Monday 4 March 2024

Match Report: Widnes Wild 3 - Blackburn Hawks 7 (Moralee Division)

Joey Coulter was the Wild MVP against Blackburn (photo by Steve Cunningham)

Sunday 3rd March – Moralee Division: Widnes Wild 3 - Blackburn Hawks 7

The Widnes Wild NIHL team had a disappointing weekend, suffering back to back defeats at the hands of north west rivals Blackburn Hawks - losing 10-3 away on Saturday and 3-7 at home at Planet Ice Widnes on Sunday. 

The home game on Sunday saw a much grittier and determined performance from the Wild team but the end result still came out pretty much the same. Blackburn opened the scoring after 90 seconds and were, once again, 0-4 up by the end of the first period.

A fifth goal for the visitors just 64 seconds into the second period looked to have already put the game past the reach of the Wild but a powerplay strike by Owen Rae gave them some hope.

Widnes noticeably upped their game after this and were battling to reduce the deficit when they were caught out by another Blackburn goal on 31 minutes. 

A goal from Wild player coach Joey Coulter just 16 seconds after that pulled the score back to 6-2 but another Hawks strike two minutes later saw the visitors leading 2-7 at the second period break.

Widnes kept plugging away in the third period but Blackburn shut up shop and it took until the 54th minute before the Wild were rewarded with another goal for their efforts. This came from the stick of Damarni James – scoring against his former club – but was to be the last goal of the night and the match ended up as a 3-7 win for the Hawks. 

These weekend results mean that the Wild have now lost 5 games in a row for the second time this season – a sequence they will be keen to break with two games coming up against Deeside Dragons in the coming weeks.

They remain 7th in the Moralee Division table – a distant 12 points behind 6th place Hull Jets – but are not yet guaranteed a place in the end of season play offs and could still – mathematically, at least – be overtaken by Nottingham Lions or Sheffield Scimitars for that coveted top 8 spot.

The Wild NIHL team are without a game next weekend and are back in action on Sunday 17th March when they take on local rivals Deeside Dragons at Planet Ice Widnes, 5.30pm face off.

Following that, they play their last game of the regular season away to Deeside on Sunday 24th March, with two-legged quarter final ties in the Moralee Play Offs scheduled to take place the weekend after.