DEESIDE DRAGONS ended their NIHL season in style as they recorded stunning back to back victories over their highflying local rivals Altrincham and Widnes.

A rampant Dragons first put second placed Altrincham Aces to the sword with a 7-4 win to put them out of the race for the Laidler Conference title.

Player-coach Marc Lovell scored twice in the win to treble his tally for the season, before adding another assist to his season totals in his side’s 3-2 success over Widnes Wild.

Speaking after the two wins to end the season, Lovell said: “What an excellent way to end the season!

“In Altrincham, we played really well for most of the game. It probably should have ended 7-2 but then they made the most of a powerplay before we gifted them another one.

“Then we soaked up a lot of pressure against Widnes, especially in the second period of the game which was probably the worst we played all weekend.

“Mike (Rogers) has played well when he’s been picked, and he made some good saves to keep us in the game against Widnes.

“We were out-shot in both of the games, but we took our chances when they came.

“It’s nice to finish on a high by winning both of those games and it will be good now to have a bit of a break before we think about what we’ll do for next season.”

Chris Keating made the most of a powerplay as he struck his 22nd goal of the season to open the scoring 15 minutes into their game against Altrincham.

Charlie Spridgeon then set up James Shaw to double Deeside’s advantage soon after to put their team 2-0 up at the end of a first period where the Dragons netminder Mike Rogers made 26 saves to keep the hosts out.

Alex Parry helped captain James Parsons make it 3-0 minutes after the restart before Daniel Berry pulled one back for the home side.

Billy Perks claimed the assist for Cameron Kushnirenko’s strike which came seconds before the interval to put the Dragons 4-1 up going into the final 20 minutes.

Jordan Holland gave Altrincham hope with his goal six seconds after the restart, but the Deeside youngsters Shaw and Spridgeon combined well to work the puck to the experienced Marc Lovell who scored his second of the season.

Gavin Austin and Chris Keating were then involved in a neat move which ended up with Simon Furnival making it 6-2 to the visitors two minutes later.

Lovell scored his second of the game in the 53rd minute after he was picked out by Karl Bacon to make it 7-2 and seemingly secure the victory.

But Andrew Hopkins and Joe Wyatt both scored within 20 seconds of one another to set up a tense finale at 7-4 with two minutes to go.

Deeside held on for the win, though, and took their commanding performance into their home clash with Widnes the next day as Lovell set up Parsons to fire the Dragons ahead early on.

However, the defending NIHL Laidler Conference champions equalised in the dying seconds of the first period through Matt Tarpey’s strike.

Chris Jones and Matthew Wainwright both combined in a move which saw James Shaw put the Dragons ahead again with his 22nd goal of the season after 25 minutes.

But Widnes hit back immediately once again as Thomas Jackson made it 2-2 a little over a minute later.

A cagey affair saw neither side find the net again, with Mike Rogers making a stunning 16 saves in the final period to keep the hosts on level terms before Simon Furnival set up none other than the prolific James Parsons to score the winner with his 33rd strike this season.

The two wins have left the Dragons with a sixth place finish, while also ending Altrincham’s hopes of claiming the league title and putting a severe dent into Widnes’ hopes of retaining their crown.

Despite losing 5-3 against fourth placed Bradford Bulldogs, Hull Jets are still four points clear at the top of the table with three games to go and just one victory away from winning the league.

In the only other fixture over the weekend, Telford Tigers recorded a 7-2 win at Blackburn Hawks Two.