|Netminder Harrison Walker was back in the Wild goal after a season away (Photo by Ste Cunningham)
Sunday 24th September – Moralee Division: Widnes Wild 0 – Blackburn Hawks 5
The Widnes Wild NIHL team had a frustrating weekend losing 4-1 away to Whitley Warriors on Saturday and then 0-5 at home to North West rivals Blackburn Hawks at Planet Ice Widnes on Sunday.
The home game against Blackburn on Sunday – a north-west derby fixture always keenly anticipated by both sets of fans – saw the Wild debut for Damarni James, who switched from the Hawks during the summer and also a return to Widnes for highly rated netminder Harrison Walker after a season away.
Walker was a key member of the Widnes team that won the Division 1 National Championship in 2021, the Moralee Cup in 2022 and was the top netminder in the division for the 2021/22 season. He is available to play for the Wild this season on a 2-way arrangement with National Division team Leeds Knights.
The game started badly for Widnes and Blackburn took the lead with just 65 seconds on the clock with a goal from former Wild player Adam Barnes. The same player edged the Hawks further ahead on 12 minutes and the score was extended to 0-3 to the visitors by the first break.
Widnes never really got going in this game and were comprehensively outshot over the whole 60 minutes by 49 to 14. There were quite a lot of penalties for both sides – with the Hawks also leading that tally by 20 to 10 – but, even on their various powerplay advantages, Widnes were constantly thwarted by a stubborn Blackburn defence.
The Hawks scored again on 31 minutes to lead 0-4 at the second break and then rounded off a thoroughly disappointing weekend for the Wild with a 5th goal with 75 seconds left to play.
The Wild are away to Nottingham Lions on Sunday 1st October and are next at home to Whitley Warriors on Sunday 8th at Planet Ice Widnes, 5.30pm face off.
The DMUK Widnes Wild women’s team play their first game of the new WNIHL Division 2 North season this Sunday 1st October when they take on Grimsby Wolves at Planet Ice Widnes, 4.25pm face off.
The Halton Huskies recreational team lost 10-3 away to Connah’s Quay Cobras at Deeside on Sunday evening.
The Huskies goals were scored by Jake Berry, Matthew Kohler and Ethan Trickett and Rebecca Donnelly put in a brave performance in the Halton goal keeping out 38 of the 48 shots that she faced.