Women put in a great effort but are unable to weather a late Storm
Streatham Storm 5 Widnes Wild Women 1 THE Widnes Wild women’s team suffered a 5-1 defeat in their first game of the New Year at the hands of Streatham Storm down in South London on Sunday.
The team travelled shortbenched due to an unfortunate combination of injuries and international call-ups and were only able to ice two full playing lines with netminder Rachel Fairbairn playing out of goal to give the Wild women an extra skater.
In view of the lack of numbers – and the long journey down – the Widnes team gave a very good account of themselves and, despite the final score, it was a very closely-fought game throughout with the home side only really pulling away in the latter stages.
In fact, it was Widnes who scored the first goal in an opening period that saw them outshoot their hosts by a mark of 17 to 10.
Belgian international player Leen de Decker – recently returned from playing for her national side in the World Championship qualifiers in Taiwan – fired the Wild Women into the lead with 10 minutes gone on the clock with an assist from last season’s top scorer, Katie Hills.
Widnes were pegged back by a Streatham equaliser after 16 minutes and then fell foul of a checking call – their only penalty of the game – which saw them concede a shorthanded goal with just 30 seconds left to play in the first period.
The second period was incredibly tense with both teams enjoying periods of possession and pressure but neither managed to score.
It was only in the third period that Streatham were able to make their superior numbers count as the Widnes players – quite understandably – began to tire.
Two goals 60 seconds apart made sure of the win for the Storm and a fifth strike with some three minutes left on the clock completed a 5-1 triumph for the hosts.
Looking back at the game, coach, Owen Tennant, said: “The result away at Streatham wasn’t the best start to the year and definitely doesn’t reflect the performance as the girls are very proud of their gameplay.
“We had a very promising training session on Thursday showing that the girls are more than capable to get the win at home next Sunday.
“Again, short lines due to injuries, illness and international duties don’t help, but these things are unavoidable.
“With more players, I have no doubt we will pull off the win this weekend.” ● The Wild Women have an early chance of revenge against the Storm as they play the return Women’s Premier League fixture at home at Silver Blades Widnes this Sunday afternoon. The game faces-off at 5.30pm and admission is free of charge.