Auger Double Helps Storm To Return Favour on Steelers

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MANCHESTER STORM  4 – 2  SHEFFIELD STEELERS


Less than 24 hours after the two Roses rivals faced off in Sheffield in what was a very tight game with the home side coming out on top 5-4, Sunday’s game was equally as tight and had the Manchester Storm gaining revenge with a 4-2 win over the Sheffield Steelers in their pre-season game at the Altrincham Ice Rink.

The Storm was still missing Shane Bakker from their line up after the forward had picked up a knock last week against Coventry, while Linden Springer was suspended as well for the home side after he picked up a match penalty in the Saturday game against the Steelers. Manchester was wearing their specially designed ‘Manchester Pride’ rainbow jerseys for the match to coincide with Pride weekend in Manchester. 

Play started out with both teams cancelling each out the other, whilst the netminders were left to watch the game and not have any shots being fired at them for a long period in the first. Manchester then began to find some joy and put the visitor’s defence under a bit of pressure, but the Sheffield backup in Brad Day was keeping the Storm forwards out and saw the home side beginning to up the tempo a tad too.

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Mike Clemente making the stop for host from the Sheffield man: Pic – ALL SPORTS PHOTOGRAPHY

As you would come to expect with games involving Manchester and Sheffield, or Lancashire and Yorkshire in any sport for that matter, both sides were showing their physical side as there were some big hits throughout and a couple of bruising ones at that. 

Both teams had some good chances in the game and needed the goalies to make some important stops at both ends of the ice to keep it a scoreless game. With a couple of penalties being killed off by either side, it seemed like the first period was looking to be a goalless opening twenty minutes of play, but the home side had other ideas.

With less than a minute of play remaining in the first period, it saw Chris Auger getting the up ice pass and found himself on a breakaway to put the Storm one up. Seconds later it was 2-0 for the home side with a Dallas Ehrhardt shot slipping by Brad Day and trickling over the line to double the lead for the Storm after one period of play.

In the second period of play, it saw Sheffield without doubt having the better of the play and had the visitors almost making it a one goal game when they had an effort on goal that saw Mike Clemente in the Storm net making the original stop and then somehow managing to make a second stop using his stick to deny the Steelers from netting.  

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Brad Day watches the puck trickle in as Storm lead 2-0: Pic – ALL SPORTS PHOTOGRAPHY

Sheffield didn’t have to wait too much longer for a goal to arrive though, as Ben O’ Connor ripped an unstoppable shot past the netminder and saw the lead cut in half to get the Steelers on the board. Dane Byers then laid a big hit on an Orange shirted player behind the Sheffield goal but the referee deemed it be an elbow and so needed the hosts to kill off another penalty.

Tempered then slightly frayed as Zach Fitzgerald of the Steelers and Storm Captain Jay Rosehill tangled and wrestled each other after the whistle with a scrum at the front of the Manchester nets, and resulted in the two serving two-minute penalties for roughing. New signing Declan Balmer then made a big mid-ice hit on an opposition player to have the home crowd cheering and see the game still being played in a tough manner. 

With the period being mostly in the Storm half for the majority of the second, it was no surprise when the Steelers tied the game up at 2-2, as an attempted clearance fell right to a Sheffield man who played it across to Ben O’ Connor who finished it off to draw the scores level at 34.24.

Manchester had hardly managed to do much in the way of attacking in the second period due to the attacking play coming from the Steelers, but when the puck came to Chris Auger at the front of the net, it then saw the former Fife man on hand to reestablish a one goal lead for the Storm with 36.42 and see the hosts going back in front at 3-2.

As play moved to the third, it saw the home side coming out a bit brighter than they had in the middle stanza and saw them carving out a couple of early chances for themselves, to begin with. Clemente then made a stunning save from point-blank range to deny the Steelers of a goal minutes later.

The Storm then added a fourth goal from the stick of Mike Hammond, with the former Braehead Clan man blasting home at 50.44 to put the home side 4-2 up and all but secure their first win of the preseason. 

