Solway Sharks hit eight past Blackburn Hawks to stretch lead in Moralee league

Solway Sharks opened up a six-point lead at the top of the NIHL Division 1 Moralee league with a comfortable 8-2 win over Blackburn Hawks at Dumfries last Saturday.

Solway Sharks were 8-2 winners over Blackburn Hawks (pic: Helen Hobbins)
Solway Sharks were 8-2 winners over Blackburn Hawks (pic: Helen Hobbins)

The visitors took the lead through Ronnie Grimes inside the first five minutes.

But this merely jolted Sharks into action and they scored five unanswered goals through Kell Beattie, Struan Tonnar (2), Crane and Iain Bowie in the remainder of the period.

The pick of the goals was a superb single-handed goal by captain Tonnar as he went “coast to coast”, beating every Hawk and finishing with style

Also of note was a first senior goal for Beattie, the young Northern Irishman signed to play with the Solway Sharks from parent club Belfast Giants, which started the Sharks goal rush.

The Sharks switched their netminder from Hepburn to give young Euan Simpson his debut at the start of the second – and he was the busier of the goalies, making a top class save with his first involvement of the match.

Hawks were coming more into the match and did beat Simpson through Czech player Petr Valusiak to double their tally..

The final period was more physical and it was no surprise when Murray and Revesz dropped the gloves before both sat down to cool off for five minutes for fighting.

With just over five minutes to go the Hawks were called for an obvious slash and with the Sharks in possession and the delayed penalty called, the Sharks took time to set up, get the extra attacker on the ice, and execute what would be the goal of the night.

Stuart Kerr received the pass from Stenton and with superb stick handling and speed attacked through the heart of the Hawks defence to unleash an unstoppable shot into the top shelf.

Tonnar bagged his hat-trick shortly after to make the score 7-2 before the scoring was completed with another goal from Bowie as Sharks scored eight at home for the second week in a row.

Simpson received man of the match for the Sharks with Valusiak getting deserved recognition for the Lancashire team.

The Sharks now prepare for a semi-final over two legs next weekend against the Widnes Wild.