Raiders frustrated by London namesakes

By Clare Newman

Friday, February 21, 2014



IT WAS a very frustrating weekend of ice hockey for the Wightlink Raiders last weekend.

Against just 11 players from London Raiders, the Islanders slumped to a shock away defeat in the league and then, against the same opposition the next night at Ryde Arena, the match was abandoned thanks to a freak accident.

On Saturday night, in London, Raiders were undone by the short-benched but determined hosts, who came from 3-1 down to win 6-4.

Raiders opened the scoring after, remarkably, only eight seconds when Jeremy Cornish scored with assists from Craig Tribe and Simon Hobbis, though it took another 16 minutes for them to double their lead, through Nathan Taylor.

London scored the only goal of the second period, at 26.58, before a flurry of goals in the final session. Alex Barker’s unassisted goal restored the two-goal cushion, before London began their assault. Three goals in eight minutes gave them the lead for the first time and they then extended it to two, with a shorthanded effort three minutes from time. Steven Osman netted on the powerplay seconds later, and then Raiders pulled their netminder to try to score an equaliser.

However, London scored into the empty net instead, to take the points and send Raiders down to third in NIHL Division 1 South.

On Sunday night, in the South East Trophy, Raiders were keen to make amends.

And their cause was hugely helped when London turned up with just six skaters and one netminder, a transportation problem leaving half the squad stranded on the mainland.

Raiders showed no mercy, however, and romped to a double-figures lead by the end of the second period before a slapshot hit London netminder Michael Gray on the head, leaving his helmet broken and him seeing stars.

With no back-up netminder officials had no choice to abandon the game. It is understood the result will stand.

Goals were scored by man of the match Richard Nembhard, two, Nathan Taylor, three, Osman, two, Barker, Richard Facey and Matt Vizzari.

This weekend the Raiders have only one match, away at Streatham Redskins tomorrow (Saturday). Their next home match is the NIHL Cup semi-final first leg against Chelmsford Chieftains, at Ryde Arena next Saturday, March 1.

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