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Chris Auger scoring the opener: Pic – ALL SPORTS PHOTOGRAPHY

Sheffield hadn’t given up hope of a comeback though, as the visitor’s continued their search of a third goal of which would have set up a tense finale with their opponents. Storm’s back line stood up well to them and snuffed out their last hopes, despite the Steelers striking the pipework twice late on in a losing effort.

With the goalie pulled for the extra attacker with over a minute and a half left to play, it saw the home side holding out for the win over the playoff champions and give them a boost ahead of their upcoming season. 

Manchester will look to make it back to back wins this upcoming Wednesday night, as the Storm entertain fellow Patton Conference rivals the Coventry Blaze in their final pre-season encounter before facing the Braehead Clan home and away next weekend.


 

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Thunder’s Problems Rumble On As Vipers Strike

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LANCASHIRE THUNDER   87 all out       Hazell 37        Smith 3-16

SOUTHERN VIPERS           88 – 4               Wyatt 46         Ecclestone 2- 19 


Lancashire Thunder saw their win less streak in the Kia Women’s Super League competition continue on, as the Thunder suffered yet another terrible batting collapse at home to the title chasing Southern Vipers in Liverpool, where the Thunder fell to a six wickets defeat to their opponents.

Before the start of play, their opponents the Southern Vipers had only suffered one defeat so far in the competition and that came this past Sunday against the leaders Surrey, to which it needed Duckworth/Lewis coming into play and have them losing out. For the Thunder, they have lost all their games in the competition so far, and have also really struggled massively for form with bat or ball from their side this year. 

From the get-go, it saw the home side on the back foot almost immediately from the off and had the Vipers getting ready to strike at their wound opposition, as the innings seem to have the home side showing a lack of confidence. Lancashire lost opener Emma Lamb early on thanks to Linsey Smith clean bowling the youngster for 1, as the Vipers player would have an exceptional day with the ball.  

England’s Sarah Taylor then came to the crease for the hosts but was soon heading back to the dugout after she hit a ball straight back to Windes International Hayley Matthews for one, which had the home side on 8-2.

New Zealander Amy Satterthwaite made a three ball duck to see the Thunder side three down, while Linsey Smith helped herself to her second wicket of the match. Smith would soon after pick up another wicket for her troubles, as she knocked over Eve Jones for 7 saw the hosts now 10-4 and in desperate trouble. 

Australian Jess Jonassen and youngster Ellie Threlkeld then helped to put on a mini partnership to halt the collapse during the Lancashire Innings and have both steering the hosts past 30-4.

That mini revival didn’t last too long and saw Suzie Bates bowling Jonassen out for 11 and see the Thunder five down. Elle Threlkeld was next to go for Lancs, as she was run out for a stubborn score of 6 and have the scoreboard reading 31-6 and have the hosts in real danger of not making a half century.

Lancashire desperately needed a knock from someone in the middle order to just make it a fairly competitive contest, and up stepped the captain Danielle Hazell, as she tried to rally the Thunder with some brilliant shot making out in the middle. Sadly for her, she saw wickets tumble at the other end with Sophie Ecclestone and Natalie Brown both failing to score and seeing the Vipers putting on a clinic as the Lancashire Innings was coming to an end.

England’s Kate Cross then joined her skipper at the crease with the score at 57-8 and it would need a huge push by the two of them to help post anything that was relatively possible to defend against their opponents. Both batters played some good shots, with Hazell hitting a couple of big sixes and seeing Cross picking up a couple of handy boundaries along the way as the hosts looked to score as many as they could inside the final three overs.

At the start of the final over, it saw the Thunder captain looking to go big and throw the bat but her effort sadly came up short and had Tash Farrant picking up the wicket of Hazell, with Suzie Bates taking the catch to dismiss the England International for 37. Cross was the final wicket to fall in the Lancashire Innings, with the Lancashire pairing running in vain for an extra score to the total and see the England International run out for 19 and have the Thunder all out for a lowly 87.

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Aigburth Cricket Ground, Liverpool

 

The Southern Vipers were set just 88 for victory and it seemed liked it was a pretty much cut and dried thing, with the Vipers seemingly just knocking the runs off quickly. As it was, the Thunder were determined to make it as hard for their opposition while it lasted and were keen to make amends for their poor batting display.

