Solway Sharks U20 are through to the semi-final of the Scottish Cup after recording a hard-fought 11-6 victory over North Ayrshire Devils.
The Sharks found themselves two goals down early on, but battled to level the tie at 3-3 by the end of the first period.
They ended the second session 8-6 in front and three unanswered goals in the final period sent them through to the last four.
Kieran Hair (4), Lewis Houston (2), Ruairi Lockerbie (2), Liam Stenton (2) and Luke Houston were on the scoresheet for the Sharks.
Coach Jamie Kerr said: “Credit to North Ayr, they bullied us for five minutes and deserved their lead. Once we adapted we regained control of matters, out-shooting them by nearly double with our 47 shots.
“We did make some basic mistakes gifting two or three cheap goals, but I know we are better than that more often than not. The important things are progressing, everyone is getting minutes, and we know consistency must increase a lot for next week’s game against Fife.”
Solway’s U12 side have also been in action over the past few weeks, recording a comfortable victory over Aberdeen before slipping to a 3-2 defeat against North Ayrshire.
Coach Joe Coulter said: “The team had another fantastic performance against Aberdeen. The key to getting these athletes to reach their full potential is making sure they have as much fun as they can and they looked like they were having a good time.
“What impressed me most was how humble and respectful they were to their opponents in the post-game handshake.
“Like every game I asked the team to be perfect against North Ayrshire and with the exception of the goals we conceded they were. Credit to our opponents, they have a very talented squad and they capitalised on the few mistakes we made.
“The result is still a tough one to swallow, as I felt our group had done enough to win the game. As a coach all you can ask of the players is to work as hard as they can and that they did.
“We were a couple of bodies short due to the game being within the holidays and had players in different positions. That’s not me making any kind of excuse, but I think it expresses how deep our team’s talent runs that we came so close to topping the league table.
“We didn’t win the game, but the heart and desire those players showed is a victory for the club.”
(Image permission: Copper Tree Photography)