Watson nets a hat-trick as Whitley Warriors claim 8-1 victory

WHITLEY Warriors ended their home league campaign on a high Sunday evening with an 8-1 win over Telford Titans.

Whitley’s squad was missing several experienced performers as senior goaltenders Richie Lawson and Liam McAllister were both unavailable while defensive duo of Simon Hehir and Garry Dowd who were both ruled out through injury.

Both sides ran into trouble with the officials early on as Warriors picked up minor penalties for hooking and high sticking while the Titans were penalised for hooking which led to a stop start opening period of action.

Whitley got their offensive game going towards the end of the opening session though as Harry Harley broke the deadlock with 15 minutes on the clock.

Warriors lifted their game in the second period as Telford’s small roster tired and they netted four goals with Callum Watson, Callum Pattison and Jamie Tinsley (2) all getting on the scoresheet.

Despite conceding five goals in the opening 40 minutes of play, Titans netminder Ben Hunt made several top class saves which prevented Warriors from holding a larger advantage after two periods.

Just 36 seconds into the final period Watson fired home after some nice work from blue liner Callum Clark to make it 6-0 to Whitley.

Warriors continued to create opportunities and Mark Good scored unassisted five minutes later before Watson grabbed his third of the evening when he lit the lamp after some pleasing build up play from Whitley skipper DJ Good.

Despite being short benched and eight goals behind, Telford kept going and they were rewarded for their efforts when youngster Joshua Hustwick scored for the Shropshire side with under 90 seconds of the game remaining, denying Whitley goaltender Joe Harley the first shut out of his senior career.

Warriors’ man of the match award went to power forward Pattison while Telford’s Mark Asson was selected as his side’s best player on the night.

Warriors coach Dave Holland said: “I’m pleased with the performance, we played well against Titans.

“Nathan Ryder had a good game, we asked him to go back into defence and he did a good job for the team.

“Jamie Tinsley played well too, a lot of our players did well tonight.

“It was a good way to end our season with a good victory at home, we’ve endured some tough times this campaign but we are improving as a side.”

Warriors final game in the NIHL North division one campaign is on Saturday evening (7pm face-off) when they travel north of the border to take on the champions Solway Sharks in what should be a tremendous match up as Sharks look to maintain their impressive form ahead of the championship play-offs while Whitley will be aiming to end their campaign on a high note.

Warriors supporters are reminded that the club’s end of season presentation night takes place on Friday, April 5, at the Seahorse pub, with tickets priced at £5.

All playing and coaching staff will be present and it would great to see as many fans as possible at the event.