Manchester Mayhem 7 – 2 Sheffield Steelkings
In the first meeting of the Roses games this season, it saw the Manchester Mayhem holding the bragging rights after a 7-2 victory over the Sheffield Steelkings thanks to four goals by Anthony Booth, in what was a very feisty contest and at times bad tempered game at Altrincham.
The previous meetings between the sides with Manchester playing under a different banner, had saw the Red Rose side holding a perfect record against their counterparts from Sheffield, with mostly one-sided games. Play was even and saw both teams having chances and looking threatening too.
A fairly fast-paced game saw both sides testing the respective netminders, but had neither side able to make the breakthrough. Manchester ended the period a man light, after Karl Nicholson was forced to serve a penalty for a delay of game call, ten seconds from the end of first.
Second period saw a glut of goals forthcoming in the game finally, with firstly Sheffield’s Gary Farmer getting the opening goal of the contest at 16.10, as the forward took a pop from the blue line and saw the puck fly in over Steve Midghall in nets and go in off the goal post to give the Steelkings a 1-0 lead.
Manchester responded with two goals in the space of 30 seconds, as Karl Nicholson levelled the game up at 18.17 and then his teammate Anthony Booth sweeping home to make it 2-1 at 18.47 for the Mayhem and put the hosts in front.
Booth then made it 3-1 after Nicholson had played the puck off the side boards with pace and that the bounce falling nicely for his Mayhem line mate to chase down and then slot passed Bryan Hackworth in the Sheffield goals to increase their lead.
At 22.58 it saw Gary Farmer reducing the deficit to just one goal and also score his second of the game in the process, with the Steelkings man collecting the puck behind the Manchester net and then roofing home for a 3-2 game.
The home side then moved 4-2 ahead thanks to a second goal by Karl Nicholson, but the contest was far from over, as Sheffield weren’t throwing in the towel quite yet. Tempers then began to simmer towards the end of the second period, when Nicholson continued to go to the net and crashed into the Sheffield goalie- which brought the ire of the visiting Steelkings side and a scrum developed.
From that point onwards the hitting became a bit more hard hitting you could say, with the Manchester man getting some extra attention from the Sheffield side from that point on. In the final period it saw Anthony Booth completing his hat trick to make the game 5-2 in favour of the Mayhem and that goal killed off the away sides chances of getting back into it.
Less than a minute later Booth struck again to take his tally to four goal for the match and that was soon followed by guest player Simon Berry, as he rounded off the scoring with a power play goal for 7-2.
In the last minute of the game it saw Sheffield’s Barry Grayson collecting a Interference call along with a Abuse of official call as well, to rub salt into the wounds of the Steelkings side.
Sheffield in truth gave Manchester more than a scare in the game and the Steelkings just seemed to run out of steam late on, but they looked a like more motivated than ever this year than perhaps seasons gone by.
Both sides over the next couple of day will be sore and know they were in a contest, after such a bruising encounter and that fact the sides meet again in Sheffield in just over three weeks time, it will certainly keep this rivalry fresh in the memory banks.