Warriors lose out in challenge match on Teesside

Warriors celebrating their first goal scored by Karl Culley, right, assisted by D J Good, left, and Dan Harris. Picture by Colin Edwards
Warriors celebrating their first goal scored by Karl Culley, right, assisted by D J Good, left, and Dan Harris. Picture by Colin Edwards

Whitley Warriors lost 7-3 to the Billingham Stars in a challenge match on Saturday evening on Teesside.

The visitors were without a number of first team regulars for the game including Mark Good, Christian Johnson, Jamie Tinsley, Adam Reynolds and Mark Turnbull, which forced them to alter their normal lines.

Warriors were a little short of D men which saw power forward Jordan Barnes switched from the wing to a more defensive role.

Honours were even at the end of the first period with James McCabe grabbing the Stars opening goal on four minutes, with Karl Culley equalising four minutes later with a powerplay marker for Warriors with Daniel Harris and DJ Good picking up the assists.

Whitley enjoyed the middle session of play as Callum Watson made it to 2-1 with a tap-in following a powerful shot from Daniel Murdy on 34 minutes.

Just over a minute later a fine strike from DJ Good made it 3-1 to the away side after the skipper had been set up by line-mates Culley and Ben Richards.

Billingham had the better of the final period of play as they were able to net five unanswered goals by the 56th minute mark.

Warriors then opted to pull first choice goaltender Richie Lawson with back up netminder Joe Harley playing out the remainder of the game.

However, Stars were still able to add another goal to their tally with young D man Matty Campbell firing home in the dying stages of the contest which resulted in Warriors losing out 7-3.

Warriors’ man of the match was goalscorer DJ Good while the Stars’ best player on the night was adjudged to be young netminder Kieron Kerry, who replaced James Flavell in the Billingham net during the course of the game.

After the game, DJ Good said: “The game went really well for the opening 40 minutes and Warriors were the better team, however, we let them get into their stride in the third period and they scored some weak goals from our point of view.

“It has to be remembered we were missing a huge number of players and in my opinion we played the best we have done for a long time in the opening two periods of play.

“Jordan (Barnes) played on D due to others players unavailability and he had a good game back in defence.”

Whitley are in action next weekend in the NIHL North Moralee Conference play-offs.

Warriors face league champions the Solway Sharks in the opening game at 1pm on Saturday afternoon and everyone connected with Whitley will be hoping their team can overcome Solway and claim a place in the final, which takes place the following day.

Tickets for the play-offs can still be bought via www.ticketweb.co.uk/search/Dumfries+Ice+Bowl+Dumfries