Last year the U18(2)s started their season with just nine players; this year, a full roster!
Debutants for the team on the day were Charles Molsom, Lara Meldrum, Jack Hopkins, Sami Grainger, Ryan Mansfield and Aidan Cox.
Grimsby flu had for once worked in our favour and the visitors arrived under strength due to illnesses. Nevertheless, they brought players with serious offensive threat and it is a credit to the Jaguars team that this was neutralised on all but two occasions.
The scoreline is great, but the most pleasing aspect was seeing the players put into action the very things that Coach Kimber had been practising with them for weeks.
Ryan Mansfield produced a stellar goaltending display in his first game at the U18s level, posting a pro-level save percentage of nearly 91%.
Although our guest players (Jack Hopkins, Ellis Ricci and Ryan Merryweather) showed their class by posting 17 points between them, the points scoring from our regular U18s was spread throughout the team:
Madison Wright (1+0); Ellis Hatton (1+0); Joel Catley (2+1); Sami Grainger (1+1); Alfie Clarke (0+2); James Kimber (0+1); Kieran Clark (0+2); James Beasley (1+0); Aidan Cox (1+0); Tom Dalton (2+0).
Every player in the team performed strongly and there were some magical moments of skill to loud applause from the bench (you know who you are…. Harvey Worthington!!).
Praise must also go to Grimsby, who never gave up and competed fiercely throughout.
In spite of many possible candidates, Man of the Match went to Ryan Mansfield for his brilliant performance between the pipes.
Prior to the game coach Kimber had announced Mac Stevenson as this year’s team Captain.
He will be assisted by James Kimber and Madison Wright.
Nottingham Jaguars U18(2) 18
Grimsby Redwings U18 2