The big two go head-to-head in NIHL1 North this weekend, with Billingham Stars hosting Solway Sharks on Sunday. Stars face a trip to Sheffield Spartans the previous evening, while Sharks welcome Sutton Sting and both will hope to continue their recent good form ahead of the big clash.
Stars’ Coach Simon Leach is confident his team can keep their unbeaten record intact, “The next few weeks are really important as far as the league table goes,” said Leach. “We need to do a good job on Saturday – we’ve been disappointing in our last few visits to Sheffield and need a positive result to take into Sunday’s game. What’s most pleasing at the moment is the defensive effort – we’re limiting teams to very few scoring opportunities and because of the offensive talent we’ve got we’re always going to create chances for ourselves.”
The teams have met once already this season, with Stars running out comfortable 5-0 winners in Dumfries and Sharks forward Adam Reynolds (above) is eager to gain revenge, “We’re all looking forward to it,” said Reynolds. “Everyone was hurting big time after the loss at home when we got totally outplayed, so we want to put it right. It should be an entertaining game.”
Whitley Warriors look to return to winning ways after last week’s heavy defeat to the Stars. On Saturday they travel to struggling Trafford Metros before returning home the following evening to face Telford Titans.
The top two meet in NIHL2 North on Sunday as Deeside Dragons face Nottingham Lions. Dragons lost 8-6 at Nottingham in their only previous meeting and will be keen to set the record straight on home ice. Fellow promotion hopefuls Solihull Barons host Hull Stingrays, while Fylde Flyers meet Sheffield Senators on Saturday before facing a trip to Blackburn Eagles the following evening.
(Image permission: David Morrison)