ICE HOCKEYWightlink Raiders 8, Cardiff ENL Devils 5
WIGHTLINK Raiders guaranteed themselves third place in the English National League Division 1 on Saturday after a hard-fought win over Cardiff.
Games against the Welsh side are always tough and this was no exception, with Raiders having to come from behind before being chased all the way.
Cardiff took the lead in the seventh minute before Alex Murray equalised just 90 seconds later on the powerplay. Young Kieron Annis gave Raiders the lead in the 12th minute, but his effort was cancelled by Cardiff just four minutes later to level the scores before the break.
A goal just 26 seconds from the restart from Richard Facey, restored Raiders’ lead but again Cardiff responded, making it 3-3.
A burst of goals edged Raiders’ ahead, with Dan Murdy and man of the match Annis finding the back of the net, but Cardiff kept fans on the edge of the seats by scoring again before the break.
The cat-and-mouse game continued in the third period, as Raiders tried to establish a lead and Cardiff kept eating away at it.
Murray netted another powerplay goal, before Facey’s second and third goals of the game sandwiched another Cardiff effort.
A late scrap between Steve Gosset and Cardiff’s Powell added some aggression to the proceedings, as did a brief tussle between goalkeepers Liam McAlister and Mike Brabon at the post-match handshakes, but the points were what mattered as Raiders secured third spot.
Invicta Dynamos 4, Wightlink Raiders 1
Possibly suffering post-celebration lethargy on Sunday, Invicta Dynamos secured the points in Medway.
They opened up a quick two-goal lead inside the first six minutes, and although man of the match Arran Strawson narrowed the scores in the 16th minute, Dynamos netted a goal in each of the second and third periods to win.
Tomorrow (Saturday), Raiders host Chelmsford Chieftains in the ENL Cup. Face off at Ryde Arena is at 6pm. On Sunday, they take on leaders Romford in Essex in their final regular league match of the season.