Hull Seahawks coach Matty Davies focussing on here and now as NIHL National Cup Final looms large

THE first instalment of his team’s NIHL National Cup Final date with Milton Keynes Lightning may still be three weeks away but Hull Seahawks coach Matty Davies admits one of his biggest challenges is not getting ahead of himself.

Before they step out in the two-leg final which opens at Hull Ice Arena on Wednesday, March 20 - the second leg is in Milton Keynes on Tuesday, March 26 - the Seahawks have six league games to negotiate.

With 10 games remaining, Hull currently sit fourth in the regular season standings with Peterborough Phantoms breathing hard down their necks just two points adrift.

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With third-placed Swindon Wildcats nine points better off than Hull and sixth-placed Telford Tigers eight behind the Phantoms, it’s likely the only changes will be between the fourth and fifth-placed teams.

LOOKING AHEAD: Hull Seahawks' head coach, Matty Davies. Picture: Bruce RollinsonLOOKING AHEAD: Hull Seahawks' head coach, Matty Davies. Picture: Bruce Rollinson
LOOKING AHEAD: Hull Seahawks' head coach, Matty Davies. Picture: Bruce Rollinson

Whichever way around it finishes, both teams will end up in Group A come the play-offs, where they will face off against the league champions - most likely Leeds - and the team finishing eighth, currently a three-way battle between Raiders, Bees IHC and Solway Sharks, the post-season hopes of Sheffield Steeldogs seemingly fading with each passing week.

Understandably, there is plenty of excitement at the Seahawks about the forthcoming final, particularly with it coming in only their second season and after an inaugural campaign that proved disappointing on a number of fronts.

“These league games matter, they all matter,” said Davies, who was handed a boost in his preparations for both the regular season run-in and the final when forwards Bobby Chamberlain and Lee Bonner and defender Thomas Stubley returned to the line-up for Sunday’s 5-4 win at home to Solway.

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“But obviously we have got a massive eye on that final and then also going into the play-offs and we want to be right for that, too.

“We’ve got three weeks until the final, although we aren’t looking past the games we’ve got coming up.

“But, as a coach, I do need to plan for that (the final) and make sure that we are playing the right way for those games when we get to them.

“We’ve got a lot of big games against good teams coming up and we can’t look past any one of them. W e had a massive goal of getting to this final, we put a lot into it and it means a lot to everybody involved with the club.”