Renegades put in a top effort to win
JUNIOR ICE HOCKEY
MARC Steutel paid tribute to those players who carried Team Northumbria to the brink of victory against all odds in Manchester.
However, the furious playcaller admitted he felt let down by officials who ordered off SIX players as a feisty first quarter descended into chaos.
Steutel lost four of his five starters as the referees dismissed Jack Preston, Malcolm Smith, Tom Devitt and Lewis Champion.
Hosts Manchester Magic found themselves without Stefan Gill and Ryan Lewis in the same incident.
Although Steutel admitted his players were not entirely blameless in every instance, he felt the matchday officials over-reacted to a situation which reflected the competitive nature of a fiery top-flight clash.
Steutel said following a dramatic 81-76 overtime loss: “I am so proud of the team.
“However, I am beyond disappointed with the management of the game by the officials.
“To have four of my starting five removed from the game in the first quarter, for responding to unnecessary behaviour from one of the Manchester players, is hard to take.
“After that setback the players left out there continued to battle and apply themselves as best as they could and fell just short in overtime.
“We will reflect on the game and try to move forward ahead of this week’s matches.”
To lose six players inside the opening quarter is unprecedented at any level of basketball.
However, TN responded angrily to Gill’s heavy-handed challenge on Preston - a coming-together which left the latter flat out on the court.
Smith waded in as he attempted to protect his injured team-mate before Devitt leapt from the bench to make his feelings known.
Steutel added: “Technically Tom should have been ejected as he left the bench. Those are the rules.
“However, the officials also dismissed Lewis for the same offence and he never even left the bench.
“Malcolm got mixed up in it all but I have no idea why Jack was ordered WHITLEY Renegades climbed to the top of English Under-20 North League after a 3-1 victory at Kingston Sharks on Saturday.
The Renegades went into the game without Ross Douglass due to suspension and included new signing netminder Ben Gill.
Gill had spent part of last season at neighbours Billingham Stars and had also previously been in the Whitley Bay junior set-up.
The Renegades were quick off the mark and took the lead with under two minutes gone as Ross Traill drove the puck home past Tim Lyons in the Sharks’ net.
It was the only goal of the opening period but many chances did not materialise into goals, either because of missed opportunities or fine saves by either Lyons in the home net or Thomas Brown in the Renegades’ goal.
It was an end-to-end game played at a fast and furious pace, the visitors keen on extending their advantage and the Sharks looking off. He was the victim and was lying on the ground trying to protect himself as players from both sides became nvolved.”
TN must wait to discover whether there will be further repercussions in the wake of the ugly incident.
However, the focus must now be on Saturday’s energy-sapping trip to Worthing. for an equaliser. The Renegades were a player down when the next goal came at 36.29 as Niall Ryder was sitting out a minor roughing penalty.
There were only four seconds left when Harry Barwell poked the puck home past Brown in the Whitley net.
Whitley were quickly back into their stride and with only 30 seconds remaining in the period Traill stepped up for his second goal of the game and fifth of the season to restore Renegades’ advantage Ross Dixon picking an assist for his fifth point of the campaign.
The final period brought Renegades two early powerplay opportunities .
Steutel will look for a repeat of last weekend’s performance, when the reigning champions controlled their game against Lancashire Spinners.
He said: “Overall I was pleased with that performance.
“We had six players in double figures and no-one played more than 20 minutes so it was a balanced effort from the whole team.”
The first was defended well by Kingston but from the second Lewis Crisp tucked away his third goal of the season at 49.34 to put the visitors 3-1 ahead.
Both sides had a powerplay apiece to try to score but were unable to do so.
Victory took the Bay boys to the top of the table, two points ahead of Billingham Stars and unbeaten Coventry Blaze who are the only side who can boast a 100% record.
This Saturday the Renegades visit Sheffield Scimitars at Ice Sheffield (5.20).
WHITLEY Arrows drew 5-5 at Kingston Sharks in an English Under-11 North League clash.
The game was played as a challenge match as the Arrows travelled to Humberside without the minimum number of players required.
The Arrows are next in action this Sunday when Manchester Storm are visitors to Hillheads for another Under-11 North League encounter.
Jack Preston (black strip) was one of four TN players sent off in their controversial match against Manchester