DEESIDE DRAGONS are hoping for a happy end to their NIHL Laidler Conference season ahead of local derby games against highflying Altrincham and Widnes.

The Flintshire club will travel to face a second placed Altrincham Aces side on Saturday before hosting third placed Widnes Wild for their final game of the season.

Despite the Dragons being mathematically out of the race for the play-off places, player-coach Marc Lovell, is keen on his side finishing strongly against their two upcoming championship chasing opponents.

Speaking ahead of the weekend double-header, Lovell said: “There’s no real pressure on us now and we could have a say on what happens at the top of the table.

“Altrincham and Widnes are both in good form and going for the league title, so it will be nice to throw a spanner into the works.

“It will be good to finish the season with some points, especially in the home game against Widnes if it stops them from winning the league.

“So, we’ll go out there without any pressure on us and hopefully play the kind of hockey that we’re capable of playing.

“We’ve beaten both Altrincham and Widnes earlier on in the season so there’s no reason why we can’t do it again if we play like we know we can.”

The Dragons will go into their clash with Altrincham fresh from a two week break since their disappointing back to back defeats against Sheffield Senators at the beginning of March.

Those two defeats mathematically ruled the Dragons out of making the top four play-off spots and ensured that Lovell’s side will finish the season in sixth place regardless of their results against Altrincham Aces and Widnes Wild.

Lovell and head coach Gary Shaw will have a full squad to choose from for their last two games of the season, but for Samantha Bolwell who misses out due to the effects of a concussion she picked up previously.

Club captain James Parson will be looking to add to the 30 goals he has this season, while Charlie Spridgeon (8), Matthew Wainwright (8), and Chris Jones (7) will be hoping to reach double figures.

Elsewhere in the Laidler Conference, table toppers Hull Jets will host fourth placed Bradford Bulldogs as they look to maintain their three point lead at the top of the league.

Altrincham are three points off the Jets having played two games more, while Widnes are four points off the summit having played the same number of games as Hull.

The only other fixture in the league sees Telford tigers Two visit Blackburn Hawks Two.