SNL preview: Scottish Cup takes centre stage as Kirkcaldy clash with Murrayfield

Kirkcaldy Kestrels visit Murrayfield Racers on Sunday aiming to boost their hopes of progressing to the final of the Scottish Cup.

The two sides meet in the first leg of their semi-final tie and both go into the game in excellent form.

The Kestrels have reeled off five wins in a row to move level on points with Dundee Comets at the top of the SNL, while the Racers remain unbeaten in all competitions in Scotland this season.

Murrayfield have held the upper hand over Kirkcaldy this season, winning both Stuart Robertson Cup meetings either side of a draw in the league.

Kestrels’ head coach, Steven Wishart, believes his side are capable of competing with the Racers and has urged his players to give it their all this weekend.

“The game will be a real test for us – they’re a hard-working and well-organised side who have some good imports,” he said.

“Going up against them is great for our youngsters’ development and I certainly expect us to be competitive.

“We need to be at it from the first puck drop and turn in a strong performance for sixty minutes to have a positive result to take into the second leg at home.

“The boys have worked hard again this week at practice and we’ll go there with our game plan and look to execute it.”

Murrayfield will undoubtedly be full of confidence following their impressive performance against Sheffield Steeldogs last weekend.

The Racers ran out 4-1 winners against the reigning Moralee D1 champions to end their NIHL North Cup campaign on a high note.

They have an important league match at Paisley Pirates on Saturday ahead of their cup clash with Kirkcaldy and defender Patriks Grigors, who returned to the line-up last weekend following suspension, is anticipating two tough games.

“I was very pleased to get back playing against Sheffield and was delighted we got the win – we all played well,” he said.

“This weekend is huge for us – if we can beat Paisley it will put us in a good position for the league, but we know it will be a very hard game.

“On Sunday I hope we can build a lead in the first leg against Kirkcaldy and hope for a big crowd to cheer us on.”

WEEKEND FIXTURES

Saturday

Aberdeen Lynx v Kilmarnock Thunder – SNL
Paisley Pirates v Murrayfield Racers – SNL

SUNDAY

Dundee Comets v Dundee Tigers – SNL
Murrayfield Racers v Kirkcaldy Kestrels – SC
Solway Stingrays v North Ayrshire Wild – SNL

(Image permission: Andy Lee)