Lancashire started with Jess Jonassen and Sophie Ecclestone opening the bowling attack for the home side, with the hope that they could take an early wicket much like the Vipers had done against them. Sophie Ecclestone opened her spell with a wicket off the first ball, as Hayley Matthews could only loft it up in the air as far as Lea Tahuhu and the New Zealander took the catch to give the home side an early breakthrough.

Chester-born Ecclestone then struck again later in the over to claim her second wicket of the Innings, as the spinner bowled Georgia Adams out for a duck and see the Vipers not having it all their own way with the visitors 7-2.  

However, Southern Vipers duo of Suzie Bates and Danni Wyatt then managed to get to grips with a low bouncing pitch and punish some poor deliveries at times at the crease too. The Australasian connection of Jess Jonassen and Amy Satterthwaite brought the Thunder a third wicket as a reward for plugging again, as Satterthwaite took the catch from a Suzie Bates shot and have the visitors 26-3.

South African Mignon du Preez then played a little cameo Innings for the Vipers before Danielle Hazell bowled her out for 9 and have the visiting side 41-4, with the visitors needing another 47 runs for victory. Lancashire used an entire bowling attack mainly made up of spin, as the quickies were getting much out of the pitch and the Thunder side chose to use spin as their form of attack against their opposition.  

Vipers Danni Wyatt proved to be the match winner in the game with the England International finishing on 46 not out and see both her and teammate Arran Brindle who finished on 19 unbeaten too, as the Southern Vipers eased to victory by six wickets and qualify for Finals day.  This defeat was the fourth straight loss in this year’s competition and see their winless streak moving to seven in a row, with the Thunder’s last win coming against Loughborough in last season’s competition.

Lancashire still have one more game left to play in 2017 tournament, as the side travel down to Bristol to face the Western Storm on Saturday and will be playing for pride and also hope to a build on a battling effort with the ball.  


 

Scorecard:

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Bjerre and Nicholls help Aces Roar to victory over the Lions

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  Leicester  Lions  40  –  50  Belle Vue Aces

Belle Vue moved within two points of leaders Swindon Robins with a 50-40 road win over the Leicester Lions at Beaumont Park Stadium on Saturday night as the Aces took four league points to strengthen their playoff position.

The Aces brought in former rider Scott Nicholls to their side and had the former British Champion top scoring with 14+1 as the ex-Ace stepped in to guest for the Belle Vue captain Craig Cook, who was riding in Russia to qualify for the Grand Prix’s next year as part of the Grand Prix Challenge.

Both sides were missing key riders for the fixture due to a number a reasons and is a real hot topic that really needs to be addressed by the BSPA in the forthcoming winter.

Perhaps with both sides fielding a mix of guests for the clash between two famous names in the sport, that it may have made it a more even contest and that clear by the heat scores throughout.

After a couple of shared races it then saw Belle Vue taking the lead in heat 3 through Steve Worrall and ex-Lions man Paul Starke as the two combined for a 5-1 to put the Aces up 11-7, and that was a lead that they never relinquished in the match.

It saw the meeting being a very tight affair with the sight of seven out of the first eight races all being shared races between the two sides and, have a visiting rider taking the chequered flag in seven of those eight races too.

Heat 5 saw Belle Vue’s Great Dane in Kenneth Bjerre shoved to the back by the Leicester pairing of Kyle Howarth and Kenneth brother Lasse, but the Aces man fought his way back and powered his way under Howarth before pushing his brother and taking victory.

Heat 9 saw a stop to the shared races with a 4-2 for the Manchester side, after Lasse Bjerre was excluded in the race after he fell off and saw in the rerun Scott Nicholls taking the win ahead of Kyle Howarth and have Jack Smith picking up his first point of the match too in the race.

The Lions then responded with a 4-2 from Kim Nilsson and Erik Riss in heat 10 to give the hosts their first heat advantage of the match and reduce the deficit to four points. Belle Vue then returned the favour as they eased to a 5-1 from Kenneth Bjerre and Scott Nicholls to see them lead restoring their lead and increase it with the score 37-29.

