Telford Tigers' Tom Watkins: Let’s get the job done

Head coach Tom Watkins is urging Telford Tigers to finish the job at what could be the start of a glorious week.

Head coach Tom Watkins
Head coach Tom Watkins

Tigers host Peterborough Phantoms tonight (7.45pm) in the second leg of the NIHL National Cup final.

Watkins’ side are well placed to be lifting silverware come the end of the night having claimed a 6-4 win in the away leg last Friday.

Table-topping Tigers could also be tasting more success on Sunday as they need just one more point to be crowned NIHL National League champions.

And Watkins wants Tigers to carry on their form having finished a busy weekend with a 4-3 success at Leeds Chiefs on Sunday.

“We played three games in three days and only dropped one point. That was a big weekend,” he said. “Leeds was a huge result, massive performance and great reward for our commitment, not a lot else I can say.

“It was a great feeling and we now look forward to the cup final second leg.”

Tigers were boosted for the first leg by the return of key man Jonathan Weaver.

The defenceman had not played since suffering a significant concussion in October, ironically during a league game with Peterborough Phantoms.

But Weaver marked his comeback with two goals as Tigers put themselves in a great position.

Phantoms head coach Slava Koulikov, meanwhile, has refused to give up hope heading into their trip to Shropshire.

“We obviously didn’t want to come out of the first leg behind, but that is the situation we’re in,” said Koulikov.

“It was a really good game with both teams laying it all on the line.

“It was a pretty even game five-on-five, but the special teams were the difference with Telford scoring twice on the powerplay and also getting a short-handed goal.

“It’s all about small margins in big games and they went Telford’s way in the first leg, but the trophy is still up for grabs.

“We have to go to Telford to turn it around. We know it will be hard, but we can do it.”

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