Solway Sharks youngsters narrowly edged out by Belfast Junior Giants

Solway Sharks U12 team welcomed Belfast Junior Giants to Dumfries last weekend for a league and Scottish Cup double game.

The visitors took the lead after 10 minutes, but Solway refused to let that affect them and were rewarded for their numerous attempts on goal when Cassie McGregor sent a Ben Armstrong pass to the back of the net to tie things up just before the first buzzer.

Belfast stepped things up in the middle session, scoring in twice in quick succession to move into a 3-1 lead. The home side regrouped at the break and narrowed the gap to one early in the third period through Tomas Vyrostek.

Solway continued to dominate, but Belfast pounced on a defensive lapse and pulled another goal ahead. McGregor scored again with eight seconds remaining, but Belfast held on to secure a 4-3 victory.

Solway coach Craig Jackson said: “The game got off to a good start and we competed well. We were unfortunate to go behind early on in the first period, but we kept plugging away seeing shots going everywhere bar the back of the net.

“During the second period we lost our shape and appeared to forget about the basics we’d discussed in the changing room prior to the game.

“The third period saw us get back on track and, the same as in the first, we created plenty of chances without hitting the back of the net. We eventually got a goal back to make it 3-2, but then a mistake defensively saw that gap quickly become two again.

“We kept pushing and eventually got the third goal we deserved. There were some hard lessons to be learned for the young Sharks this weekend. Simple basic mistakes have seen us go out of the Scottish Cup at an early stage and lose out on two vital league points.”

Solway Sharks Juniors are actively recruiting new players at all age groups. Anyone interested in playing ice hockey should contact Dumfries Ice Bowl for details of Learn to Play sessions on Tuesday and Thursday at 4.00pm and Saturday mornings at 10.30am.