Published On: Sun, Apr 8th, 2018 at 6:06pm

Ice hockey – Hand salutes his Young Lions

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Martin Cingel, played a key role in the supporting team in Tallinn

Edinburgh-born coach Tony Hand saluted his battling Great Britain under-18s squad who secured promotion to Division I, Group B, of the World Championship on a dramatic final day in Tallinn.

Hand and his assistant, former Edinburgh Capitals legend Martin Cingel, guided the squad to a gutsy 4-3 victory in their final game after being 3-0 ahead after 23 minutes.

Poland then dropped a point against hosts Estonia meaning Hand’s side took the gold medal.

Earlier, Poland claimed a 3-0 lead and promotion lookout out but Estonia tied the game at 3-3 by the end of 60 minutes.

Hand, a former Ayr Scottish Eagles, Dundee Stars and Murrayfield Racers star, said: “This is an amazing achievement. The boys did a fantastic job and everyone pulled together.”

The squad also lost Kirkcaldy-born Caly Robertson, who plays with Edinburgh Capitals, in an early game after he dislocated his shoulder.

And Hand and his coaching team had to reshuffle but Hand said: “We knew we were up against some great opposition, but we have come on leaps and bounds (as a squad).

“We were given the tools by Ice Hockey UK to get the job done and the boys delivered on the ice.

“I would like to say thank you to all the players and the off-ice staff who were brilliant throughout the tournament.”

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