Sharks Class Shows In The End
Spartans were eventually put to the sword against League & Cup Champions Solway Sharks but didnâ€™t get things their own way in an entertaining game that saw Sharks beat Spartans 10-4 with not a bad goal amongst them. Spartans were definitely in the game at 4-4 at the end of the second period but going into the last, Solway upped it a gear with an awesome display of hockey to clearly show why they have only been beaten once this year in claiming two pieces of silverware.
It was Spartans that took the lead in what was a pretty even first half with Nick Manning converting his chance on 6.53, assisted Ollie Barron only for Sharks to immediately respond 20 seconds later through Adam Reynolds unassisted goal. From this point on, the Sharks looked the better team although Spartans were still creating their own chances but were grateful for Andy Bagshaw who made a number of great & vital saves to keep the scores even and as the period came towards its conclusion, Spartans took the lead through Ollie Barron, a well taken goal on 19.13, assisted Nick Manning & Scott Morris to put Spartans 2-1 up.
The second period was pretty much as the first to start with but was spoilt with some weak calls from a four man refereeing as well as missed & in consistent calls which threatened to spoil the game but thankfully they got away with it, even though it continued in the final period too. However, despite this it was a good game of hockey and Sharks looking the more dangerous scored twice to put them in front with Adam Reynolds, assisted John Connolly & Nathan Salem on 24.47 & followed by John Connolly, assisted Mark Gallagher on 26.21. This setback seemed to ignite Spartans who took the game to Solway & were rewarded with an equalising goal from Will Barron on 30.45, assisted Andy Cook& Scott Morris. After a terrible call for hooking on Ross Jordan, Sharks added their 4th through Adam Reynolds with his hat-trick goal, assisted Struan Tonnar & Nathan Salem. Spartans were not to be outdone & worked hard to get themselves back into the game with an equaliser from Ollie Barron, assisted Nick Manning on 39.29 to make the game 4-4 going into the final period.
What we saw in the final period was an awesome display from Sharks & despite Spartans efforts during the period after losing Turner, Mawer & Quinn to injury they simply could not match Sharks who clearly upped it a gear, showing their class & why the y have been crowned Champions & although Reynolds, Salem & Connolly were the stand out players, the whole team contributed to score six unanswered goals, with Hobbins in fine form when he was called upon in the Solway goal. Adam Reynolds made it 5-4 on 41.17, assisted Salem, with those two repeating their efforts to bag Sharks 6th on 44.50, Conor Smith bagging an extra assist on the goal. Nathan Salem eventually found the net on 45.12, assisted Adam Reynolds & John Connolly, quickly adding his second to make it 8-4 on 48.00, assisted Adam Reynolds. Spartans continued to battle despite being overrun and had a decent spell with a couple of chances that were unfortunate not to find the net but Sharks seized back control with an Adam Reynolds powerplay goal on 56.46, assisted John Connolly & Mark Gallagher and with Spartans on the powerplay, Sharks added a short- handed goal, a good one too with no one at fault to make it 10-4, scored by Nathan Salem to claim his hat-trick assisted by Adam Reynolds on 59.06.
There were no complaints from Spartans who in the end were beaten by a very good team who in the end were the better team but after two promising periods will have hoped for a better score line but credit to Sharks for that, they put in a terrific performance in the final period to run out comfortable winners. Andy Bagshaw won the Man of the Match for Spartans with Nathan Salem winning it for Sharks.
Final Score: Spartans 4 Solway Sharks 10