WIDNES Wild put in a solid performance against higher league opposition Solihull Barons in the EIHA Midland Cup but ended up on the wrong end of a 3-9 scoreline at Planet Ice Widnes on Sunday.

The Wild are taking part in the Midland Cup this season as part of Head Coach Mike Clancy’s three-year plan to build a Widnes team that is capable of competing at a higher level on a regular basis.

As such, the aim this season is to use these games is to gauge the difference in levels of competition between the two divisions - and Sunday’s game will have given Coach Clancy lots of positives to work from.

The game started badly for the Wild with the Barons taking an early two-goal lead before Widnes pulled a goal back with a power play strike from Ryan Kemp on 9 minutes .

Barons edged it up to 7-1 before a plucky late rally saw home strikes from Bez Hughes and Jakub Hajek that helped to give the score some extra respectability. Two more goals for Solihull rounded off a frenetic final 5 minutes of the game and, on balance, both sides would probably be reasonably satisfied with the resulting 3 – 9 scoreline.

The final period saw the Wild outshoot the Barons by 15 to 11 and in the game as a whole, they actually out-shot the visitors by 38 to 37, so, setting aside the final score, it was otherwise a fairly well-balanced and entertaining encounter to watch.

The YKK-sponsored Widnes Wild are in action at home again on Sunday, 20 October when they face more Moralee Division competition in the shape of Sutton Sting, also in the Midland Cup.

Sutton are joint top of the Midland Cup qualifying group with two wins from their two games, along with Solihull, and are likely to provide another strong challenge for the Wild. Face Off is at 5.30 p.m.