EPL: Hull Pirates finally get better of Yorkshire rivals Sheffield Steeldogs

DELIGHTED: Hull Pirates' player coach, Dominic Osman. Picture: Arthur Foster.
DELIGHTED: Hull Pirates' player coach, Dominic Osman. Picture: Arthur Foster.
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IT may have taken all season, but Hull Pirates were finally able to enjoy White Rose bragging rights over Sheffield Steeldogs.

After seven previous defeats, Dominic Osman’s team saw off owner Shane Smith’s former club 6-3.

It provided much compensation for player-coach Osman after seeing his side slump to an 11-3 defeat at Milton Keynes the previous night.

The derby date at Hull ice Arena had started well for the visitors when Lubomir Korhon put them ahead at 4.23.

That is how it stayed until two minutes into the second when Tommi Laine levelled with a short-handed marker before - just 56 seconds later - Warren Tait put the home side in front.

Steeldogs replied through Lee Haywood just before the halfway mark and then regained the lead through Cole Shudra.

The hosts levelled for a second time through Pasi Salonen at 32.41, with the same player giving his side a 4-3 lead going into the second period break just under six minutes later.

Sam Towner increased the lead at 45.36 before Salonen completed his hat-trick and a deserved win just under two minutes later, assuring the East Yorkshire club of avoiding the ignominious honour of the EPL’s wooden spoon much to the delight of Osman.

“I’m absolutely proud of every guy in that room,” said Osman. “It was a great team effort and we deserved the two points.”

The previous night, Hull never recovered from a dreadful first period which saw them go in at the break 5-0 down.

A spirited display in the second saw them match the Lightning with goals from Nathan Salem, Jordan Fisher and Lee Bonner, but three more unanswered strikes in the third completed a miserable evening for the visitors.

By comparison, the Steeldogs sealed their 24th win of the campaign with a 4-2 defeat of bottom club Bracknell Bees at Ice Sheffield.

It took the home side a while to get going though, with Bracknell enjoying a 2-0 lead through two Ivan Antonov strikes when the teams came out for the third.

But any potential for a shock home defeat was soon put aside when Arnoldas Bosas halved the deficit 32 seconds after the restart, with player-coach Greg Wood drawing his side level just 39 seconds later.

Tom Squires put the hosts ahead at 49.25 before adding his second in the 57th minute to seal both points.

Ahead of the final weekend of the regular season, Steeldogs netminder Dalibor Sedlar, said he was hopeful the club could find the consistency needed in the post-season to ensure a first visit to Coventry’s SkyDome Arena for the play-off finals weekend.

“I’m looking forward to the playoffs,” said Sedlar.

“This short type of playoff makes it hard to say who will win. I think it is better for us than playing a team four or five times.

“I hope we will go to Coventry as we have never been in my time here.”