DEESIDE DRAGONS player coach, Marc Lovell, hopes his side can continue their recent good form and enjoy a strong end to their season.

Lovell’s sixth placed Dragons side face a weekend double header against a fifth placed Sheffield Senators, and have the chance to leapfrog their opponents with two wins.

Following 11 wins so far in the NIHL Laidler Conference, the Dragons currently find themselves on 22 points – four adrift of a struggling Sheffield who have lost three of their last four outings.

The Dragons, meanwhile, have enjoyed an upturn in form in recent weeks with the Flintshire club twice beating their fierce rivals Telford Tigers before a dominant 10-0 home victory over bottom club Blackburn in their last fixture.

However, with Bradford Bulldogs needing just a single point from five games, and Widnes Wild needing four from eight, to make it mathematically impossible for the Dragons to make the play-offs, Lovell concedes that it’s unlikely that his side will make the top four.

Speaking to the Leader, Marc Lovell, said: “The play-off spots are out of our reach now I think, but we want to finish the season strongly just for yourselves.

“We’ve been playing much better hockey recently, and that’s helped us to beat Telford and Blackburn in our last two games. Now, we want to take that into our double header with Sheffield.

“We have had a couple of close games with them already this season, but we’ve come out on top both times so hopefully it’ll be the same again this weekend.”

For the first part of the weekend double header, Lovell’s side will travel to Sheffield on Saturday before returning to host the Senators at the Den a day later.

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The Dragons have beaten their upcoming opponents twice already this season. In early November, Deeside looked on course for a routine home win as they led Sheffield 6-1 with 20 minutes remaining.

But the Senators fought back to score five unanswered goals to take the tie to overtime where James Shaw scored a minute in to seal a dramatic 7-6 success.

That came three weeks before a similarly closely contested affair also went Deeside’s way with Chris Keating and Charlie Spridgeon firing their side to a narrow 2-1 win in Sheffield.

Bradford can make it impossible for Deeside to finish third if they beat Telford at home on Saturday, while Widnes could move a step closer to doing the same by winning in Blackburn.

If Widnes take a win to Hull for Sunday’s fixture against the league leaders, and win there too, the defending champions will have ensured they finish above the Dragons this season.

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