Ice Hockey: Whitley advance

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The Independent Online
WHITLEY WARRIORS' 5-3 win at Durham Wasps in the second leg of their Benson and Hedges Cup semi-final on Saturday was doubly sweet, giving them their first victory at the Riverside rink since September 1988, but more importantly taking them through 18-8 on aggregate to the final in Sheffield, where they will meet Cardiff Devils.

Chris Norton, making his debut for Durham, scored first but Whitley played a tight checking game and also had, in Kevin Dean, a goalminder in form who faced a total of 42 shots on goal but conceded just three.

Cardiff Devils limbered up for the final by beating Billingham Bombers twice in the Heineken Premier Division. In the first game they did the hard work in the first period, taking a 4-1 lead in an 11-8 victory. The next day was easier. Devils won 12-5, but the game was marked by the first league goal of the season for Lee Carson.

Nottingham Panthers, bottom of the Premier after the weekend, lost 11-7 at home to Bracknell Bees on Saturday in a game that saw 10 of the 11 Bracknell team score. On Sunday they travelled to Humberside Seahawks where a 3-1 lead at the end of the first period became an 8-6 defeat, even though Seahawks were without the injured international Anthony Johnson

In the First Division, five of the weekend's six games were all decided by single goals. Chuck Taylor's goal for Telford Tigers, six minutes from time, ended Basingstoke Beavers' 12-game unbeaten run.

HEINEKEN LEAGUE (Sunday): Premier Division: Bracknell 1 Peterborough 6; Cardiff 12 Billingham 5; Durham 13 Fife 9; Humberside 8 Nottingham 6; Murrayfield 13 Whitley 6. First Division: Lee Valley 9 Swindon 10; Romford 7 Medway 8; Telford 7 Basingstoke 6.

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