A weekend to remember as Racers edge past the Sharks into the NIHL North Cup Final

Murrayfield Racers booked their place in the final of the NIHL North Cup after an epic double-header against Solway Sharks over the weekend.

The Racers travelled to Solway on Saturday aiming to keep the scoreline tight, but quickly found themselves behind through Scott Henderson’s goal.

However, the visitors hit back and moved 3-1 in front by the 26-minute mark courtesy of goals by Joel Gautschi, Alex Christian and Callum Boyd.

The Sharks battled back, with Jaakko Heiskanen, Kyle Horne, Iain Bowie and Straun Tonnar making it 5-3 by the midway point in the third period.

Murrayfield continued to push and were rewarded in the final minute as Gautschi bagged his second of the game to reduce the deficit to just one goal.

The Racers came out flying in the reverse fixture the following evening, with goals by Michael Ireland (2) and Garry Simpson making it 7-5 overall at the end of the first period.

Solway refused to lie down and looked to be on course for victory as Peter Gapa, Heiskanen, Henderson and Tonnar put them 9-7 in front on aggregate.

Ireland’s hat-trick goal just before the second buzzer gave the Racers renewed hope and it was an opportunity they would not pass up.

Ethan Reid levelled the tie in the 46th minute, before Boyd sent the sizeable Murrayfield crowd wild with the winner in the final minute.

The Racers will now face Whitley Warriors in the final after they comfortably eased past Billingham Stars in their last four tie.

Racers’ Director, Willie Dunn, was understandably delighted to see the Racers finally record a victory over an impressive Sharks team.

“We want to thank all our fans for the fantastic support we received this weekend home and away,” he said.

“The team and management are extremely blessed to have the backing of such loyal and noisy fans. The roar when the winning goal went in will live long in Murrayfield folklore!

“We now move forward with our friends at Whitley Bay to arrange the dates for the two-leg final, with the first game likely to be at Murrayfield.

“We will of course update you on what dates have been agreed as soon as possible, so we can make the appropriate travel arrangements. The Racers are back!”

(Image permission: Racers Media)