Sharks back in the groove after 18-month absence

Solway Sharks Juniors recently returned to action after an 18-month absence due to COVID-19 restrictions.

The U16s team welcomed opposition from Lanarkshire, Belfast and Whitley Bay for the annual Galloway Cup ice hockey tournament.

The tournament had special significance this year, with the organisers naming it in memory of coach Craig Jackson who tragically passed away last year and who was very much part of the Solway family.

Solway eventually claimed the trophy after an entertaining event, with goals by Kyle Carruth and Ajay Turner securing a 2-0 victory over Lanarkshire in the final.

Sharks coach Jamie Thomson said: “Considering the break these kids have had since their last games, they were exceptional – to be honest, I don’t really have words to do them justice.

“Each player played their part and gave everything they had to make sure they kept the cup at home.

“I am so proud of every one of them and have no doubt this crop of players will continue to bring success to the Ice Bowl for years to come.”

Thomson also played a key role alongside head coach Martin Grubb in organising a club event involving Sharks players from past and present.

They aimed to raise funds for a prostate cancer charity as part of the first-ever Solway Sharks Alumni weekend and featured a host of players with strong ties to Dumfries Ice Bowl.

These included Robert Chalmers, Mark Gallagher and Bari McKenzie, while Duncan Spiers, Liam Stenton and Lewis Houston added some youth to proceedings.

“For years, players have dedicated their time and efforts to the club, and once they retire it’s like they are forgotten,” added Thomson.

“During Covid we discussed this and wanted to bring everyone back together in the hope that we would not only have this as an annual event but see more of our former staff and teammates at our games the way it should be, as they will always be part of our club.

“The new management have been fantastic in support of this.

“Due to the generosity of the spectators at the game, we raised more than £400 for charity – a huge thanks to all who came along and donated.”

Solway Sharks are currently recruiting players at all age groups. For details of learn to play ice hockey sessions, please contact Dumfries Ice Bowl on 01387 251300.

(Image permission: Helen Hobbins Photography)