Rene­gades put in a top ef­fort to win

JU­NIOR ICE HOCKEY

The Chronicle - - Grassroots Sport -

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

Ross Dou­glass

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