Murrayfield Racers won’t lose focus as they chase another final spot

Tony Hand says players are tuned in to what is required

Hot Dog: Racers Ross Borthwich celebrates after scoring from between his own legs against Tigers in the first leg

Murrayfield Racers director of hockey Tony Hand believes he will have no problem keeping his players’ grounded in their first match since last week’s thrilling National Ice Hockey League North Cup final win over Whitley Warriors.

Racers, who beat the highly fancied English outfit 7-6 over two legs to lift the trophy, host Dundee Tigers at Murrayfield in the second leg of their Scottish Cup semi-final tomorrow, and Hand said: “There’s a buzz around the club, everyone’s been walking around with a smile on their face because it’s always nice to win a trophy at that level.

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“It wasn’t just Whitley Bay, we had to knock-out Solway Sharks as well which was tough (10-9 on aggregate in the semi-final). We played against two good teams and beat them. You can have a bit of luck maybe in a period or in part of a game, but not over a stretch like that. The guys had to battle every shift and deserve so much credit.”

The latest success for the club, which was formed just two years ago, is a step up from last season’s Scottish National League title win and Hand continued: “We appreciate all the support we’ve had and all the messages from around the UK congratulating us on the win, and letting us know how well we’ve done as a club in such a short space of time.

“It all gives us a lot of confidence, but the best things about it has just been seeing everyone involved with the club enjoying it so much.

“Things are going great but it’s important never to get too high, or too low.

“Tomorrow’s game against Dundee Tigers is in the balance. We hold a 3-2 lead and we’re playing at home so we will be favourites but Tigers having been playing well of late and we know we will be in for a tough game. It’s a chance to get to the Scottish Cup final, a competition we’re desperate to win.

“We’ve been keeping skating light this week and trying to give the boys as much rest as possible, because we’ve had a lot going on recently both physically and emotionally.”