The BCD Solway Sharks faced the Blackburn Hawks at the Sharks Tank in their final round-robin fixture of their NIHL National Cup campaign on Saturday evening and eventually fell to a four-three defeat.
While the group had been won with a win in Blackburn the previous Sunday this fixture was anything but what might have been expected from a dead rubber and there was plenty of action to keep the fans of both sides on the edge of their seats, especially in the final period. Solway were first onto the score board early on when Struan Tonnar and Stevie Moore combined to create the opportunity for Duncan Speirs (03:47) to fire home the opening goal. It was beginning to look like this score would stand at the first interval until Robert Steetly and Jozef Istocy set up James Royds (127:27) to level the scores.
A tense and tight second session saw both sides battle to dominate their opponents but the only chance that counted fell to Matt Viney (28:41) when he converted an Aaron Davies pass to give the visitors the lead at the second intermission.
For the opening ten minutes of the final period Solway fought hard to level the scores but came up against a robust and determined Hawks defence and fell further behind when Kieran Brown (50:22 SH) collected a Richard Bentham pass to score a short-handed goal.
This blow might have been enough to finish of some teams but the Sharks dug deep and Marek Charvat (54:30) scored a fine unassisted goal before Daniel Abercrombie (56:10) stroked home Connor Henderson’s pass to level the scores at three. Unfortunately that was as good as it was going to get for the home side as a swift break involving Aaron Davies and Richard Bentham set up Matt Viney (58:55) to score the winner.
Man of the Match was presented to Niks Trapans for the Hawks and to Connor Henderson for the Sharks.
Full match video coverage courtesy of Duncan Speirs
Post match interview with Martin Grubb
Post match interview with Sharks Man of the Match Connor Henderson
Post match interview with Hawks Man of the Match Niks Trapans