Telford Tigers targeting play-off glory

Head coach Tom Watkins took aim at the National League play-offs after Telford Tigers secured title glory.

Telford Tigers (Photo: Steve Brodie)
Telford Tigers (Photo: Steve Brodie)

The Tigers’ 7-3 triumph over Raiders at Telford Ice Rink on Sunday night confirmed them as champions – no matter what the rest of the season might hold in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak.

But, should they go ahead, Watkins now wants to win the play-offs as well.

“It would be fantastic to be able to continue this into play-offs and take a run at a play-off championship,” he said. “I truly believe this team have the character and commitment to go further, but for now nobody is sure of what is next.

“Please stay safe and thank you once again.”

The Tigers went into Sunday’s title clincher fresh off beating Peterborough Phantoms in the final of the National Cup, completing a phenomenal few days for the Shropshire side.

“What a week for the club – two trophies, a league and cup double,” said Watkins. “It’s a fantastic achievement – we have a great team on and off the ice. “

Scott McKenzie, Brandon Whistle (two), Jonathan Weaver, Ricky Plant, Jason Silverthorn and Andy McKinney got the goals in a 7-3 victory over Raiders on Sunday to triumph on a day when many others were postponed due to the spread of Covid-19.

Watkins added: “It was a strange situation with so many of the other games cancelled – we are very fortunate that we were able to play the fixture, which gave us the opportunity to win the league in front of our fans.

“For that we are very grateful to John Scott, Sean Easton and all the Raiders players and staff for their professionalism. They are a credit to their club. It’s been a great league season – one that I’ve enjoyed immensely.

“The competitiveness of the league throughout all the teams has been excellent.

“We’ve worked tirelessly all season, from day one and have been in first place I think since October.

“To be the team setting the pace adds some pressure, not least when you have to play without key players week in, week out, but as a team every player stepped up to the challenge and played their part.

“We showed a lot of composure when we had a bit of skid and dropped some points allowing the gap to tighten, but the difference has been the performances and results against (title rivals) Peterborough and Swindon.

“We’ve played our best hockey and really stepped up in those big games, sweeping both clubs along the way. To me that’s been the difference.

“I would like to say a huge thank you to all the fans, sponsors and club volunteers that have supported us all season and been part of the journey to pick up two titles.”

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