Photo Credit: Tom Scott ©
The Islanders season came to a close this weekend with an unfortunate lack of silverware.
The season started slowly for the Isles, winning just four of their first seven matches. The veterans and new recruits had to build chemistry, which put them at a disadvantage going into the season against teams that had played together for years. Plus, with some key players picking up injuries before the season and in the first few games, the team was bound to struggle. The scale of the losses to Chelmsford put the Islanders league hopes in jeopardy early on, but they rallied hard and went on a 15 game winning streak. This put them not only into the cup finals and the playoffs, but also gave them a realistic chance of winning the league. The consistency the team found mid-season was even more impressive given the inconsistency in the line up. Several key players were called up to the Phantoms throughout the season, which meant lines had to be chopped and changed regularly. This disruption however was not exclusively negative. The absence of players provided the opportunity for the Islanders to introduce some junior players into the line-up. The Peterborough set-up is now heavily focused on player development and, as players step up to the Phantoms and beyond, younger players have the chance to begin their senior hockey career with the Islanders. The confidence these youngsters played with this season inspires hope for seasons to come.
DALROD Peterborough Islanders - 2
Chelmsford Warriors - 3
After their defeat the week before, the Islanders welcomed the Warriors to Bretton, hoping to turn the tables and at least postpone the warriors league title. Unfortunately, in a very tight match, the Isles were unable to hold the Warriors off.
The game started in a similar fashion to the prior week. Both teams came out hard and the game seemed to flow. The Isles were denied early on by the quick glove of Phillips, but kept pressing. It was, however, the Warriors that struck first through Brandon Ayliffe 11 minutes in. Sylvester's breakaway pass let Ayliffe in on goal and he unleashed a shot that Lane was unable to kick away.
Referee Will Hewitt allowed the game to flow but no more goals were scored. The Isles went into the break 1-0 down.
The second period started with the Warriors controlling the run of play for the first few minutes but, the Isles composure was regained, when Shaun Yardley slotted home the equaliser 5 minutes into the period. Then, just five minutes later, Nathan Pollard gave the Islanders the lead, after James White fed him a beautiful pass to pick up his second assist.