In the remaining four races of the match it saw the Aces recording three 4-2 heat advantages against their hosts, with a couple of stunning rides by young sensation Dan Bewley winning two coming from the field.

Heat 12 saw Dan Bewley being held back by Lasse Bjerre and saw the Aces man generating more and more speed to finally come up the inside of the Leicester man to take the win.

Leicester then scored the most surprising 5-1 of the whole meeting in Heat 13 with the Lions duo of Kim Nilsson and Lasse Bjerre getting the better of the previously undefeated tandem in Kenneth Bjerre and Scott Nicholls.

Bewley made sure in the penultimate race of the night that the Aces were guaranteed of victory with a breathtaking ride in heat 14, with the youngster passing both Paul Starke and Kyle Howarth in one swift move off the fourth bend to lead the race and pull away for his third win of the night. 

Another great race in Heat 15 saw the Lions gating on a 5-1 only for Nicholls and Bjerre to pass Riss and relegate him to the back, while the Aces gave chase and have both riders passing Lasse Bjerre for a 5-1 – Lasse though wasn’t done and came right back to split the pair up again with Nicholls forcing his way back in front, and on the final bend it saw the two Bjerre’s fighting it out with Lasse Bjerre pinching second off his brother on the run to the line.


Leicester Lions = 40

1. Kim Nilsson – 0 1′ 2 1 2′ = 6+2
2. Erik Riss – 3 2 2 2 3 0 = 12
3. Lasse Bjerre – 0 2 Fx 2 3 2 = 9
4. Kyle Howarth (G) – Xt 1′ 2 1 2 = 6+1
5. Pawel Przedpelski – R/R (ER-2, KN-2, KH-1, LB-3) = 8
6. Josh Bates – 2 1 1′ 0 = 4+1
7. Todd Kurtz (G) – 1′ 1′ 1′ 0 0 = 3+3

Belle Vue Aces = 50

1. Kenneth Bjerre – 2 3 3 3 1 1 = 13
2. Craig Cook – R/R (SW-1′, PS-0, KB-3, SN-2′) = 6+2
3. Steve Worrall – 1′ 2′ 3 2 1 = 9+2
4. Paul Starke (G) – 3 0 R 0 1 = 4
5. Scott Nicholls (G) – 3 3 3 2′ 0 3 = 14+1
6. Dan Bewley – 3 0 0 3 3 = 9
7. Jack Smith – 0 0 1 = 1


Diamonds Sparkle In Roses T20 game against the Thunder

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YORKSHIRE DIAMONDS: 162/4   (L.Winfield 44, C. Atapattu 41)  D.Hazell 2-34

LANCASHIRE THUNDER: 134/7  (A.Satterthwaite 28) A.Davidson-Richards 3-20 K.Levick 3-30

Yorkshire Diamonds put on a clinic against Lancashire Thunder in the War of the Roses clash at Leeds, Headingley as the Diamonds opened their new KIA Women’s Super League competition with a 28 run victory in what was a pretty one-sided affair.

The Thunder went into the opening game missing their two key players for Roses match in England’s Wicketkeeper Sarah Taylor, who was at her Sister’s wedding and also saw the late withdrawal of Kate Cross from the side too with the Lancs player still out nursing a hip injury.

Yorkshire’s opening batsmen in Sri Lankan Chamari Atapattu and England’s World Cup winner Lauren Winfield saw them moving the hosts past 50 without loss despite being dropped several times in the field by a very sloppy Thunder side throughout.

It was not a great day for a Thunder player in the field and saw them making their task harder against a very dangerous opponent in Yorkshire, but saw the visiting side looking toothless in attack and that shown when they hadn’t taken a wicket at the half way stage. 

Amy Satterthwaite then finally managed to break up the 72-run partnership put on by the Diamonds openers and saw the New Zealander getting Atapattu playing at a shot and see Emma Lamb taking the catch to see the Sri Lankan departing for 41.

