U-16s open home campaign with a win

Wednesday, 21st March 2007

Phoenix 3 - 1 Nottingham Lynx

After six and a half long months, the U-16s' finally got their home campaign underway last Sunday. The team's ambition of reaching a promotion playoff berth meant there was no longer any margin for error, and only two points against the visitors from Nottingham would do.

With both sides eager to impress, their ambition appeared to cancel out each other's efforts. Phoenix struggled to dominate a first period littered with wasted opportunities. Neither team managed much flowing hockey, but despite the scrappiness, it was end-to-end stuff with plenty of close calls to keep a crowd of over a hundred in the Altrincham Ice Dome entertained.

In a performance more determined than passionate, the deadlock wasn't broken until well into the second half of the game. Two Under-14 players, Jordan Bannon and Paul Swindlehurst provided the assists for Josh Healey to fire Phoenix into the lead at 25'08". Five minutes later it was the turn of the Sims/Dakin/Greaves line to trouble the scoreboard operator, with Harry Sims converting past Jacob Steeples in the Lynx net.

The final period opened with Phoenix lucky to escape a series of goalmouth scrambles. Despite being marginally outshot by the visitors, Manchester seemed relatively untroubled by a Nottingham side that lacked incisive finishing. Five minutes into the period, Swindlehurst added to his points tally with an unassisted goal that effectively ended the match as a contest. Nottingham had other ideas, however, and hit back with a consolation marker from Daniel Rose in the final three minutes. Phoenix remained in the driving seat to pick up the points knowing that future performances will need to be more convincing if they are to become serious promotion contenders.

Paul Swindlehurst 1 + 1
Josh Healey 1 + 0
Harry Sims 1 + 0
Jordan Bannon 0 + 1
Conner Dakin 0 + 1
Joe Greaves 0 + 1

Adam Grisdale 1 / 25

MVP Jack Sweet