Racers sunk by Pirates – but domestic league is their true yardstick

James Archer scored a double for Hull Pirates
James Archer scored a double for Hull Pirates
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Murrayfield Racers’ struggles in the NIHL North Cup continued tonight with an 11-0 loss at Hull Pirates.

Pirates scored five goals in the both the first and third periods, demonstrating their strength in depth with nine different players on the score-sheet including doubles for Josh Gent and James Archer.

It’s now seven straight defeats for the Scottish National League side in the home and away round-robin competition, and the Murrayfield men, who are widely tipped to step up to the UK-wide semi-professional NIHL next season, return to domestic action on Saturday when they travel to Dundee Tigers.

Racers director of hockey, Tony Hand, said: “We started off really slowly against a very strong team, and that was disappointing.

“Apart from a few poor shifts late in the game we actually performed a bit better after that and created some good chances of our own that we just couldn’t put away, but we gave away some sloppy goals tonight.”

After playing six of their last seven games in all competitions away from Murrayfield, Racers, who were missing a number of key players against the Pirates through injury and work commitments, return to home ice on Sunday, facing-off against Solway Sharks in the NIHL cup.

Hand continued: “We now play in Scotland for the rest of the year. The boys are really excited about playing back at Murrayfield on Sunday as we’ve been on the road for a month now against some really good opposition with half a team missing through injury.

“It sounds like the same excuses, but the teams we’re playing just now (in the NIHL North Cup) are just stronger than us, and we’d even have a tough time against them at full-strength. Injuries are something you can’t legislate for but they’re part of the game. I will always credit the boys for battling but there are goals we gave away tonight that I’d like to have back.”