SNL preview: Kestrels eager to start turning draws into wins, Racers eyeing cup progress

Kirkcaldy Kestrels visit Kilmarnock Thunder on Saturday aiming to stay in touch with the leading sides in the SNL.

The Kestrels head into the game fifth in the standings, six points behind leaders Paisley Pirates with three games in hand.

Draws against Dundee Comets, Paisley and Murrayfield Racers have shown that Kirkcaldy are capable of matching the top teams in the league this term, although they will undoubtedly be eager to turn those draws into wins as the season progresses.

The Kestrels are also in action on Sunday when they visit Murrayfield to face the Racers in the Stuart Robertson Cup, but assistant coach Daryl Venters has admitted that the league game is their priority this weekend.

“We’re looking forward to both games – the Kilmarnock game is the big one for us as we chase a couple of league points in a building that is never an easy place to play,” he said.

“Thunder are a young improving team who will make it really difficult for us, but we’ll approach it in a positive manner and we’re confident with the team we have.

“On Sunday we face a tough game against Murrayfield who are coming of the back of a big win against the Comets.

“Although this tie is meaningless for us in terms of progression in the SRC, we’ll approach the game with the same mentality as always and look to pick up the win.”

Sunday’s game is an important one for Murrayfield, with the Racers aiming to take a step closer to the final of the newly-formed Stuart Robertson Cup.

Tony Hand’s side are one point behind the Comets in the eastern group and a victory this weekend would move them to the top of the standings with one game apiece to play.

The Racers have recorded a win and a draw in two league and cup meetings with the Kestrels this season and Hand is expecting another tough battle on Sunday.

“This is a huge game for us – it would be great to give ourselves a shot at reaching a final in our first season back on the ice,” he said.

“The Kestrels were the better team when we met in Kirkcaldy a couple of weeks ago and we cannot underestimate them.

“However, we’re heading into the game on the back of a big 8-2 league win over the Comets and we hope to keep that momentum going this weekend.”

WEEKEND FIXTURES

Saturday

Kilmarnock Thunder v Kirkcaldy Kestrels – SNL
North Ayrshire Wild v Dundee Comets – SNL

Sunday

Murrayfield Racers v Kirkcaldy Kestrels – SRC East
Solway Stingrays v Aberdeen Lynx – SNL

(Image permission: Andy Lee)