Tom Watkins hails character of his Telford Tigers comeback kings
The script for Telford Tigers’ comeback win over Hull Seahawks was ‘impossible to write’, according to head coach Tom Watkins.
Despite finding themselves three goals behind heading into the third quarter, Tigers netted three late goals to level the scores before going on to secure a 6-5 win in overtime.
And following the thrilling finale, Watkins was delighted with the character that his side showed on their way to victory.
“There is no better drama than live sport that’s for sure – you couldn’t write that script,” he said. “We’ve had some remarkable results this season but with a three-goal deficit going into the third period we were a very long shot to get the win.”
Watkin added: “The whole team dug very deep to turn it around, we identified a plan going into the third period and the guys executed it brilliantly.
“I keep saying that this team has some character, they are a very tight group, and we have a very good roster when we have everyone healthy.
“We’ve played with several key players out of the line-up pretty much since the first week of the season, but we’re still only one point out of first place.”
Telford began the game under immediate pressure, with Hull hitting the post on their first attack of the game.
Connor Lee could have opened the scoring for Tigers moments before Hull struck first through Tom Barry.
Less than a minute later the visitors had doubled their lead after Emil Svec was first to react to a smart Brad Day save and fired home easily.
Hull made it three early in the second quarter through Sam Towner, before Vladimir Luka’s strike got Telford on the board after several missed chances.
But shortly after that a defensive mix-up allowed Bobby Young to tap the ball into an empty net to extend Hull’s advantage to three goals once again. Luka grabbed his second as Tigers looked to mount a comeback, but once again Hull hit back quickly and made it 5-2 thanks to Emil Svec’s second.
The hosts started the third period well behind on the scoreboard but began to make their way back into the game quickly after the restart.
Telford created plenty of chances but were wasteful in front of goal for much of the third period.
Eventually the pressure paid off when Scott McKenzie bagged a quick-fire brace before Telford won a penalty that gave them the chance to level things up.
Harry Ferguson was found unmarked by Mitchell King and confidently fired home the equaliser that sent the thriller into overtime.
And a minute into overtime the comeback was completed when Ferguson broke through on goal and fired a vicious low shot past Jordan McLaughlin to win the game for Telford.