Monday 29 May 2023

Wild Women At WNIHL Play Off Weekend

The Widnes Wild women's team after their play off semi final against Cardiff (Photo by Mike Lennon)

Saturday 27th May 2023 – Play Off Semi Final (at Sheffield): Cardiff Comets 3 – DMUK Widnes Wild Women 1

The DMUK Widnes Wild women put in a spirited performance against Cardiff Comets in the Division 2 Play Off semi final before losing out 3-1 at iceSheffield on Saturday.

This was first time that the Wild women had ever played against Cardiff, so they were very much an unknown quantity, and taking on the South Division champions was always likely to be a bit of an uphill struggle.

Widnes had featured in two playoff semi finals before – in the Women’s Premier League back in 2016 and 2017 - and, on both occasions were beaten by Streatham but any hopes that this might have been a case of “third time lucky” were soon dashed as the Wild women got off to a nightmare start and conceded the first goal just 30 seconds into the game. 

Two more Cardiff goals followed and Widnes were left trailing 3-0 at the end of the first period.  They steadied the ship somewhat in the second - which played out goal-less - but this still left them with a metaphorical mountain to climb in the third period if they were to have any chance of progressing to the final.

Widnes had more of the play in the 3rd period and they were finally rewarded with a goal with 6 minutes left in the game when Leen de Decker beat the Cardiff netminder with a long range shot from out by the blue line.

The Wild women put the Cardiff net under increasing pressure in the latter stages, forcing several defensive penalties, but were unable to make the most of the resulting powerplay and the score remained 3-1 at the end of the game.  

The other semi final saw D2 North champions Solway Sharks beat South runners up Peterborough 5-1 to reach the final, where they overcame Cardiff to take the overall Division 2 National title.   

In the Division 1 play off final, Whitley Bay Beacons beat Swindon Topcats 5-1 while Solihull Vixens were beaten 1-3 by the Queen Bees in the Elite League final.