RAPID SOLICITORS ELITE LEAGUE
COVENTRY BLAZE 5
EDINBURGH CAPITALS 2
Capitals slipped to their sixth straight defeat last night and are five points adrift of second-bottom Fife Flyers having played two games more although they pushed the Midlands club hard, writes Nigel Duncan. They were level at 2-2 after 35 minutes through goals from Marcis Zembergs and Curtis Leinweber but Benn Olson put Blaze back in front 28 seconds after Edinburgh's second and it was downhill from there. Jerramie Domish scored a fourth after 53 minutes and Russell Cowley completing the scoring less that three minutes from time. Blaze moved six points ahead of Braehead Clan, although they have played two games more.
n Braehead Clan have signed Martin Tuma, a defenceman from Nottingham Panthers after Corey Neilson, the Panthers coach, agreed to the move as he has an import too many on his roster. He said: "Martin is a victim of circumstances, but I've spoken to him and he's excited about the prospect of getting regular ice time with the team in Glasgow. Clan are short on defence and it is a good fit for them and the player."
Kirsty Gilmour will aim to build on her appearance in the quarter-finals of the women's singles at the Scottish International Championships when she tackles the Yonex Welsh Open in Cardiff as No.2 seed this weekend, writes Kathy May.
Viktoria Tsvetanova and Rebekka Findlay will begin their bids to join Gilmour in the main draw – she opens against England's Nicki Chan-Lam – today when qualifying gets under way in Sophia Gardens.
In the men's singles, Kieran Merrilees faces Carl Jacob Nilsson, of Sweden, in the first round of the main draw while Ruaraidh Sim, Danny Leinster, Matthew Carder, Andrew Gilliland, Ben Torrance, Josh Neil and Adam Hall are in the qualifying draw.
Gilmour and Jillie Cooper are third seeds in the doubles and keen to improve on their run to the semi-finals in Glasgow. Paul Van Rietvelde and England's Marcus Ellis are second seeds in the men's doubles and, after a first-round bye, could meet Martin Campbell and Patrick MacHugh if the Scots duo beat Switzerland's Nicolas Blondell and Lukas Nussbaumer. Michael Campbell and Angus Gilmour and Danny Leinster and Steven Stewart also have first-round byes.
Glynhill Kelburne's efforts to play AMN Hillhead in the Aberdeen Asset Management first division fell victim to frost at Bellahouston for the second time in four days, writes Craig Madden. The game was called off on Saturday for the same reason and umpires yesterday considered the surface still too dangerous for the game to proceed. It leaves Grange three points clear of the Paisley side, albeit with two games more played. Kelburne are second spot on the same points as Grove Menzieshill but with a superior goal difference.
It is unlikely that the game will be played before February as the outdoor league gives way to the indoor competition from next weekend for the next three months. Even more crucial are a couple of outstanding fixtures that could affect the clubs that hope to take part in the top five competition when the league splits after the winter break. Western Wildcats may need three points against the bottom side AAM Gordonians to confirm their top-five status. The match at the weekend was abandoned as Auchenhowie became frost-bound with the Aberdonians a goal to the good.
In the women's top flight, Dundee Wanderers are sixth, two points behind Giffnock, and may need a win over Western Wildcats in their outstanding game to reached fifth place in the table. These matches will certainly have to be played before the top and bottom split fixtures can start in mid-February.
Edinburgh Monarchs yesterday appointed Derek Sneddon as their captain for the second time, writes Nigel Duncan. A tyre and exhaust fitter by trade, he took over as team captain during 2007 after Ronnie Correy left, and led the team to the 2008 Premier League title in one of the best seasons in the club's history. It will be the 30-year-old Falkirk-based rider's sixth season as a Monarch, while Theo Pijper will start his eighth season with the club next year.
n Belle Vue Aces yesterday beat off competition to retain the services of Craig Cook, the 25-year-old from Whitehaven in Cumbria who won the Premier League Riders' Championship this year as an Edinburgh Monarchs rider, writes Nigel Duncan.
Cook said: "It was Belle Vue who came for me in 2011 and it was them who came for me again this year. I've ridden at the track over the last two years and I'd like to think that in the seasons to come I'll still be with the club. I want to progress and I'd love to be the Belle Vue No.1 one day at their new stadium."
Andrew Tully has joined Newcastle Diamonds for the 2012 Premier League season after a lengthy spell with Edinburgh, while another former Edinburgh rider, Christian Henry, will also be in the line-up on Tyneside.