NIHL North weekend preview

Sutton Sting bid to boost their NIHL North Moralee D1 play-off hopes on Sunday as they host Billingham Stars.

Sting are third in the table after wins against Sheffield Spartans and Whitley Warriors last weekend and they’re keen to keep the momentum going against Stars.

Simon Offord was on target against Spartans last Saturday and he’s anticipating an exciting finish to the regular season.

“Last weekend was definitely our best weekend so far this season,” said Offord.

“They were two great results against teams we’re battling against for play-off places. I think the turning point over the last few weeks has been the three players we’ve added, and also a few coming back from long term injury which gives us great depth up front. That was something we were greatly lacking early in the season.

“We have to try and build on last weekend against Billingham. They’re also pushing hard for the play-offs, and although we beat them last time at home their results are much improved recently. As long as we work hard and stick to our game plan I’m confident we can come away with the points.

“There’ve been that many twists and turns already this season and I genuinely think any three of five teams could still claim the play-off spots.”

There are two other D1 games this weekend, with Solway Sharks hosting Manchester Minotaurs on Saturday while Blackburn Hawks meet Spartans the following day.

In Laidler D2, Nottingham Lions face a difficult weekend as they try and secure a top four finish. Lions travel to second-placed Telford Tigers NIHL on Saturday, before returning to home ice on Sunday to face unbeaten Solihull Barons.

Tigers are also in action on Sunday as they welcome Widnes Wild to Shropshire, while Deeside Dragons face-off against Blackburn Eagles. Bradford Bulldogs meet Coventry Blaze on Saturday, before travelling to the Sky Dome the following day for the reverse fixture.

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