Match Report


This weekend the Magnox Ltd. Solway Sharks welcome the Sheffield Spartans to the Shark Tank for our final league encounter of the season. The Spartans currently lie in sixth place in the league but are just five points behind fourth placed Sutton Sting in the race to qualify for the end of season Play-Off Weekend to be held here in Dumfries in the middle of April. Just before New Year the Spartans produced one of the performances of the season when they beat the Sharks three-two on their home ice and they will be eager to add a road victory over the league leaders. Last weekend the Sharks added four vital points to their haul for the season with wins in Manchester and Telford and are now just six points away from retaining their league championship crown. Face-off at Dumfries Ice Bowl for what promises to be an enthralling encounter is at the usual time of 7pm on Saturday evening.

The Solway Sharks, sponsored by Magnox Ltd, were well below their best when they travelled down to Altrincham on last Saturday but despite a spirited effort from the Manchester Minotaurs the Sharks eventually came home three-two winners despite a last minute scare.

After a fairly mundane start to the game it appeared to be business as usual for the Sharks in the seventh minute when Stevie Moore latched onto a Bob Chalmers pass and sped through the centre of the home defence. As he crossed the blueline he looked up and saw that the Manchester netminder was favouring her near post so chose to shoot high to the far post. Jackson did well to get her blocker to the shot but could only divert the puck into the roof of the net. If Solway thought they were to be on easy street then Manchester had other ideas. As the ninth minute approached Brian Worrall and danger man Lukas Zemen combined well on the left before feeding Jarred Dickinson in the right-hand face-off circle and his shot eluded netminder Gary Russell’s grasp and found the net via the far post. Worse was to come for Solway four minutes later with Zemen again the provider this time to Brian Worrall who shot speculatively from the right wing and to his delight watched as his shot found the back of the net. The Sharks attempted to pick up the pace for the remainder of the period but they found the Manchester defence resolute and netminder Nichole Jackson in excellent form when called into action. 

Four minutes into the second session Solway levelled the scores when Bob Chalmers and Frazer Goldie combined on the left to find Pavol Melichercik on the Minotaurs blueline. The Slovakian forward sprang into life and sped across the face-off circle before he cut sharply across the face of Jackson’s goal and pulled his shot around the keeper and into the net. Just after the mid-way point in the match Joe Coulter did well to force his way through the centre of the opposition’s defence, but with Struan Tonnar free to his right, he chose to shoot low only to see Jackson make another excellent save at her post. With five minutes remaining in the period Stevie Moore picked off a Manchester pass in his own defence and passed square to Ciaran Quinn, immediately the Solway “D-man” looked up and spotted Ross Murray free on the right. The pass was perfect weight to send the Sharks forward through on goal and with time on his side Murray picked his spot and fired home the go-ahead goal from the high slot.

The final session saw a closely contested encounter with both sides aware that the points were there for the taking with Solway generally holding the greater share of possession and territory. The fact that there was to be no more scoring in the game was down to resolute defending from the Sharks and another excellent display of goal-tending from Nichole Jackson for the Minotaurs. It was looking like Solway would contain the Minotaurs with a professional road performance as the game entered its final minute but the home side had other ideas and made one final push to level the scores. With just four seconds left on the clock Jarred Dickinson found himself totally free in front of goal, his shot beat Gary Russell but he could only look on in despair as his shot cannoned off the Sharks goal frame. As the Manchester man hung his head in despair the hooter sounded to end the match.

Scoring statistics for the Sharks were as follows: Stevie Moore one goal and one assist, Pavol Melichercik and Ross Murray both 1+0, Robert Chalmers 0+2, Ciaran Quinn, Juraj Senko and Frazer Goldie all 0+1. Gary Russell in the Sharks goal saved seventeen of the nineteen shots that he faced (save percentage 89.47%).


On Sunday the Magnox Ltd. Solway Sharks made the long journey down to Telford to face the improving Titans. The home side have been bolstered in recent weeks with the return of some old players and the addition of some fringe players from the EPL Tigers. With the Titans picking up their first point of the season the previous Sunday through a five-five draw with Whitley the Sharks knew they would be in for a tough game.

After a scoreless first period where defences were generally on top the Sharks stepped up a gear as the second session got underway and got their reward six minutes later. On a powerplay Alan Crane and Bob Chalmers combined to allow Juraj Senko a shooting opportunity and the likeable big “D-Man” duly found the net. The Sharks scented blood and continued to press the Titans and on the twenty-nine minute mark Pavol Melichercik provided the pass for Conor Henderson to double their advantage with a neat finish. Solway were not content and continued to drive home their advantage. Five minutes later Craig Thurston slotted home a Frazer Goldie pass to make it three-nil and with just forty-five seconds left in the period he was on the score sheet again when he coolly netted after good work from Melichercik and Henderson.

If the Titans held out any hopes of a third session revival they were to be disappointed as the Sharks netted twice in the first five minutes of the final session. Firstly when Struan Tonnar made the score five-nil when he converted a Senko pass and then Pavol Melichercik fired home after being set up by Frazer Goldie. To their credit the Titans kept fighting to the end and in the fifty-second minute they got a consolation powerplay goal when Maccauley Heyward set up Paul Davies to score.

Scoring statistics for the Sharks were as follows: Solway’s Man of the Match Craig Thurston two goals and no assists, Pavol Melichercik 1+2, Juraj Senko and Conor Henderson both 1+1, Struan Tonnar 1+0, Frazer Goldie 0+2, Bob Chalmers and Alan Crane both 0+1. Gary Russell in the Solway goal saved all sixteen shots that he faced (save percentage 100%) before being replaced for the last twelve minutes by Kieran Hobbins who saved three of the four shots that he faced (save percentage 75%).

Latest Articles