Weekend Review: Double delight for Hull Pirates with cup and league success

HULL PIRATES enjoyed a prolific close to their weekend when they routed Murrayfield Racers 11-0 in the North Cup.

Sheffield Steelers' forward Kieran Brown is among the points for Blackburn Hawks in the NIHL. Picture: Dean Woolley.
Sheffield Steelers' forward Kieran Brown is among the points for Blackburn Hawks in the NIHL. Picture: Dean Woolley.

Jason Hewitt's side had gone into the game in high spirits having come away from Billingham Stars the previous night with a 7-5 triumph.

The game was effectively over as a contest after the first period after goals from Jonathan Kirk, Joshua Gent, Hewitt, Aaron Lyon and Lee Bonner put the hosts into a commanding lead.

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A chronically short-benched Racers were never in the game, outshot almost 4-1 by the Pirates and their night got worse just after the halfway point when Thomas Stubley made it 6-0.

Hewitt's second early on in the third increased the pain for the Scottish side, with further goals coming from Gent, James Archer (2) and Jamie Cobley.

The previous evening at Billingham Ice Forum had proved altogether more tricky for the Pirates, although another strong first period with goals from Bobby Chamberlain, Aarcher and Kevin Phillips put them in the driving seat.

A short-handed strike from Bonner made it 4-0 before the hosts rallied and made it a one-goal game with three goals in as many minutes - a power play strike from Cain Taylor being added to by Michael Bowman and Ethan Hehir.

But a double blast from Bonner just after the halfway mark put the Pirates back in control, their position strengthened early in the third by a goal from Hewitt. Billingham ralied again with two goals in as many minutes, but Hull hung on for a comfortable win.

Yorkshire rivals Sheffield Steeldogs enjoyed a mixed weekend when they lost out in the North Cup 6-4 at home to Solway Sharks having beaten Solihull Barons on the road 7-2 24 hours earlier.

Ashley Calvert was the star of the show in the West Midlands on Saturday with a 2+1 night, while Nathan Salem also produced plenty when he added a last-minute goal to his three earlier assists.

Milan Kolena, Andrew Hirst, Adrian Palak and Thomas Relf also got on the scoresheet as player-coach Ben Morgan's team recovered well from going 2-0 down to sixth-minute strikes from Solihull's Filip Supa and Adam Brittle.

It proved a much tougher night on home ice on Sunday night for the Steeldogs, however, the game ebbing and flowing until two third period goals from Solway's Iain Bowie and Scott Henderson finally settled the encounter.

Earlier, Cameron Brownley's short-handed strike at 6.45 gave Sheffield a lead they held until just 30 seconds before the end of the period when Stuart Kerr levelled.

The Steeldogs edged ahead again through Charles Thompson at 23.02 but the Sharks took control with three unanswered second period goals from Henderson, Cale Tanaka and Struan Tonnar.

Salem halved the deficit with a second short-handed marker of the night for the hosts at 38.58 and Morgan's team were level at 45.57 when the 27-year-old forward pounced for his second of the night, this time on the power play.

But any momentum the Steeldogs had was gone soon after when Bowie, at 46.35, and then Henderson - 10 minutes later - settled matters.

Elsewhere, Sheffield Steelers' forward Kieran Brown continued to rack up the points at Blackburn hawks.

The 17-year-old second-year Steelers' apprentice, signed up with the Hawks on a two-way deal last month and has proved as effective as he was on a similar deal with the Lancashire club last year when he scored 41 points - including 25 goals - in just 18 league and play-off games.

In seven appearances since being granted the move by Steelers' head coach Tom Barrasso, Brown as hit nine goals and three assists.

He hit two goals and an assist against Sutton Sting on Sunday night, the Hawks buildng on the previous night's 7-3 win at Solway, in which Brown posted a goal and an assist.