KIRKCALDY KESTRELS are the SNL champions again after beating Moray Typhoons 5-4 on Saturday to lift the crown for a second consecutive year.
It was quite a season for the Fife men, who lost two emerging players to Elite League teams and kept the core of the young team that did so well for them last season.
Things didn’t start well though as Kestrels were eliminated from the Autumn Cup as the summer came to an abrupt end and a couple of poor early results didn’t bode well.
But a heavy defeat to North Ayrshire Wild in November seemed to be the trigger for the men from Fife as they embarked on a terrific run that saw them get to the end in glory.
As a four-horse race developed in the latter stages of the campaign, Kestrels remained focussed on the job in hand and didn’t waver as they collected points with relative ease.
Then, their title rivals began to fall away in the final weeks of the season, with Wild, who had surprised many being up there, ran out of games.
Edinburgh Capitals then followed with Paisley Pirates the last to pose a real threat. When the Caps ironically beat them, it meant Kirkcaldy needed a point to take the crown again.
Moray were the team that derailed North Ayrshire and Edinburgh’s hopes and arrived in Kirkcaldy looking to spoil the party.
Although Iain Quinn opened the scoring, Harry Ferguson equalised shortly after, but further strikes from Chad Smith and Graeme Allan put them 3-1 up.
Daryl Venters made it 4-1 early in the second and the fans were starting to get that celebratory feeling.
While Ferguson made it 4-2, Kevin Russell pulled the Typhoons to within one, but Sean Cochrane got what proved to be the title winning goal.
Jack Durkacz’s shorthanded finish made it a nervy ending, but the buzzer followed soon after the confirm that Kirkcaldy Kestrels were champions again.
On the back of their success, fans, players and even rival teams took to Twitter to extend their congratulations and naturally, the team themselves were happy to announce the news:
— Kirkcaldy Kestrels (@KKestrels) March 5, 2016
One of Kestrels’ veteran players was delighted to be part of a title winning side again:
— Andy finlay (@andyfinlay23) March 3, 2016
One of last season’s title winning side shared his own congratulations for his former team from his new home at Elite League’s Coventry Blaze:
— Renny (@RennyMarr) March 5, 2016
This fan highlighted it wasn’t just the Kestrels that were successful at the weekend:
Good weekend for Kirkcaldy clubs Flyers secure play off spot Kestrels win snl Falcons & Flames won respective Junior titles @Scotsman7
— Iain McKay (@icebhoy) March 7, 2016
Kestrels’ Elite League cousins sent along their congratulations:
CONGRATULATIONS | Huge congratulations to Kirkcaldy Kestrels who secured the SNL title this evening! @KKestrels
— Fife Flyers (@FifeFlyers) March 5, 2016
Aberdeen Lynx fans also extended their best wishes to the champions:
— AbzLynxSupporters (@lynx_s15) March 5, 2016
As did Solway Sharks’ SNL side:
— Solway Sharks JIHC (@SolwaySharksJnr) March 5, 2016
But we’ll finish with a chance for fans to re-live Saturday’s game, courtesy of Steven Watson’s highlights package as Kirkcaldy confirmed their title with that 5-4 win over Moray Typhoons:
CONGRATULATIONS TO THE SNL CHAMPIONS 2015/16, KIRKCALDY KESTRELS!