Warriors had a busy weekend as David Longstaff’s side travelled down to Lancashire on Saturday evening to take on the Blackburn Hawks before a home game on Sunday against the Solway Sharks.
Warriors quickly took a 2-0 lead against Blackburn through Shaun Kippin and Phil Edgar strikes in their opening game of the weekend. However Hawks took control of the game in the 2nd period of play when they netted 4 unanswered goals. Blackburn took the contest by 6 goals to 2 after 60 minutes of action.
Whitley were at virtually full strength for their home game against Solway with Ryan Sample coming back into the line up to bolster Warriors forward options. The first period of play saw both sides create a number of opportunities however Richie Lawson (Whitley Warriors) and Callum Hepburn (Solway Sharks) were able to turn away all the shots that came their way. Struan Tonnar went close for the visitors when he evaded the Warriors defence and got a shot away while Jordan Barnes and Dean Holland were both asking questions of the Sharks rearguard at the other end of the ice.
Whitley thought they had broke the deadlock early in the 2nd period when a strike from Harry Harley evaded Sharks netminder Hepburn however referee Elliott washed the goal out for a player being in the netminder’s crease. Shortly afterwards the visitors grabbed the first goal of the game when skipper Struan Tonnar slotted home with former Warrior Scott Cooper picking up the assist. Warriors levelled the score line up with 26 minutes on the clock when import Phil Edgar found the back of the net with a powerful strike from a testing angle.
As the period progressed both sides were creating numerous openings in an entertaining end to end game however it was Warriors who grabbed the next goal of the contest when Dean Holland applied the finishing touch to a move which involved both Phil Edgar and Jordan Barnes. Seconds after the goal Barnes was sent to the sin bin for a holding mis demeanour, Warriors were able to kill off the penalty though and just 23 seconds after returning to the ice Jordan got on the end of a through pass from Josh Maddock and found the back of the net with a deft touch.
Hepburn in the Solway goal now looked a little shaken and Warriors grabbed a further goal late on in the 2nd period when Phil Edgar fired in his 2nd goal of the game to the delight of the passionate Warriors supporters in attendance. Sharks Ross Murray and Warriors Jordan Barnes then came to blows after Murray had been penalised for interference on Barnes.
The 3rd period began with a Warriors powerplay opportunity however Sharks were able to kill off the penalty and the visitors were soon looking for a way back into the game. Solway were able to grab a goal back through Ross Murray with 56 minutes played as the Sharks alternate captain did all he could to lift his side. Warriors Richie Lawson produced a number of fine saves to ensure Warriors took the points on offer thanks to a superb 4-2 victory against one of the top side in the new look NIHL North Division 1.
Man of the Match for Warriors was netminder Richie Lawson who saved while Sharks best player on the night was adjudged to be forward Stevie Moore.
Next weekend sees the Hull Pirates visit Hillheads on Sunday evening in a game that will face off at 5pm.