Bradford beat visiting Manchester in an epic ice hockey game

The BRADFORD BULLDOGS Under-14s found their way back to winning ways on the ice and with it third place in the North One table – but only after a scare against Manchester Storm.

The Bulldogs had a 7-1 one-stage lead at Little Horton Lane but the visitors staged a spirited rally, coming back within a goal, only for the hosts to hold them back and eventually run out 8-6 winners in the first of three meetings between the two teams this season.

There were just over five minutes left on the board when William Durgan opened the scoring for the home side, set up by Max Lutwyche.

Daragh Spawforth then came on as he doubled the lead to 7.01, although Manchester halved that deficit when Oliver Gotts passed Jacob Midgley in the Bulldogs net.

The rest of the period belonged to the Bulldogs, however, with Spawforth doubling his tally to 12.37 before Durgan broke center ice before shooting past Alice Somerford just over a minute later.

In an equal match, Manchester were unlucky not to be closer to their hosts and fell even further behind when Danny Harrison opened his account at 7:02 p.m.

Harrison then scored a second-half hat-trick, scoring twice within 21 seconds of each other in the 28th minute.

Storm gave himself a lifeline, however, when Bailey Thomas ripped Midgley from the top of the left circle and into the top left corner of the net.

The visitors then set about gradually closing the deficit, moving within four through Leo Cooper at 32.05 before Gotts netted his second of the game just over three minutes later.

Cooper got his second at 38.25 before a Mario Vaksmansky strike really got the home team on edge when he made it 7-6 at 39.23.

But no sooner had Storm imagined their chances of overhauling their opponents than the Bulldogs gave themselves some breathing room when Spawforth fired a rocket past Somerford at 39.37 for an 8-6 lead, to which the hosts hung on for two valuable points in their bid to finish second.

The Under-10s made the long trip to Telford earlier today on Saturday, playing regular opponents Widnes, Manchester and Telford.

As usual, everyone had a great time, with each child having lots of ice time and developing their skills.

Cameron Helliwell received the Spirit of the Game award for the Bulldogs before the teams ended the day with a penalty shootout

Catherine J. Martinez