Sophie Devine saw her stay at the crease short-lived after Sophie Ecclestone caught the Yorkshire batter out off the bowling of Danielle Hazell for 11 and that soon saw Lauren Winfield getting out after a good knock of 44, with the Kiwi connection of Satterthwaite and Tahuhu combining with Tahuhu picking up her first wicket.

The fall of Lauren Winfield wicket came with the scoreboard showing that the Diamonds were on 100-3 and with some more slack fielding and wayward bowling by the visiting side particularly from Lea Tahuhu, it saw the Yorkshire side posting more than a competitive total.

Katherine Brunt and Alice Davidson-Richards then took the home side almost out of reach for their opponents with some big hitting and powerful stroke play that left the Lancashire side in a spin. The Diamonds duo hammered home their authority with a marvellous partnership of 52-runs before Danielle Hazell then bowled her England team mate our for 31 and saw very muted celebrations by the Thunder captain and side to the dismissal.

The Diamonds duo hammered home their authority with a marvellous partnership of 52-runs before Danielle Hazell then bowled her England team mate our for 31 and saw very muted celebrations by the Thunder captain and side to the dismissal.

Davidson-Richards finished the Innings on 22 not out and saw her helping her side posting a total of 162-4 from their 20 overs and looked to be a very good score on what was a fast outfield. 

For the Thunder, captain Danielle Hazell was their best bowler by a distance as she picked up two wickets for 34 in her four over spell and saw the Thunder needing 163 for victory and would need a great start to chase this total down.

Lancashire responded with a patience build up to their Innings before Katie Levick forced Emma Lamb to play a shot that was caught out by Sophie Devine for 20 and start the ball rolling for the hosts. Evelyn Jones was then bowled by the impressive Alice Davidson-Richards with her first delivery of the Innings for 18 and that began to see the visitors struggling in their run chase.

Jess Jonassen and Amy Satterthwaite were both at the crease and were the two batter that Lancashire pinned their hopes upon if the Thunder was to make inroads on the Yorkshire total, but sadly the answer was no, as Jonassen picked out Atapattu near the boundary to be caught and have her scoring just 7 runs.

Amy Satterthwaite followed soon after when the New Zealander tried to find the gap in the field and could only find Alice Davidson-Richards instead and that saw the Red Rose side four down with only 78 on the board and in deep deep trouble.

Danielle Hazell tried to take the Yorkshire bowlers on and saw her smashing a big six over the ropes as she tried to drag her side back into the game, but a couple balls later saw her stumped when trying to go big again for 10 and it was virtually all over.

Lea Tahuhu came out to bat and saw her the New Zealand International smashed a six off her second ball faced and saw Lancs trying their hardest to stay in touch and put up some resistance. 

Natalie Brown was then bizarrely stumped for 3 when the Thunder player missed the ball and then saw her dragging her foot coming out of her crease and had Nicholls whipping the bails off for the stumping. The wicket saw Lancashire Thunder 97-6 and still needing 65 more runs from their remaining four overs to claim an unlikely victory. 

Lea Tahuhu was brilliantly run out by a great piece of fielding by Lauren Winfield as the England International picked up the ball and took aim at the stumps and ran out Tahuhu for 11 and that was all she wrote for the Thunder in their hopes.

There was, however, some late defiance by Sophie Ecclestone and Ellie Threlkeld late on, as the two youngsters put on a 25 run seventh wicket stand and have the two Lancashire players remaining unbeaten at the end with the Thunder coming up short by 28 runs and open their Kia T20 Super League programme with a defeat.

The Thunder face the Surrey Storm on Wednesday afternoon at the Emirates Old Trafford and will hope to have both Sarah Taylor and Kate Cross back in their line up as they look to pick up their first win of the tournament. 


Scorecards took from ESPN Cricinfo: 

YORKSHIRE DIAMONDS INNINGS

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LANCASHIRE THUNDER INNINGS  

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Colts Remain Perfect With Big Win over Plymouth

BELLE VUE COLTS 57 – 33 PLYMOUTH DEVILS

Another dominating victory for the Belle Vue Colts saw the Manchester side moving back to the top of the National League standings with a comprehensive 57-33 win at home to the travelling Plymouth Devils as Dan Bewley top scored with 15 points in the match and send the Devon side home empty handed.

