Whitley Warriors clip wings of Blackburn Hawks

Jordan Barnes
Jordan Barnes

Whitley Warriors travelled across the Pennines on Sunday to take on the NIHL North Champions the Blackburn Hawks in a Division 1 encounter.

The match was slightly delayed as Warriors team coach ran into traffic problems on their way down from the north east of England.

Warriors had the better of the opening action and David Longstaff’s side led 2-1 after 20 minutes of play thanks to goals from the player coach himself and Jordan Barnes.

Hawks scorer in the 1st period was their recent signing Rick Bentham who returned to Blackburn after a brief spell in the Scottish Borders with the Solway Sharks.

Neither side were able to get on the scoresheet in the middle period as the 2 goaltenders on show Richie Lawson (Whitley Warriors) and Stuart Ashton (Blackburn Hawks) saved everything that came their way. Warriors took a slender one-goal advantage into the final period of action as the Tynesiders looked to pick up the two points on offer.

The third and final period saw both sides giving their all out on the ice and it was the home side who were next on the scoresheet when Rick Bentham once again netted for Hawks with 56 minutes on the clock.

Warriors were not disheartened even though the scores were now level and Whitley retook the lead late on with a powerplay marker from the industrious Shaun Kippin assisted by Longstaff and Holland to the delight of the Warriors fans who had travelled down to Blackburn for the match up.

Kippin was named Warriors Man of the Match while Hawks’ sharp shooting marksman Rick Bentham was adjudged to be the home sides best player on the night.

Warriors are in action on home ice on Sunday when the Blackburn Hawks visit North Tyneside in a game that gets underway at the usual 5pm face off time.

It would be great to see as many supporters as possible in attendance as Warriors look to win their third game in succession in all competitions.