NIHL: Slough Jets clinch NIHL2 National title with win over Widnes Wild
April 14, 2019
Slough Jets are the NIHL 2 National Champions following a 7-1 win over Widnes Wild at Coventry Skydome.
For the second year running the Sunday afternoon game at NIHL Final Four featured the winners of Laidler and Wilkinson divisions to decide a national champion.
In a nervy first period the teams, who have never played each other before, took their time to settle and few clear cut chances were created before Slough opened the scoring at 16.41 through Sean Norris, a wonderful backhand finish into the top corner.
The Jets took control in the middle frame, and it was Norris at the centre of everything. Slough’s forward completed a hat-trick before the half hour with a well-taken brace before tapping in a fourth at 37.09.
Widnes Wild made it onto the scoreboard before the second break, Chris Gee forcing home from close range to reduce the arrears but the southern champions were having the better of the play through 40 minutes.
An early Widnes Wild powerplay in period three couldn’t stem the tide as Slough forced a turnover and player-coach Lukas Smital set up Norris for his own and his team’s fifth goal at 42.01.
The pace slowed in the third with the game seemingly decided, but there as time for Slough to add with Luke Smital finding the top corner just like his Dad has done countless times, and Liam Underdown completing the scoring four minutes from time.
Man of the match awards went to Danny Bullock for Widnes, and Sean Norris for Slough.
Captain Dan Rose collected the trophy and the Slough Jets celebrated their National Championship with their travelling fans.
The NIHL Grand Final between Peterborough Phantoms and Hull Pirates goes off at 5pm today.