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Hawks wary despite form
RESURGENT Blackburn Hawks will attempt to make it a magnificent seven wins from seven when they travel to NIHL Moralee Conference basement boys Telford Titans tomorrow (5.30pm).
Thumping victories over Whitley Warriors and Billingham Stars last weekend stretched the fourth-placed Blackburn Ice Arena outfit’s winning run to six games – and led to captain Chris Arnone declaring that the title was still in sight.
But Hawks player-coach Jared Owen, whose red-hot side are at home to Manchester Minotaurs in the NLN Cup on Sunday (5.45pm), struck a more cautious note.
Owen, who used to play for the Titans, said: “We’re full of confidence and playing very well.
“But we cannot afford to get carried away and we cannot afford to take teams too lightly.
“In previous seasons we’ve been beaten by Telford when we were in similar form.
“So we’ve just got to go there in the right frame of mind and it will not bother me if we win 1-0 or 5-0 – as long as we win.
“We will respect Telford.
“But if our lads play hard for the full 60 minutes I am confident we will get the win.
“Our motto has been the same since before Christmas is that we’re just taking each game as it comes and concentrating on getting the two points.”
Skipper Arnone is banned for this weekend’s double header.
Reece Carney-Witter also misses the Titans match with a ban but he will return for the cup clash with the Minotaurs.
The Hawks go into the game sitting top of the NLN Cup standings.
Owen believes a success on Sunday will all but guarantee his team’s place in the end-of-season final.
He said: “The top two go into a two-legged final and I think if we win on Sunday we’ll almost certainly be in it.
“We’ll have one more game to come after Sunday and if we win it will firmly cement our place at the top and then we can leave it to the other teams to battle it out among themselves.”
Last weekend’s wins over the Warriors (5-0) and the Stars (9-1) mean the Hawks now boast the best goal difference in the NIHL Moralee Conference having scored 85 times and conceded just 39.
Owen said: “It was another really good weekend and it all seems to be coming together.
“We’ve been defending well all season. But since the new guys have come in we’ve developed a real chemistry and we’re scoring a lot of goals.”
Meanwhile, Blackburn Eagles are at home to fellow NIHL Laidler Conference strugglers Widnes Wild tomorrow (5.45pm).
The Eagles went down 16-2 at Solihull Barons last weekend.
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