Telford Tigers NIHL host Solway Sharks on Saturday aiming to pull off one of the biggest shocks of the Moralee D1 campaign.
The Tigers, who are currently bottom of the table, face a Sharks team who have lost just once in the league all season, but Player/Coach Daniel MacKriel believes they can spring a surprise.
“Solway look certain to take the title – they have quality and depth and have been consistently good this season,” said MacKriel.
“This weekend’s game will prove a tough encounter. We are battling at the other end of the table to Solway, but we remain positive.
“They don’t give away too many goals, so we need to make sure we are tight defensively and when opportunities arise, we have to jump on these and make them count.”
Billingham Stars visit Whitley Warriors on Sunday for the latest encounter with their big local rivals.
The Stars won 5-3 against Sutton Sting last week, but Director of Coaching Terry Ward doesn’t believe recent form will have any bearing on the outcome this weekend.
“These are the games that all the players want to be involved in,” said Ward.
“It doesn’t matter who’s in form, it doesn’t matter what’s at stake – this is the North East derby and no-one wants to lose.
“There’s no better feeling than walking out of your local rivals’ barn with bragging rights – that’s the aim, but Hillheads is one of the toughest places to visit and we cannot go there and give anything less than 100%.
“I’ve asked the guys to give it everything and as long as we get that level of commitment and intensity then the result should take care of itself.”
NIHL North Moralee D1
Blackburn Hawks v Whitley Warriors (Cup)
Telford Tigers NIHL v Solway Sharks
Solihull Barons v Solway Sharks
Whitley Warriors v Billingham Stars
NIHL North Laidler D2
Hull Jets v Bradford Bulldogs
Sheffield Senators v Coventry Blaze NIHL
Sheffield Senators v Altrincham Aces
Widnes Wild v Nottingham Lions
(Image permission: David Morrison)