Warriors secure derby win

Warriors and Stars need to be separated by the linesmen in the local derby

Warriors and Stars need to be separated by the linesmen in the local derby. Photo by Archie Cattanach.

Whitley Warriors took home the spoils last night in the latest Tyne-Tees derby and stretched their winning run over Billingham Stars to 16 games with a 7-2 success.

Whitley were still without injured forward Jamie Ord, while Callum Queenan and Steven Chalmers were both still unavailable. Adam Finlinson, Liam Smedley and Josh Crane all returned having missed the previous game against Sheffield. Dean Bowater, who came within 20 seconds of a shutout last weekend continued in goal.

In a typically frenetic start to a derby game it was the Warriors who got the breakthrough at 8:49 with a Kyle Ross goal when he scored from Adam Finlinson’s pass.

The Warriors quickly ran into penalty trouble though in what was a game that was on the whole quite clean and devoid of major flashpoints.

Ross Douglass was the first player to go into the penalty box with a hooking call followed soon after by a bench minor for too many men. There was then a coming together between Rihards Grigors and Tommy Spraggon but only the Warriors player earned a trip to the box. That meant three home players in the penalty box and a two-man advantage for the Stars. Whilst Dean Bowater did excellently well to pull off a series of saves, he was powerless to prevent the visitors from tying the game at 12:21 when James Moss capitalised on his side’s numerical superiority.

Once the Warriors were back to full strength they were soon able to reclaim their lead. A brilliant give-and-go move between Phil Edgar and Dean Holland finished with the Canadian-import firing home at 17:40 to make it 2-1.

But just seconds later the Warriors found themselves playing a man short again. This time, Kyle Ross was adjudged to have held an opponent but his team mates killed that penalty off either side of the first intermission. Warriors seemed to gain some momentum from that and were able to score three times in less than three minutes.

Ross Douglass, who seemed to thrive playing on the top line, got a well-deserved goal at 22:07 to cap what had already been a fine performance by the winger. Some good skill from Phil Edgar to keep the puck inside the zone allowed the Kitchener-born forward to get a shot on net. However, even though he wasn’t able to get enough power on his back hand effort, the puck came back out and Douglass was picked out with a good pass from Dean Holland, for the former to score.

Kyle Ross then squeezed home his second of the game at 23:36. Matty McDonald’s initial shot was charged down, before Adam Finlinson collected the loose puck at the high slot and dumped it in to the end boards, where Kyle Ross gathered in, did some good work along the boards, outmuscled Michael Elder before cutting in from behind the goal to fire home at the near post and beat Jacob Hammond on the blocker side.

Dean Holland completed the scoring burst at 25:00 when he stole in behind the last defenceman and connected well on Adam Wood’s excellent pass before slotting home past Jacob Hammond. Stars coach Stephen Foster had seen enough and called a timeout which worked out being a shrewd move as his side seemed refocused after that. The Warriors’ free-flowing attack was temporarily halted and the Stars slowly began to come back into the contest.

Just before the mid-point of the game James Hellens rifled home from Callum Wilkinson but five minutes later the Warriors restored their four goal advantage when Kyle Ross completed his hat trick when he stole in for a breakaway and finished in similar fashion to his captain, Dean Holland.

Shaun Kippin added to the Warriors’ lead four minutes into the final period for his first goal since the beginning of September. Kyle Ross started the move with a wraparound but Hammond made the
initial save. Shaun Kippin in turn collected the loose puck and put it into the top corner on the blocker side.

The game as a contest was over and both sides seemed happy to play out the remainder to a much slower tempo to what we had seen earlier on.

The Warriors could face the Stars a further three times in the coming weeks with the sides potentially meeting in the cup semi-finals and a return league game on Teesside. With a decision still being made on the results involving Deeside Dragons the semi final line ups are yet to be confirmed so please check back on the website in the coming weeks.


Warriors: 38
Stars: 19

Warriors: Kyle Ross (3+1), Dean Holland (1+2), Shaun Kippin (1+0), Phil Edgar (1+0), Ross Douglass (1+0), Adam Finlinson (0+3), Adam Wood (0+2), Matty McDonald (0+1), Rihards Grigors (0+1).
Stars: James Moss (1+0), James Hellens (1+0), Chris Sykes (0+1), Callum Wilkinson (0+1).

Warriors: 12
Stars: 6

Man of the Match
Warriors: Kyle Ross
Stars: Rolands Gritāns