The Colts headed into the encounter against the Devils with riders missing from their lineup as Lee Payne was still out through injury and saw Rob Shuttleworth unavailable for the meeting and so Mildenhall rider and local rider Jon Armstrong came in to fill the void and wear the Colts race bib once again, just like he had at the start of his career.

Belle Vue’s two young sensations in Dan Bewley and Kyle Bickley kick-started the home side into gear in the opening race, with the duo easing to a 5-1 and that seemed to be the theme for the rest of the meeting. Jack Smith was forced to earn his first win of the night in Heat 3 coming from the back and had the Colts rider blasting his way around the outside of Benji Compton on lap three to pick up a 4-2 with Jon Armstrong and see the home side lead 13-5.

After a couple of races with Bewley and Smith taking relatively straight forward race wins, it then saw the lead being stretched to eight points and have the Devils riders not really getting to grips well with the big fast track at the National Speedway Stadium.

Heat 6 saw a slightly predictable heat advantage for the Belle Vue side though it wasn’t perhaps in the order that you might have imagined, with Dan Bewley being forced to settle for third behind Adam Roynon and saw the surprise race winner being Kyle Bickley who made a blistering start away from tapes and was gone for dust.

Kyle Bickley and Colts reserve Luke Woodhull then both combined for a maximum 5-1 in Heat 8 and have the home side moving past the 30-points barrier and looked like they may hit double that the way they were riding. Plymouth finally saw them picking up their first race winner in Heat 9 with the Devils Adam Roynon battling with Jack Smith and having Roynon edging his rival down the back straight to take the lead and the chequered flag.

The duo of Bewley and Bickley struck again for the Colts in Heat 10 as the Belle Vue riders left the visiting riders trailing behind and being unable to catch them but saw some very good team riding by the youthful pairing too. Another good passing move by Jack Smith saw the youngster flying by former Belle Vue Ace in Steve Boxall and see the current Aces man taking his third race win of the meeting.

Belle Vue recorded their fourth race maximum in Heat 12 as Jon Armstrong took victory ahead of teammate Luke Woodhull and Plymouth’s Benji Compton, with Woodhull and Compton passing and repassing each other for a lap or two before Paul Bowen slid off the bike and find himself stuck under the air-fence causing a stoppage and seeing the race awarded.

With the home side having already won the match by the time Heat 13 came around with the scoreline showing 47-25 in favour of the Colts. That then saw a brilliant race involving Roynon and Bewley for the whole race and looked like the Colts man had done enough to finally win the battle against the Devils rider on the final bend of the race, but Roynon won the war as he powered to the line and pipped him for the win.

Henry Atkins then surprised Jack Smith in the penultimate race of the meeting as the two riders had a good tussle up front which saw Smith passing Atkins on the fourth bend of the opening lap before Atkins returned the favour on the second bend of lap two and see the Devils third race win of the match.

In Heat 15 the home side finished off the night with a 4-2 courtesy of a Dan Bewley race win and his fourth of the night, while Adam Roynon and Kyle Bickley finished in the minor places and saw the Belle Vue side keeping their title challenge on track.


MAN OF THE MATCH: Despite good performances by Dan Bewley and Jack Smith in the match, Kyle Bickley had arguably one of his best meetings of the season and saw him not only picking up two wins, but it was his team riding and gating that was the most impressive in the match.


Belle Vue Colts = 57

1. Dan Bewley – 3, 3, 1, 3, 2, 3 = 15
2. Kyle Bickley – 2′, 3, 3, 2′, 1′, 1 = 12+3
3. Jon Armstrong (Guest) – 1, R, 3, 1′, 3 = 8+1
4. Jack Smith – 3, 3, 2, 3, 2 = 13
5. R/R for Lee Payne (DB – 3, JA – 3, JS – 3, KB – 1′ = 10+1)
6. Andy Mellish – 3, 0, 0, 1′ = 4+1
7. Luke Woodhull – 1, 0, 2′, 2′ = 5+2

Plymouth Devils = 33

1. Steve Boxall – 1, 2, 2, 0 = 5
2. Richard Andrews – 0, 1′, R, 1′ = 2+2
3. Benji Compton – 2, 2, 1, 1, 0 = 6
4. Henry Atkins – 0, 1′, 0, 3 = 4
5. Adam Roynon – T/X, 2, 2, 3, 3, 2 = 12
6. Paul Bowen (Guest) – 2, 0, F/R, F/X = 2
7. Callum Walker – 0, 1′, 1, 0 = 2+1

Wilson at the Double as Mayhem secure Playoff spot in Overtime thriller.

