TWO losses on consecutive days completed a miserable weekend on the road for Solihull Barons.
In their first two fixtures of the year, the Barons fell to a 4-3 defeat in the Moralee Division at Solway Sharks on Saturday, before suffering a first defeat in the Midlands Cup to Blackburn Hawks 6-4 on Sunday.
In the first match, Barons took the lead midway through the first period when Tom Soar finished from Andy Whitehouse’s pass, but would end the first 20 level when Iain Bowie fired home for the Sharks.
A goalless middle period set up for a tense finale, one which dramatically tipped in the hosts favour after three goals in the space of just over a minute from Struan Tonnor, Peter Gapa and Bowie.
While Solihull tried in vain to rescue the game, pulling two goals back through Rich Slater and Niklas Ottosson, the Sharks were able to see out the win and condemn their opponents to a fourth defeat of the campaign.
The following day was very much a dead rubber in the Midland Cup given the Barons’ perfect record up to that point.
But given Solihull’s control of the game, there was some surprise when Blackburn came back to win the tie.
Ottosson and Slater both struck to put the Barons two goals up inside the first period, before the hosts’ James Neil narrowed the deficit early in the second 20.
Two further goals from Ottosson and Matthew Maurice helped put the visitors in pole position for the points, although Joe Greaves gave the Hawks hope with a goal in the final minute of the period.
Four unanswered goals followed from Petr Valusiak, James Hepburn Riddoch, Aaron Davies and James Callum Royds as Blackburn rallied to a memorable win.
Both sides progressed to the semi-finals of the cup, with Solihull set to face Nottingham Lions at Hobs Moat Road on Sunday January 19.
Next up though is a trip to Sutton Sting in league action on Saturday (4.30pm), before hosting Solway Sharks on Sunday (5.30pm).