Ice Hockey: Durham raided by Pirates

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The Independent Online
THERE were times when teams just turned up at Durham Wasps' rink to lose. No longer: the once omnipotent blue machine is now being beaten regularly at home with possibly the final insult coming from the basement club, Peterborough Pirates, on Sunday.

Pirates arrived with goal- minder Scott O'Connor in superb form and their import, Cam Plante, back from injury. Plante celebrated his return with one of the seven goals without reply which gave Pirates their first win in nine Heineken Premier Division games and their first win at Wasps in 26 visits. Wasps remain seventh in the League, a most unusual position.

One above them are Nottingham Panthers who lost 7-5 to second-placed Murrayfield Racers. The Panthers game was marked by three goals from Ashley Tait and one from Marc Twaite, teenagers recently given their head by the coach, Kevin Murphy, who are repaying the faith shown in them.

Cardiff Devils kept their lead at the top of the table with an 8-2 dismissal of Humberside Seahawks. At the end of the first period it was 2-2 but the rest was all Devils, largely because of the form of their defenders, Shannon Hope and Stephen Cooper.

In the First Division, Basingstoke Beavers pulled away from second-placed Sheffield Steelers with a 9-5 win in front of a crowd of 9,000 in Sheffield. Steelers hardly helped themselves. Tommy Plommer received a 14- minute penalty for unsportsmanlike conduct allowing Russ Parent to take a power-play goal giving Beavers a 3-2 lead at the end of the first period. In the third period Sheffield's leading scorer was dismissed for spearing and Beavers scored five to emphasise their superiority and extend their lead over Steelers to 12 points.

HEINEKEN PREMIER DIVISION (Sunday): Bracknell 3 Whitley 5; Durham 3 Peterborough 8; Fife 6 Billingham 5; Humberside 2 Cardiff 8; Murrayfield 7 Nottingham 5. First Division (Sunday): Lee Valley 2 Telford 15; Medway 4 Swindon 6; Romford 8 Slough 9; Sheffield 5 Basingstoke 9.