Murrayfield Racers ready for Kilmarnock Thunder after a Christmas rest

Tony Hand looks towards a tough January schedule

Friday, 27th December 2019, 5:09 pm
Updated Friday, 27th December 2019, 5:13 pm
Murrayfield Racers won the Stuart Robertson Cup for the second time at the weekend
Murrayfield Racers won the Stuart Robertson Cup for the second time at the weekend

Murrayfield Racers director of hockey, Tony Hand, believes plenty of rest over the Christmas period has been just the tonic for his players ahead of “key battles in January” and tomorrow’s Scottish Cup quarter-final with Kilmarnock Thunder at Murrayfield (face-off 6pm.

Having already recorded two 20-plus goal victories over a poor Thunder team this season, tomorrow’s match will be a one-sided affair, however with three huge games against Solway Sharks around the corner, at Murrayfield on league business, and a two-legged semi-final tie in the NIHL North Cup, it is understandable Racers will be looking to ramp-up their game in the coming weeks.

Hand said: “We’ve actually had a quite a bit of rest leading up to this game, just with our practice days falling on Christmas eve and boxing day, so we’ve given the guys some time off. I don’t think it’s good to be doing too much this time of year anyway, the guys are already sacrificing enough throughout the course of the season, so it’s good for them to have this time to spend with family and friends.”

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Tomorrow’s match will be Racers’ first game since last week’s comprehensive 14-6 aggregate victory over Dundee Comets in the Stuart Robertson Cup final and Hand continued: “It’s always nice to win something mid-season, it gets a real feelgood factor around the team and the club. We had our Christmas night out planned that night as well, so it was nice for the players to go out together and celebrate.

“Looking ahead, we have a number of key-battles in January, we play Solway three times and we know they will be unbelievably tough to beat, we have to be at the top of our game by the middle of next month if we are to have success in other competitions.”