Tigers and Pirates set for battle

Telford Tigers’ boss Tom Watkins immediately turned his attention to Wednesday night’s game at home to Hull Pirates, following his side’s 6-4 win over Bracknell Bees on Sunday.

Watkins’ men claimed their third success in as many days in Berkshire, extending a winning run that now stands at six games.

Watkins said: “The game looked close overall, but the main thing is that we did enough to win. It was scrappy, so coming back with two points was the goal for us.

“It is ultimately about results, and grinding them out. Bracknell have got nothing to lose, so they kept coming at us. They put us on the back foot, but we deserved to win.

“We’re on a bit of a roll at the moment, so that game is over and we’ve got to look ahead to midweek. The guys will need to get a good rest over the next few days.

“These games are all about momentum and confidence, which means the guys are doing all the little things right.

“Our special teams in particular have been excellent, which is one of the tools that gives us the platform to go on and win matches.

“Our netminding has been great as well, so those things combined have been key factors for us over the last few weeks.”

Hull go into the game on the back of their first four-point weekend in the EPL.

Saturday’s 6-3 win over Bracknell was followed by a gritty 5-4 victory at Manchester Phoenix, which lifted the Pirates off the foot of the table for the first time this season.

Player/Coach Dominic Osman said: “Saturday against Bracknell was a huge result, but to get our first four-point weekend by beating Manchester is absolutely massive.”

“Obviously we came out really strong (against Bracknell) in the first period and played some good hockey. We had a couple of mental lapses and they cost us a couple of goals.

“They came out pretty strong in the second and I thought they out-worked us and put us behind the eight-ball.

“We got better in the third period and it was the way we are meant to play for 60 minutes if we want to win hockey games, but we are really happy with the result.”

Late goals by Lee Bonner and Tommi Laine saw Hull recover from 4-3 down at Manchester to record a 5-4 success. New signing Jamie Chilcott was in impressive form in both games, leaving Osman in buoyant mood.

“Jamie has the ability to get things going and he’s playing really well,” said Osman.

“He needs to settle in and get used to playing a lot of minutes. I’m confident he’ll quickly get used to that as I know he played a lot last year.

“He has given us the ability to balance our lines. We have more depth up front.”

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