Streatham Redskins face Chelmsford Chieftains in the NIHL1 South play-off semi-final this weekend hoping to halt the Essex team’s march to the quadruple.
Chieftains have already won have the league title, D1 Cup and South East Trophy and are firm favourites to add the play-off crown to their haul.
With just one victory in eight league and cup games against the Chieftains this season the Redskins face an uphill battle, and defenseman David Carr is under no illusions about the task they face.
“To win anything you need good luck with injuries and settled lines and we’ve had neither all year,” said Carr.
“We went from brilliant to awful, back to brilliant then back to awful, in a season that has left us all a little mentally drained.
“For every great memory there has been a disaster and nothing much in between.
“This will be the last season with the Redskins name and perhaps that will be the only reason it gets entered into the history books, but for the fans and players who’ve experienced it, it has been a bizarre journey at times.
“Chelmsford are clear favourites and we are down to the bare bones again. The good news is that we were much improved in the second leg against Oxford last weekend.
“Our fans will be behind us as usual and we know what went wrong last time against the Chieftains, so we’ll be doing all we can to give a better account of ourselves and give us a shot at the final.”
Wightlink Raiders take on Invicta Dynamos in the second semi-final aiming to crown a difficult season by successfully defending their play-off title.
Raiders were without a home from the middle of November until the end of Janaury as they waited for the roof at Ryde Arena to be repaired, but 15 points out of 16 on the run-in saw them claim third place in the league.
Defenseman Bobby Streetly said: “We’ve exceeded ours and everyone else’s expectations this year finishing as strongly as we have by just missing out on second place.
“It’s a shame we were out of the rink for so long and went three months with no training, as I think we would have been right up there challenging Chelmsford for the league.
“We’re in a good place right now, hitting form at the most important time of the year.
“We have our sights firmly set on reaching the final again and retaining the play-off trophy.
“We know it won’t be an easy task, but we all want to send Corny (Jeremy Cornish) out on one last high.”
Saturday – play-off semi-finals – 1st leg
Streatham Redskins v Chelmsford Chieftains
Wightlink Raiders v Invicta Dynamos
Sunday – play-off semi-finals 2nd leg
Chelmsford Chieftains v Streatham Redskins
Invicta Dynamos v Wightlink Raiders
NIHL2 South Cup semi-finals
Bristol Pitbulls v Chelmsford Warriors
Swindon Wildcats NIHL v Peterborough Islanders
Winners of the above matches
Cardiff Fire v Wightlink Tigers
(Image permission: Rick Webb)