NIHL North preview: Dragons desperate to beat the drop

Deeside Dragons’ Player/Coach Scott McKenzie is hoping home advantage can help his team avoid relegation from Moralee D1.

The Dragons head into Sunday’s clash with Whitley Warriors just a point behind Telford Tigers NIHL at the foot of the table and McKenzie believes they can escape from trouble.

“The next three games are massive for us and it all starts this Sunday at home to Whitley,” said McKenzie.

“We’ve given a good account of ourselves this season and we don’t feel like we deserve to be relegated, but that’s the nature of a good league.

“It’s been nip and tuck all year and, with just the three games left, we’ll do everything we can to stay in this conference.

“We’ve set the target in the room of four points out of six and I do believe that is a realistic target.

“I urge the fans to get down to The Den this Sunday and be that extra player on the ice.

“Whitley are a tough team but we can compete with them, we know this. It just comes down to character and temperament.

“The boys are ready – get behind us and help us stay up.”

Billingham Stars go into the weekend looking to have a big say in both the race for the play-offs and the battle to avoid the drop.

The Stars host relegation-threatened Blackburn Hawks on Saturday, before visiting play-off chasing Solihull Barons the following day and Director of Coaching Terry Ward wants no let-up as the season reaches its climax.

“There’s no question of us taking it easy now – we may have qualified for the play-offs but we cannot afford to let our levels drop.

“It’s so much easier to maintain form than recover it, which is why it is so important for us to keep winning.

“We know we’re in for a tough weekend – both Blackburn and Solihull are desperate for the points for their own reasons. They are very good teams on their day and will be fired up.

“We must match both teams in all departments – we are looking for a four-point weekend, there is no room for sentiment.”

WEEKEND FIXTURES

NIHL North Moralee D1

Saturday

Billingham Stars v Blackburn Hawks

Sunday

Blackburn Hawks v Solway Sharks
Deeside Dragons v Whitley Warriors
Solihull Barons v Billingham Stars
Sutton Sting v Telford Tigers NIHL

NIHL North Laidler D2

Saturday

Bradford Bulldogs v Nottingham Lions

Sunday

Bradford Bulldogs v Coventry Blaze NIHL
Sheffield Senators v Altrincham Aces
Widnes Wild v Hull Jets

(Image permission: PSD-Images)

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