Spirited Whitley Warriors lose out to Solway Sharks

Warriors and Sharks pushing and shoving after a save by the Sharks netminder. Picture by Colin Edwards
Warriors and Sharks pushing and shoving after a save by the Sharks netminder. Picture by Colin Edwards

Whitley Warriors were beaten in the Scottish Borders on Saturday evening as Solway Sharks secured a 6-3 win in the NIHL North Cup.

The North Tyneside outfit were captained by Jordan Barnes as club skipper Dean Holland was unavailable for the trip up to Dumfries.

Whitley trailed 1-0 after the opening 20 minutes, however, they did get on the scoresheet twice in the second period through Barnes and the in-form Ben Richards.

But player-coach David Longstaff’s side were 4-2 down after two periods of action.

Despite the deficit, Warriors still believed they were very much in the game as they were generating almost the same number of efforts on goal as the top of the table Sharks.

Whitley opted to give their young goaltender Jordan Boyle some ice time in the third period as the youngster replaced Richie Lawson after 40 minutes of action.

The final period saw Solway increase their lead to 6-2 through strikes from captain Struan Tonnar and experienced forward Marc Fowley before a late powerplay effort from Ben Richards saw Warriors reduce the deficit to 6-3 with only 24 seconds left in the game.

There was a late altercation on the ice when Solway’s Darren Stattersfield and Warriors’ Barnes dropped the gloves.

Both players were given fighting penalties by the officials while Stattersfield also received 12 minutes in penalties for checking a Warriors player from behind.

Warriors are in cup action once again on Saturday evening when they travel to Blackburn to face the Hawks before a game against Billingham Stars in the league on Sunday on home ice at Hillheads, which gets under way at 5pm.