The BCD Solway Sharks eased past the Solway Barons by five goals to two at the Shark Tank on Saturday evening to consolidate their fourth place position in the league and strengthen their chances of avoiding an ex-EPL team in the first round of the end of season play-off’s.
From the opening puck drop the Sharks went onto the front foot against the Barons and were rewarded with the opening goal in the third minute when Struan Tonnar set up Duncan Speirs for a shot from the high slot that was tipped in from close range by Stevie Moore (02:21). Solway continued to press throughout the opening period with Solihull, minus a few regular players, content to play a defensive game and hit on the break when the opportunity arose. In the end the scorers were not to be troubled further and the session ended with the home side leading one-nil.
The second period began in much the same fashion as the first had ended with the Sharks mainly on the attack and the Barons content to soak up pressure and hit on the break. However, this plan was to unravel when the home side scored two very similar goals on either side of the midway point in the game. In the twenty-ninth minute Marek Charvat (28:52) picked up a loose puck to the left of the visitors goal and with no passing lane open he skated at speed along the boards and behind the net. As the Solihull defence closed ranks the big D-man swung out in a wide circle that brought him back into the slot from where he fired an unstoppable wrist shot into the top left-hand corner of the net.
Two minutes later a combination of Ross Murray Lewis Houston found Duncan Speirs (31:55) on the back boards to the left of the Barons goal. For a second it looked as if the Solway marksman would slip out near side of the away goal but with the Solihull defence fooled he nipped around behind the goal and emerged to fire the puck home before netminder Brittle could readjust and cover his near post. For the remainder of the period play was fairly even with neither netminder seriously troubled and the teams headed into the second interval with the Sharks still leading by three goals to nil.
The visitors returned to the ice for the final period with a new game plan and it was obvious that they intended to be far more offensive in their efforts to get something out of the game. Quickly that plan was dealt a further blow when David Rogers was called for cross-checking and the Sharks went on their first powerplay of the night. After sustained pressure a Lewis Houston pass found Duncan Speirs (43:14 PP) on the right-hand boards and he wasted no time as cut across the face-off circle before firing home from the slot. To their credit the Barons fought back and when Thomas Soar (47:47) converted an Adam Brittle pass to reduce the deficit to three some hope was restored.
Solway, however, were in no mood to let things slip and Connor Henderson (52:57) restored their four goal advantage when he found the net from the right-hand circle after a slick attack down centre-ice involving Iain Bowie and Jordan Buesa [score sheet wrong and credits goal to Charvat]. Again Solihull refused to throw in the towel and soon reduced the deficit once more when Adam Brittle (54:10) fired home after good work from John Bruce and Philip Mulcahy but in the end this was to be little more than a consolation goal for the travelling support.
The Man of the Match Award for the Barons was presented to Philip Mulcahy while Duncan Speirs received that honour for the Sharks.
Full match video courtesy of Duncan Speirs Snr. Thank you Duncan.
Post match interviews with Connor Henderson, Ross Murray, Martin Grubb, Scott McMeeken and Duncan Speirs featuring our guest interviewer the incomparable Ross McMeeken