NIHL South preview: Teams fight for cup glory

London Raiders’ captain Tom Davis believes his team can upset the odds and reach the final of the NIHL1 Southern Cup.

The Raiders face league champions Chelmsford in their two-legged semi-final this weekend, with the Chieftains strongly fancied to progress after dominating the league this season.

Chelmsford recorded an 11-3 win when the two teams met last weekend, but two victories over the Chieftains earlier in the season has given Davis hope that his team can progress.

“Saturday was one of those nights to forget – Chelmsford came ready to battle and we just didn’t show up and I feel we gifted them eleven goals on the night,” Davis told the Romford Recorder.

“We know it was the worst performance of the season by the Raiders and was one to forget.

“We all know we need to show up this weekend to be able to take anything from the games.

“On our day we know we can compete and we will do everything we can to repeat the results from earlier in the season against them.”

Streatham IHC face Invicta Dynamos in the second semi-final aiming to put last week’s disappointing 5-3 league defeat against the Raiders firmly behind them.

The result left Streatham two points behind Invicta in the race for second place in the league and captain Joe Johnston is desperate to get one over the Dynamos this weekend.

“Our two clubs have enjoyed a fierce and healthy rivalry over the years and I imagine this weekend will be another classic to add to the collection,” said Johnston.

“We faced each other a few weeks back where we ran out 4-3 winners to keep pace with the Dynamos for second spot.

“We played well all game and gave a good account of ourselves in a great encounter full of incident and excitement.

“I expect this weekend will be no different, although league form goes out of the window and it’s almost a fresh start for everyone.

“The mood in the dressing room after last Sunday was very down, but it shows how far we’ve come to be that negative after a loss.

“A few months back I don’t think there would have been that level of disappointment, so it shows the belief we have in our squad and what we know we’re capable of.

“Cup semi-finals and finals and play-offs are over and done with so quickly it’s vital you savour these occasions as they don’t come round too often.

“It’s almost the business end of the season now and things are really gearing up with so much to play for still.”

WEEKEND FIXTURES

NIHL1 South

Saturday

London Raiders v Chelmsford Cheiftains (Cup)
MK Thunder v Solent Devils
Streatham IHC v Invicta Dynamos (Cup)

Sunday

Chelmsford Chieftains v London Raiders (Cup)
Invicta Dynamos v Streatham IHC (Cup)
Oxford City Stars v Bracknell Hornets
Solent Devils v MK Thunder

NIHL2 South

Saturday

Chelmsford Warriors v Peterborough Islanders
Haringey Racers v Slough Jets

Sunday

Cardiff Fire v Bristol Pitbulls
Slough Jets v Chelmsford Warriors
Swindon Wildcats NIHL v Lee Valley Lions (Cup)

(Image permission: John Scott)

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