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Barons blunt Sharks’ bite

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By Euan Maxwell
Barons blunt Sharks’ bite
STAR SHARK . . . Callum Boyd. Pic: Helen Hobbins Photography

IT was another busy weekend of league competition for the Solway Sharks, and one of mixed fortunes.

First up on Saturday night was a home game against league newcomers Widnes Wild.

Not having met Wild before the Sharks got off to a cagey start, testing their opponents as they slowly took control of the game.

They cemented their control at 17:08, Kieran Hair and Ruairi Lockerbie combined some neat passes to feed Scott Crane, who opened the scoring with a fine strike past Harrison Walker in the Wild net.

The second period saw the Sharks get an early advantage, their powerplay unit taking advantage of a Wild penalty to extend the gap after just two minutes of play.

The always-dangerous line of Struan Tonnar, Iain Bowie and Scott Henderson moving the puck fast between them to beat the defenders, Henderson with the final rocket past Walker.

Taking advantage Sharks struck again a minute later, Henderson feeding the puck to Christian Johnston on the blueline, who picked out Bowie in front of net, and once again Walker was beaten as Bowie coolly sent the puck to the back of the net to make it 3-0.

Shortly after the half-way point of the game the Sharks powerplay unit got into gear, Tonnar and Henderson working the puck to Liam Stenton in space, who shot over Walker to the top of the net and score Sharks’ fourth.

Kieran Hair made no mistake to make it five at 43:59. Sharks were dominant for most of the period, but Wild kept on playing and were rewarded with a goal of their own at 55:46.

Despite being on the penalty kill for the final three minutes of the game Sharks maintained the status quo, and the match finished with them 5-1 victors. Callum Boyd was man of the match for Sharks.

Sunday saw a long journey for the so-far undefeated Sharks team as they travelled to Solihull to face the Barons.

The hosts were first on the score sheet with a powerplay goal from James Smith at 2:50 to take an early lead, taking advantage of a Sharks penalty.

Sharks dug deep and struck back with a powerplay goal of their own through Iain Bowie at 8:40 to even the score, assisted by Jordan McLaughlin and Rick Bentham.

The play was fast and physical, with Barons making Sharks work for every puck. Kieran Hair put Sharks back in the driving seat with another goal at 11:03 assisted by Liam Stenton.

Barons were swift to reply, the equalizer coming at 14:11 from Thomas Soar, the result of a delayed Sharks penalty.

The hosts made a lighting fast start to the second, Soar taking the lead back after a mere 25 seconds to put Sharks onto the back foot.

Barons stretched their lead with a powerplay goal from Soar at 36:29.

Again the hosts were straight into the fray in the final period, Soar scoring his fourth of the night in the second minute of the period.

Scott Henderson pulled one back for Sharks on 50 minutes, with a fine unassisted goal but Barons struck again in the dying minutes of the game, Matthew Maurice scoring their sixth and final goal at 58:57. Liam Stenton was Sharks man of the match.

Sharks are away to Whitley Bay this Sunday. The next home game is on Saturday, October 23 taking on Billingham Stars in the cup.