Tigers set for Coventry challenge

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Telford Tigers logo Telford Tigers will be aiming for their second double success in three years when they take on Basingstoke Bison in the EPL play-off semi-finals tomorrow.

The county men travel to the 3,000-seater Coventry Skydome having already won this season’s EPL title with three weeks to spare.

Victory over the Bison – and success in Sunday’s final – would mirror the achievements of 2015, when Telford won the league and British Challenge Cup.

Corey McEwen in action against Basingstoke Bison. Photo by Steve Brodie.But for head coach Tom Watkins, tomorrow’s encounter with Basingstoke is a fresh challenge for his men.

He said: “It is a totally different group and situation this time round. This is all about next weekend, not the past.

“But we will be using the experiences from that weekend, when we lost to Peterborough, to manage ourselves this weekend, that is for sure.

“I think experience is going to be important. It means you know how to handle yourselves and how to handle your emotions during these games.

“It is another game of hockey. It’s 60 minutes divided into three periods, so there will be chances both ways. How we handle our emotions and control discipline will be key.”

Telford’s title success this season has been chiefly built on that discipline, which saw them finish with the second-lowest penalty total in the league.

Watkins added: “I don’t think for me, as a coach, there is a lot that I can say to the guys before the game.

“The main thing is that they go out and enjoy it. They’re earned the chance to be there in Coventry.

“As we’ve said before, it’s not every day you get the chance to play in a play-off semi-final, and then possibly a final.

“After two games you could be champions or after one you could be going home, so there isn’t any motivation needed from me.

“The guys know what is at stake.”

Telford play Basingstoke Bison in tomorrow’s second semi-final at 5pm, following the first game between Milton Keynes and Guildford at 1pm.

The final takes place at 4pm on Sunday.

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