Ice hockey: Another blow to family values

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All-out action of the wrong sort saw eight players with Scottish clubs being ordered off at the weekend. Three Dumfries Vikings were thrown out in a rough-house at Dumfries as Paisley Pirates won 7-4 and five were thrown out - three Pirates and two Flyers - on Sunday when Paisley edged Fife Flyers 5-3 to move to the top of the Northern Premier Division.

Frank Dempster, the chairman of the British Ice Hockey Association's disciplinary committee, said: "This does not help the image of our family sport, nor does it help to encourage potential sponsors."

Stephen Marshall, a Dumfries director, said they would be watching a video of the game before deciding what action, if any, to take against Gordon Whyte, Dagan Kostic and Michael Tasker. The Paisley Pirates dismissed on Sunday were Scott Plews, Kenny Redmond and Dean Edmiston. Fife Flyers declined to comment on their early bath pair Lee Mercer and player-coach Mark Morrison.

The eight Superleague teams have qualified for the quarter-finals of the Benson & Hedges Cup, reflecting the growing gulf between themselves and the regionalised divisions.

Ayr Scottish Eagles went into their last game, against Newcastle Cobras, unbeaten and looked set to take their run to six when they found themselves 3-0 down half-way through the game. Cobras struck back through Terho Koskela, Rick Brebant and Chris Norton to level the score, and even after Scott Young made it 4-3 to Ayr with 10 minutes left, Jukka Soumanalinen found time to equalise.

Cup results, Digest, Page 25