Shropshire Star

Tom Watkins pleased with his Telford Tigers’ third win in a row

Telford Tigers head coach Tom Watkins was impressed by the “poise” his side showed to close out their 5-2 victory at Hull Seahawks on Sunday.


The Tigers had defeated the Seahawks in Shropshire the previous evening, and made it three wins on the spin in the NIHL.

Fin Howells’ brace and goals from Tom Byrne, Jesse Sutton and Vladimir Luka secured victory for Telford, and Watkins was pleased with the fight his players showed.

“I am delighted with our performance, every player played hard for each other, sacrificing their bodies to block shots,” Watkins said. “Our penalty kill was instrumental once again and despite not feeling the power play was very slick, we got one power play goal which shows how important special teams are to the end result.

“We missed two very very good chances late in the game which would have put the game out of reach.

“When they don’t go in, you think you have left the door open for them to get back in the game but we continued to play with good poise to ensure we came up with the win.”

Telford had to weather an early storm, and had Brad Day to thank for a string of important saves in the first period.

They eventually found the breakthrough early in the second when Sutton teed up Byrne to find the top corner. Hull drew level six minutes later through Emil Svec, who turned villain shortly after when he was called for a high stick penalty.

The Tigers regained the lead at the end of the second of their two power plays when Sutton diverted Louie Newell’s pass into the net.

Howells doubled Telford’s advantage less than a minute later when he pounced to convert the rebound after Luka’s initial effort was saved.

Telford missed a glorious opportunity to kill the game when Howells shot wide from close range, and they were punished as Svec scored his second to reduce the deficit.

The Seahawks pulled McLaughlin from goal for the final minute of the game to add an extra attacker, and the Tigers pounced to restore their two-goal cushion.

Howells sent the puck into an empty net from inside his own defensive third, and Luka added a fifth in the final seconds with a tidy finish.