NIHL North round-up - week 22

NIHL North round-up - week 22

28 Jan 2013 | Michael Black

Solway Sharks claimed the first silverware of the NIHL North season with victory over Billingham Stars in the final of the KD Flavell Welding Specialists East/West Trophy.


Solway Sharks claimed the first silverware of the NIHL North season on Saturday, with victory over Billingham Stars in the final of the KD Flavell Welding Specialists East/West Trophy. Sharks held a 3-1 lead from last week’s first leg in Billingham and quickly moved further ahead through Nathan Salem’s powerplay goal.

The Dumfries outfit stepped up a gear in the second period as goals from Salem, John Connolly and Bob Chalmers gave them a 7-1 aggregate lead. Stephen Wallace pulled one back for Stars, but Adam Reynolds soon restored Sharks’ six-goal cushion. Goals in the final session from James Moss and Wallace again gave Stars a glimmer of hope, but Reynolds’ second of the night in the final minute sealed a deserved 9-4 aggregate success.

The following day saw Sharks return to NIHL1 North action with a trip to face Sutton Sting. The home team had moved up to third place on Saturday with a 9-4 win at Coventry Blaze and were expected to provide a stern test for the league leaders. However, goals in each period from Ross Murray, Salem and Reynolds secured a 3-0 win for the Sharks who remain five points clear at the top of the table.

Billingham stay second after they edged past local rivals Whitley Warriors 3-2. Andy Finn and Wallace put Stars 2-0 up in the first, but Warriors levelled in the middle period through Martin Crammond and Callum Watson. Stars poured forward in the final period and were rewarded when new import Dave Manning set up former Warrior Karl Culley to slot home the winner.

Sheffield Spartans and Telford Titans split the points in their weekend double header. Spartans ran out 4-3 winners on home ice – Ollie Barron (2), Scott Morris and Will Barron got their goals – but Titans gained revenge in the reverse fixture with a 3-1 victory – Karol Jets scored twice.

Nottingham Lions boosted their NIHL2 North title hopes with an 8-3 home win over Solihull Barons. Joe Wightman hit a 13 minute hat-trick to set Lions on their way, though Dave Rogers’ goal late in the first briefly gave the visitors some hope. Gareth O’Flaherty, Stuart Parker and Jose Leon made it 6-1 by the end of the second and although Barons pulled a couple back in the final period, late goals from Luke Branin and O’Flaherty again sealed an impressive victory.

Deeside Dragons kept their promotion hopes alive with hard fought 6-3 win at Fylde Flyers. Steve Fellows put Dragons ahead in the first, but Andrew Clark and Elvis Veldze made it 2-1 to Flyers by the midway point. Tom King tied things up just before the second buzzer and Dragons looked in control when James Parsons (2) and Fellows again made it 5-2. Wayne Whitby pulled one back for the home team after 58 minutes, but Andrew Chappell fired home moments later to seal the points.

Sheffield Senators are still in the mix after a 9-2 win at Blackburn Eagles - Callum Rawson (2), Tom Humphries, Nathan Britton, Steve Weeks, Andrew Chapman, Mike Mawer, Anton Egorov and Luke Smith got their goals.

Next Saturday sees Billingham travel to face Telford, before returning home the following day to face Solway at TFM Ice Arena.

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