                                                   

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MANCHESTER MAYHEM   3 – 2  PETERBOROUGH PHANTOMS (AOT) 

Two goals by Manchester defenceman Graham Wilson helped seal his sides playoff place in their debut season thanks to a 3-2 overtime win over fellow playoff chasers the Peterborough Phantoms in a thriller at Widnes SilverBlades Ice Rink.

Both teams went into the contest knowing that win for either side would be a huge push towards their own playoff hopes and aspirations, with the losing side having their task made a bit more harder. This year has seen a difficult one for both teams on the ice and for Manchester equally as tough on and off this season coming quickly and after a tough year both teams on the ice this season. 

The games first chance fell the way of the Mayhem side early on, with Anthony Booth dispossessing a Phantoms man at centre ice and saw his teammate Karl Nicholson getting up in support to join the attack and after a quick pass up towards him, the effort on goal was well dealt with by Rob Gaze in the Peterborough goals.

Manchester were the clear aggressors in the game early on and put a lot of pressure on their opponents, to begin with, and had the Phantoms at threes and fours on many occasions. Peterborough then had a man sent to the box for a penalty and that saw more play down in the Phantoms end, but brought no reward to the Mayhem side as shots were wayward.

Forward Anthony Booth then found himself getting behind the Phantoms defence in the game and having a clear route to goal from the wing, but his shot was stopped dead by Gaze in the visiting goals and would be a recurring theme throughout the game. Matt Coleman then had the Phantoms first real sight on goal with a shot at the near post, with the Mayhem goalie Steve Midghall making a good save to deny the Peterborough man and keep the game goalless.

Gaze was obviously in no mood to let anything puck based get by him in the game, as it saw him being forced to make another fine save off Ant Booth, and repel everything to help his side out, as they were coming under heavy fire from the Manchester forwards. Coleman once more tested Midghall in goal again from distance, but the netminder more than equal to it and saw the goalies looking on good form.

With Manchester dominating the play in the period and not having much to show for their efforts, it came as no surprise then when the home side finally opened the scoring with 2.20 left to go in the period thanks to an unlikely scorer.

After a long pass up the boards was taken in by Rob Allen it saw him battling on the blue line before getting a quick pass away to Karl Nicholson, who then spun and found Booth skating down the left wing and quickly made a pass across the face of goal for Graham Wilson to get on the end of and score his first career goal for a 1-0 lead.

Manchester pushed hard for the second goal soon after, with defenceman Dean Laham almost doubling the lead a minute later for the home side with a high shot but the puck just went over the bar of the Phantoms net and saw the Mayhem continuing to swarm all over the Peterborough crease.

Steve Bradley then went close before the end of the period with an effort from point blank range with the netminder yet again coming up trumps for the Phantoms and making a good stop to keep to a one-goal deficit after one period of play.

The second period saw the proverbial ice tilted towards the Phantoms end as the Manchester side came out well on top in the period, but just could not find any way passed Rob Gaze in the opposition’s goal as he was having a stormer of a game. Peterborough was really struggling to find any rhythm in the game and was becoming difficult to force their way back, but with the score line as it was, they were always still in the contest.

Peterborough then struck the goalpost and sent a warning to their opponents that they were not fully out of this game yet, and could still be dangerous when given half the chance. Manchester was carving out a few more goal scoring chances for themselves, but in the process, they weren’t able to convert them and had Gaze proving to be a thorn in the Manchester side. 

As play moved to the third, it saw the Mayhem continuing to dominating and saw Anthony Booth going close with effort inside the opening minute of the period but had it come to nothing.

