EPL: Hull Pirates looking to breach top two | Steeldogs looking to bounce back

Picture: Lois Tomlinson
Picture: Lois Tomlinson
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HULL PIRATES will hope to gatrecrash the top two in the English Premier League after knocking on the door for several weeks.

Dominic Osman’s side are on a roll after extending their winning sequence to seven games with wins over Guildford Flames and Peter borough Phantoms last weekend.

But if the Pirates are to move up from third spot in the standings – they are currently one point behind second-placed Milton Keynes Lightning – they will have to do it the hard way, first playing host to troubled leaders Telford Tigers tonight before heading to Peterborough 24 hours later.

Telford – four points clear the the top – will arrive in East Yorkshire with a cloud hanging over their future after it was revealed they are due to be placed in liquidation with reported debts of around £500,000.

But, despite the off-ice concerns, Tigers head coach Tommy Watkins insists he and his players are only concentrating on the games in front of them.

“Of course this is a difficult time to stay motivated,” said Watkins, whose team lost 6-0 in Hull three weeks ago. “But that is a key factor in what we’re trying to do when we come to the rink to train or play.

“We haven’t played well enough in that building to warrant getting anything, so we need to go there with a point to prove.”

Sheffield Steeldogs will be looking to bounce back after conceding 18 goals overall in defeats to Swindon and Basingstoke last week.

The setbacks saw them lose ground on the top four but – on paper at least – they face an opportunity to pick up points this weekend when facing the bottom two.

Second-bottom Bracknell Bees – who won 3-0 on their previous visit – visit Ice Sheffield again tonight before Greg Wood’s team travel to Manchester tomorrow.