Written by on October 28, 2015

Building Craftsmen Dumfries-sponsored Solway Sharks begin the defence of their NIHL Northern Cup this Saturday as Blackburn Hawks visit Dumfries Ice Bowl for the second time in a fortnight (7pm face off).

he cup competition this season sees Solway Sharks, Blackburn Hawks, Billingham Stars and Widnes Wild go head to head in a round robin to decide the fate of the trophy last won by the Sharks at the end of the 2013-14 season.

Solway go into Saturday’s match on a two-game winning streak having defeated Whitley Warriors 4-2 last Saturday in a much improved performance.

Coach Martin Grubb had juggled his line combinations and the measure paid dividends with four different goal scorers and a solid defensive effort against a Warriors side who hadn’t lost before Saturday.

Skipper Struan Tonnar opened the scoring in the first period with a shot from the right face off circle before Marc Fowley doubled the advantage early in period two.

The visitors responded with two quick goals to level the score at 2-2 at the end of the second period and leave the game in the balance heading into the final frame. Previously this season the Sharks had succumbed in the face of an opposition fight back but this time was to be different.

Defenceman Juraj Senko shot through traffic from the point to restore Solway’s lead in the 48th minute and when Warriors pulled goalie Richard Lawson with 90 seconds to play in search of an equaliser, Duncan Speirs fired into the empty net from his own defensive zone at 58.57 to seal the points for the Dumfries side.


After the game, coach Martin Grubb said: “I know it doesn’t sound a lot but two wins is a streak – we haven’t had that so far this season so we have some momentum to build on.

“We changed things up to try and get a reaction and it worked – I was a lot happier with the performance tonight and that pleased me more than the result in many ways.

“We aren’t getting carried away and we know there is still work to do but we are going in the right direction and will keep working hard in practice and get ready for Blackburn on Saturday.

“Last time when they came here with ten skaters they outworked us and you have to give them the credit for that – it was a performance like we had done to other teams in previous years.

“The Northern Cup is still in our possession and Saturday is a great chance for us to keep our run going and put the record straight against the Hawks.”

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