NIHL North weekend preview

Sheffield Spartans bid to make it back-to-back wins in NIHL North on Saturday as they face Solway Sharks.

Spartans secured a hard fought victory at Whitley Warriors last week and forward Nick Whyatt is looking forward to facing the reigning Moralee D1 champions.

“We’ve had a mixed start to the season, but we’re facing Solway on home ice and last week’s win will give us confidence,” said Whyatt.

“We’ve got depth to our squad this season and have four lines capable of matching anyone. Another two points would give us more momentum to take into the next fixtures.

“I’ve enjoyed the season so far, but I’m still a bit rusty having not played since tearing my ankle ligaments in February.

“I thought about packing up, but I’ve really enjoyed my time in Sheffield and didn’t want to leave the game that way. We’ve got a good group of guys and I’m looking forward to practice and games more than ever, but it’s about time we won a trophy and hopefully this will be the year.”

There is one other D1 fixture on Sunday with Whitley Warriors facing Manchester Minotaurs. Blackburn Hawks are in British Challenge Cup action on the same evening as they travel to the EPL’s Manchester Phoenix.

The top two in Laidler D2 clash on Saturday as Sheffield Senators host unbeaten Solihull Barons. Last weekend saw the Barons notch double figures for the fourth time this season, while Senators picked up wins against Widnes Wild and Deeside Dragons.

Forward Tom Humphries (above) scored six goals over the two games and he’s keen to keep up his impressive form against the Barons and Hull Jets on Sunday.

He said: “It’s always nice to get a few goals – especially if it helps the team win. I’ve got a good understanding with Josh Gent and Nathan Britton on our line and they make it really easy to play.

“This weekend will no doubt be another tough one against Solihull and Hull. Two points minimum would be a good result and keep up the push for a top three finish.

“I think most teams are now expecting a challenge when they face us, and I’m hoping we can keep up the good work for the rest of the year.”

The remaining D2 games see Coventry Blaze face Deeside and Blackburn Eagles meet Bradford Bulldogs on Saturday, whilst the following evening Solihull welcome Nottingham Lions to Hobs Moat Road and Deeside face-off against Bradford in North Wales.

(Image permission: Gav Rawson)

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