SNL preview: Kirkcaldy eyeing Scottish Cup progress against Solway

Kirkcaldy Kestrels face Solway Stingrays in a double-header this weekend aiming to book their place in the last four of the Scottish Cup.

The two sides meet at Fife Ice Arena on Saturday, before going head-to-head at Dumfries Ice Bowl the following day.

The Kestrels battled to a 5-5 draw against Dundee Comets in the SNL last weekend and defender Marty Simpson believes the team are edging nearer to their best form.

“We’re looking forward to our double-header with Solway where we will be looking to progress to the semi-final stage,” he said.

“Practice tempo has been intense – everyone has bought into the new systems being implemented and we’re really close to putting it all together on a consistent basis.

“The team bonding and morale has been great this season and that coupled with the desire to be the best we can be will see us use our game plan to good effect in both games.

“Solway will be a difficult test, but we’ll be ready to put what we practice into the games and be successful.”

Telford Tigers’ forward Scott McKenzie has backed the reborn Murrayfield Racers to recapture their former glories.

The Racers returned to the sport this season to play in the Scottish National League in addition to icing in the NIHL North Cup.

They are unbeaten in the league and cup in Scotland, but are yet to pick up a point against their Moralee D1 counterparts and were beaten at home by the Tigers last weekend.

The two sides are due to meet again in Telford this Saturday and McKenzie, who represented Scotland at junior level, is looking forward to facing a club he has a great affinity with.

“As a young lad the very first team my parents supported was Murrayfield Racers,” he said. “They were huge fans and naturally as a young kid I grew up watching the Racers and eventually getting on the ice.

“I suppose I feel like the main reason for me playing ice hockey is down to this passion and excitement that the Racers brought to not only me, but my parents in the late 1980s. The fact that they are back and I am able to compete against them is a pretty cool thing.

“It’s going to take time for the club to grow, but the history of the Racers name is unquestionable. The opportunity to grow and become as big as they were is obviously there for everyone to see. It will be interesting to see how it all unfolds.”

WEEKEND FIXTURES

Saturday

Dundee Tigers v Aberdeen Lynx – SRC East
Kilmarnock Thunder v Paisley Pirates – SNL
Kirkcaldy Kestrels v Solway Stingrays – SC
Telford Tigers v Murrayfield Racers – NIHL Cup

Sunday

Paisley Pirates v Dundee Tigers – SNL
Solway Stingrays v Kirkcaldy Kestrels – SC

(Image permission: Andy Lee)