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The game then began to see the home side starting to look a bit sloppy in their play and make some poor decision making in their approach play too. This seemed to encourage the travelling Phantoms side and saw him inching their way back into the game more and more put the hosts now slowly on the back foot.

It was a pretty stop-start period to begin in truth, with the whistle being blown for a lot of the time early doors. Despite Manchester having more goal attempts than that of their opponent’s, those efforts that they were creating though weren’t too threatening at all and saw the Mayhem unable to find this second goal that you felt would kill the game off. 

With the scoreline standing at 1-0 still in favour of the Mayhem, it was almost inevitable that the away side would strike and make them pay and that is just what happened. Matt Coleman scored the equaliser after a pass to Kieran O’Meara saw him playing it back to Coleman for the Peterborough man to fire a low shot into the far corner of the net and make it 1-1 with just over 8 minutes of the game left to go.

Peterborough had been reinvigorated with that goal by Matt Coleman and saw the visitors now having the play in their favour and tilting the ice on their opponents. The visiting side then took the lead soon after thanks to Matt Coleman’s second goal of the game and came about from the Mayhem failing to clear their lines.

It saw the Mayhem Captain Karl Nicholson unable to get the puck cleanly and got in a tangle and was dispossessed by Phantoms Kieran O’Meara who them played in Coleman to put home at the near post with another well-taken goal and make it 2-1. Peterborough was well and truly having the bit between their teeth now in the game and saw the Phantoms having their purple patch in the game and making it count.

Manchester was seeing their playoffs evaporating before their very eyes and was mostly the Mayhem being architects of their own downfall in the game. Coleman had a great chance to put the game to bed with just under six and a half to play, but the Phantoms man lifted it too high and hit the plexiglass behind the net. 

After such a good performance by the home side for the majority of the game, it was seemingly now looking like their playoffs hopes was diminishing with every second that passed by. Karl Nicholson then skated around the visitors back line with the puck and one on one with Robin Gaze and the netminder thwarted the Mayhem man once more and kept the Phantoms ahead.

With the game having less than four minutes left to play in regulation and seeing the Mayhem needing to score again to tie it up, it had the Peterborough side desperately trying to clear away and defend their precious lead in the game and made for a tense end to the game. 

Desperation started to creep into the Manchester play and when Graham Wilson found himself behind the Phantoms goals he spotted the movement of Karl Nicholson and the captain fired into the back of the net for a 2-2 game with 2.53 left to go. 

The game effectively now became an overtime period with both sides playing slightly cautious in their approaches with the period coming to a close.  With 45 minutes unable to separate the sides, it meant that overtime was needed to find a winner and see who would take the extra point.

Play in the overtime period saw both sides cancelling the other one out and saw Karl Nicholson having the first chance to win the game as he went one on one with Rob Gaze and his shot struck the post and away. Ant Booth then had a half chance as the puck came to the Manchester man but the netminder was once again on top of the forwards to make the save.

Peterborough then went from defence into attack instantly, after Graham Wilson tried to keep the puck and managed to played it straight into the pass of the Phantoms player who went up ice and had Nicholson a the last man which brought an early rising shot and brought a great stretching save from Midghall. 

With playing entering the last minute of overtime, it saw Manchester clearing the zone and set Nicholson away once again and had Gaze making another important save to deny the hosts a winning goal. Manchester kept the puck in the Peterborough zone and when Graham Wilson skated towards the front of the net he collected the puck and slid it past the despairing Gaze for the overtime winner and fire the Mayhem to victory.

The goal sparked celebrations from his team mate and in the stands, with the goal confirming their playoff place next month and have them joining Kingston Kestrels and Cardiff Huskies on September 2nd and 3rd in the Playoffs weekend. 

MAYHEM v Phantoms – Match Highlights  Taken from: Phoben inc


Match Facts

Manchester Mayhem: Graham Wilson 2+1, Karl Nicholson 1+0, Anthony Booth 0+2, Rob Allen 0+2

Peterborough Phantoms: Matt Coleman 2+0, Kieran O’Meara 0+1, Scott Turner 0+1 

League Standings:20622116_751184838394850_1593022791579157778_n