Alexander Fisher (0+1), Andrew Walch, Aran Fox (2PIM), Benjamin Pepper-Proctor (3+1), David Saville-Elliott (0+1), John Leach (3+1), Jonathan Pennell (0+1), Jospeh Rigby, Lee Hadfield, Mark Arnold (0+3), Michael Turnbull, Robert Ollier, Stephen Redfern (2PIM), Warren Baldwin (1+2)

Netminder: Aran Fox – 60 mins, SA 96, GA 6, 93.75 Sv%