The BCD Solway Sharks completed their home fixtures for 2017 at the Shark Tank on Saturday evening with a comfortable five-two victory over a strangely subdued Billingham Stars to ensure that they will spend Christmas in fourth place in the NIHL North Division 1.
After a promising start for the Sharks the visitors took the lead in the fifth minute against the run of play when Michael Elder (04:40 PP) was in the right place to prod home from close range on a powerplay after good work from Chris Sykes and Jack Davies. Luckily for the Sharks that proved to be the wake up call that they needed as they proceeded to run in three goals without reply to take a convincing lead into the first interval. Firstly Daniel Abercrombie (06:18 PP) equalised with powerplay goal when he collected a Vaclav Kolarik pass and swept the puck home from the right-hand face-off circle. Within a minute the Sharks were ahead when a Scott Cooper pass sent Stevie Moore (07:02) clear through the middle and he gave James Flavell in the Billingham goal no chance with a delightful wrist shot. Goal number three saw James Hutchinson and Duncan Speirs combine to set up Stevie Moore (13:12) to shoot from the right-hand circle and while Flavell was able to block the initial shot he was helpless to stop the Solway forward collect the rebound and score at the second attempt.
The second period was mostly controlled by the Sharks with Billingham, obviously low on confidence, reduced to pressing on the breakaway. The only goal of the session came in the thirty-eight minute when Marek Charvat collected a Stevie Moore pass on the left and teased the visitors defence before laying off the perfect drop pass for Duncan Speirs (37:49) to fire home the Sharks fourth goal.
The final period began promisingly for Solway when Scot Cooper and Stevie Moore combined well on the right to set up the ever improving Stuart Kerr (42:39) to score from the face-off circle with a powerful wrist shot. This could have signalled a goal feast from the home side but unfortunately this never developed and gradually Billingham began to fight their way back into the game. In the end the only other score in this fixture was to be a consolation goal for the visitors when dogged play from Arturs Ozols and Matthew Elder allowed Chris Sykes (50:28) to prod the puck home from close range.
The Man of the Match Awards were presented to Chris Sykes for the visitors and to Calum Hepburn for the Sharks.
Watch action from the BCD Solway Sharks NIHL Division 1 North (Moralee) five-two victory over the Billingham Stars last Saturday.
Full match video coverage courtesy of Duncan Speirs
Post match interview with James Hutchinson and Kyle Horne