Monday 26 February 2024

Match Report: Widnes Wild 3 - Sheffield Scimitars 9 (Moralee Division)

Jake Meehan was the Wild's MVP against Sheffield  (Photo by Steve Cunningham)

Sunday 25th February 2024 – Moralee Division: Widnes Wild 3 - Sheffield Scimitars 9

The Widnes Wild NIHL team slumped to their third defeat in a row with a 3-9 home drubbing at the hands of the league’s bottom team Sheffield Scimitars at Planet Ice Widnes on Sunday.

The visitors took the lead in the 4th minute and then doubled the advantage 3 minutes later. It took until 17 minutes into the period before the Wild finally found the back of the net themselves with a powerplay goal from Nathan Britton, who is standing in as team captain while regular skipper Tom Jackson is out injured. 

The second period was a disaster for the Wild as they were outshot by more than 2 to 1 and a string of niggly penalties hampered them from building up any sort of momentum. Four unanswered goals left them trailing 1-6 at the second break with a lot of catching up to do in the final 20 minutes.

A 7th goal for Sheffield just 11 seconds into the third period made the proverbial mountain to climb even higher for the Wild but, to their credit, their heads did not drop and they continued to battle away. 

The Widnes efforts were rewarded with a goal from Mikey Gilbert on 46 minutes and another from Will Harper just 80 seconds later to bring the score to 3-7 but that was as far as any late revival actually got.

Two more goals in the latter stages rounded off the scoring for Sheffield and handed the Scimitars only their 5th win of the league campaign.

The result leaves the Wild nervously looking over their shoulders in terms of league position as they are still not mathematically guaranteed a play off spot and have 4 tough games still to come.

They are next in action next weekend with back to back games against north west rivals Blackburn Hawks, away on Saturday and at home on Sunday at Planet Ice Widnes.     

The Hawks are sure to be on a high after demolishing league leaders Billingham Stars 21-6 over two legs last weekend in the final of the Moralee Cup (13-4, 2-8) and they still have a chance of overtaking Solihull Barons for the runner’s up spot in the league.  Widnes v Blackburn games are always very passionate and hard fought affairs and both teams will have a point to prove next weekend.

Following that, the Wild have another tantalising pair of derby games to look forward to - home and away against Deeside Dragons, who are also enjoying a better than expected season - to complete their regular Moralee Division schedule.