Murrayfield Racers suffer first-ever loss in the SNL competition

Solway Sharks bite hard but Racers can take heart from display

Sunday, 3rd November 2019, 9:07 pm
Updated Sunday, 3rd November 2019, 9:21 pm
Racers battled hard in the south west and, says team chief Tony Hand, learned a valuable lesson

Murrayfield Racers, for whom Sean Donaldson hit the post late on, were beaten 3-2 by Solway Sharks in their Scottish National League clash in Dumfries tonight.

The loss is Racers’ first ever in the competition after the defending champions won the league title in their debut season, remaining undefeated in the process.

Racers director of hockey Tony Hand was, despite the result, pleased with his side’s efforts against a team who also play in the UK-wide National Ice Hockey League, and said: “Solway are a good team. They also play and do well in a higher division than us, so you’ve got to give our guys a lot of credit. We had chances and late on we threw everything at them.

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“If we were just that little bit sharper around the net we could turn these games around, our finishing is definitely something we can work on.

“Last season (in the NIHL North Cup) teams like Solway were beating us by seven goals and now every time we play them we give them a real game, so I’m very pleased with the way we’re going.”

After a blank opening period, Solway goals from Peter Gapa and Jaakko Heiskanen were answered by Callum Boyd and Ross Borwick for Murrayfield. Gapa, with his second of the game, put the home side back in front with just more than five minutes to play, in what proved to be the game winner. Sean Donaldson’s effort that came back off the post was the closest Racers came to picking up a point.

With Racers’ early season focus being on the Stuart Robertson and National Ice Hockey League North cup competitions, tonight was only their second league game of the new campaign, whilst Solway, to fit in with their NIHL commitments, have now played nine SNL league games and maintain their 100 per cent record.