Industrious Lions open Cup campaign

This is the first time since the reformation of the Lee Valley Lions that they have entered a cup competition (ENIHL Div 2 Cup) and on the team’s display during this fabulous game it has certainly been a good move. The new-look Lions, while not big in numbers, certainly gave Peterborough – a team tipped to win the league this season – a healthy work-out and caused them a number of problems.

The Lions have acquired Ben Duffy, Simon Jones and ex-Guildford junior, Henry Aiken. All three are extremely hard working players with Ben Duffy combining well with the returning Chris Fox and new Lions captain, Nick Alley. On the evidence of this game this could well be a formidable line this year.

Although it was no surprise that Peterborough had the majority of the possession throughout this game the Lions, and in particular netminder James Tipple, presented Peterborough with a wall of solid defence that the visitors struggled to break down.

Peterborough opened the scoring at 09:31 with Bradley Moure finding the back of the net, assisted by Conor Stokes and Robert MacDonald. However, the industrious Lions were level on 11:04 when Nick Alley scored a truly amazing goal, receiving a pass from Matthew Hepburn and skating from his own blue line up the centre of the ice, staying on his feet after three hefty body checks before shooting high past the despairing Peterborough netminder. The Islanders added one more goal before the end of what was an evenly contested period through Kenny Bavin at 15:04, assisted by Nathan Pollard and Daniel Lane.

In the second period the Lions’ lack of numbers and the quality of the opposition started to tell. Peterborough scored three unanswered goals despite the best efforts of all the Lions, with Kevin Bavin netting his second of the game and and both James Pentecost and Nathan Pollard opening their accounts for this season.

In the third period the Lions seemed to get their second wind and came out with a collective purpose, taking the game to Peterborough. This bold approach brought its rewards at 45:18, with Phil ‘Killer’ Carson knocking into an unattended net after some slick puck movement and a stinging low shot from a tight angle by Chris Fox.

The Lions maintained the high work rate throughout the rest of the period and made a number of other chances. By riding their luck and relying on a man of the match performance by James Tipple the home side kept Peterborough at bay. The Lions’ brave resistance was finally broken at 56:22 when Conor Pollard netted for the Islanders.

The game played with great spirit and on this evidence the Lions could be looking at their best season for a while – COME ON YOU LIONS!