Runcorn & Widnes Weekly News
Champions challenge for Wild’s first
THE YKK-sponsored Widnes Wild will take on defending champions Whitley Warriors when they play their first ever Moralee Division game at Planet Ice Widnes on Sunday, September 12.
Having been one of the leading teams in NIHL North Division 2 for a number of seasons, the Wild have stepped up a division and will be taking on much stiffer opposition this time around.
New player/coach Richard Haggar has assemble an impressive looking squad with a healthy blend of youth and experience and it will be interesting to see how the new-look roster gels as a team.
The Sheffield Scimitars team that Widnes battled with in the recent NIHL North Cup, Three Rivers Cup and Division 1 National Championship Final have also stepped up to the Moralee
Division while Sheffield based Sutton Sting have dropped down to the Laidler Division.
The Wild have played all of their new league rivals before over the years. They played both Blackburn Hawks and Nottingham Lions in the NIHL North Cup earlier this year and have faced Solihull Barons, Billingham Stars and Solway Sharks in the Cup in previous seasons.
They played the Whitley Warriors in the promotion / relegation game at the end of the 2014/15 season, where they lost 20-5 over two legs. However, a lot has changed since then – including the Widnes club winning six trophies – so it will be interesting to see how the new season plays out.
The Wild are also taking part in the Cup competition again – taking on Blackburn, Nottingham and Solihull in their initial qualifying group – and the first of those games is away in East Lancashire on September 11.
SEPTEMBER 25: away @ Sheffield (Cup) OCTOBER 3: away @ Billingham OCTOBER 9: away @ Solway
OCTOBER 10: home v Sheffield (Cup) OCTOBER 17: home v Blackburn (Cup) OCTOVER 23: away @ Sheffield OCTOBER 24: away @ Solihull (Cup) OCTOBER 31: home v Solihull (Cup) NOVEMBER 7: away @ Whitley NOVEMBER 14: home v Billingham NOVEMBER 29: home v Solway DECEMBER 4-5 & 11-12: Cup Semi-finals DECEMBER 18: away @ Solihull DECEMBER 19: home v Sheffield JANUARY 2: away @ Solihull
JANUARY 9: away @ Blackburn JANUARY 22: away @ Sheffield JANUARY 23: home v Nottingham JANUARY 30: home v Solway FEBRUARY 6: away @ Nottingham FEBRUARY 13: home v Solihull FEBRUARY 20: home v Blackburn FEBRUARY 27: home v Whitley
MARCH 6: away @ Whitley
MARCH 12: away @ Solway
MARCH 13: home v Solihull
MARCH 20: away @ Blackburn
MARCH 27: home v Billingham
APRIL 3: away @ Billingham
APRIL 10: home v Sheffield
APRIL 16-17: Play-off Quarter-finals
APR 23-24: NIHL North Play-off weekend MAY 1: Division 1 National Final
TO BE ARRANGED: home v Nottingham TO BE ARRANGED: home v Blackburn