Whitley Warriors play off campaign got underway on Saturday evening when David Longstaff’s team took on the Telford Tigers in the quarter final of the Championship Play Offs in NIHL North Division 1 on home ice. Warriors were able to name a strong squad for the game including the likes of Harry Harley, Ben Richards and Dan Pye in their line up however the influential Jordan Barnes unfortunately had to miss the game through suspension.
Telford were able to take the lead just a minute into proceedings when Adam Taylor fired home for the visitors. Tigers increased their lead 8 minutes later when their import forward and captain Jason Silverthorn grabbed his side’s 2nd goal of the contest. The middle period of play saw Tigers grab further strikes as player/coach Tom Watkins and experienced forward Rick Plant both found the back of the net.
Warriors Callum Watson and Tigers Jason Silverthorne came to blows in the middle session of play with referee David Emmerson handing out 4 minutes in penalties to both players for their altercation. Whitley grabbed their first goal of the game on 43 minutes when Dean Holland got the better of Denis Bell in the visitors net with Josh Maddock and Phil Edgar picking up the assists on the strike.
Tigers Jack Watkins was able to restore the visitors 4 goal cushion shortly afterwards when he fired past Richie Lawson in the Warriors goal. Whitley continued to create openings though and Canadian sharp shooter Phil Edgar found the back of the net with a powerplay marker with 50 minutes played, skipper Dean Holland and blue liner Sam Zajac picking up the assists.
Dean Holland was chosen as Warriors Man of the Match while Jason Silverthorn was selected as the visitor’s best player over the 60 minutes of action at Hillheads.
Whitley were due to travel down to Telford for the 2nd leg of the play off quarter final on Sunday evening however due to the poor weather conditions Warriors were unable to make the journey down to Shropshire for the tie. Unfortunately with the semi finals of the play off programme scheduled for next weekend there is no time to rearrange the 2nd leg match up meaning that Telford progress to the semi finals thanks to their victory in Whitley Bay on Saturday evening.