Stingrays bow out of Challenge Cup with Steelers loss

Andy McKinney
McKinney made his Stingrays debut in a 9-4 win over Braehead

Hull Stingrays ended their Challenge Cup campaign with a 2-1 defeat by Sheffield Steelers.

Sheffield took the lead through Colt King before RG Flath doubled the Steelers' advantage.

The one bright spot for the Hull side came when British forward Andy McKinney halved the deficit with his first goal for the club.

The Rays finished bottom of Pool B, having failed to win any of their Challenge Cup eight games.

Stingrays coach Sylvain Cloutier told BBC Radio Humberside: "It was close. We have really tightened up defensively and we have only given up two goals in Sheffield, which is a tough place to play.

"If we stay in games and continue to keep it tight, the more chance we will have to win."

McKinney, who initially signed for the Stingrays on a two-way deal from Premier League side Telford Tigers, has been rewarded for a series of impressive performances with a permanent deal.

The 20-year-old was born in Canada, where he learned to play the game, and Cloutier believes he will have an impact in the Elite League.

"Andy came highly recommended from Tommy Watkins [Telford player-coach], he was willing to make the step up and we feel he can play a big part on the team," he said.