June 5, 2021

Widnes Wild defeated the south number 1 seed Slough Jets 5-3 on Saturday night to set up an NIHL Cup Final date with Sheffield Scimitars.

Sam Talbot put Slough ahead inside two minutes set up by linemate Sean Norris.  Widnes replied with a goal from their own dynamic duo, Kieran Brown feeding Adam Barnes to level at 3.31.

An errant pass in the Slough zone only found Wild player coach Richard Haggar and he set up Barnes for his second at 10.15, Widnes taking a 2-1 lead into the break.

The middle frame saw chances at both ends with goalies Matt Smital and Harrison Walker at their very best to make the saves.  Smital though could do nothing about Lewis Baldwin’s shot from the left circle which picked out the very top right corner to put Wild ahead by 3-1 on the powerplay.

Slough pulled within one with 12 to play, although Norris was in the box for elbowing, Sam Talbot bagged his second of the night shorthanded past Walker and you sensed the Jets were flying.

Their flight was shortlived however as Kieran Brown’s shot from the high slot deflected off a Slough stick and high past Smital to restore the two goal margin at 48.56.

Brown went full highlight reel for his second three minutes later, pulling the Jets D this way and that before slotting the puck into the net.  5-2 – game over?

Well another shorthanded strike from Slough – this one by Sean Norris – made it a two goal game again at 55.04.  Widnes then took a tripping penalty with 2:20 to play, and Slough pulling the netminder for six on four.

Norris pinged one off the outside of the post, Walker was stopping everything and time ran down on the Widnes win and their date with Three Rivers Cup opponent Sheffield in the Final on Sunday.

Day tickets are available for Sunday at £13.50/£9.50, with NHS and critical workers counted as concessions.  To book online – there will be no in-person sales at the rink – go to www.eiha.co.uk/tickets

Photo: Bailey Templar/5thLinePhotography

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