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Hawks still harbour title tilt
12:00pm Friday 14th February 2014 in Sport
THE optimist in Blackburn Hawks player-coach Jared Owen says his club are still in with a shout of the Moralee Conference title.
The realist in him says Solway’s lead is too strong to let top spot slip with six games to go.
Either way, though, Owen has targeted two pieces of silverware this season.
After winning the league play-offs for the first time in the club’s history last season Hawks are hoping to go one better this year and do the double.
“If we win every game we’ve got left we will win two trophies,” he said. “That’s not a bad incentive.
“The guys realise that and are very focused to try to keep winning for the rewards at the end.
“Last year we were scrapping around trying to make the play-offs. We haven’t qualified yet so there’s no chance of the lads switching off, certainly not when there’s the title still there to be won.
“But we just take each game as it comes.
“Every time we go out to play we want to win. That way it means we are building momentum if we do end up in the play-offs.”
Owen hasn’t set his players a points target, just the goal of finishing second if first place goes out of reach. But while top spot is still up for grabs, he insists that is the aim.
“The realist in me says ‘no’, but the optimist in me says ‘anything is possible’,” said Owen.
“Solway need just five points from their remaining six games though. They’ve got a tough run-in with Billingham to play a couple of times, ourselves, and Sutton at least once.
“But at home they are very good so I’d expect them to have enough. It would be nice to run them close though.”
Second-placed Hawks will look to follow-up last weekend’s 7-2 win over Whitley Warriors with two points at Sheffield Spartans this weekend. But after they caused an upset at Solway last Saturday with a 2-2 draw, Owen is braced for a tough battle.
“They had some very good results last week, being the first team to go to Solway and get a point this year, and then they beat Manchester so they’re right back in the mix for the play-offs now,” he said.
Chris Butler remains sidelined, while Owen says he is not prepared to risk Ric Hughes (knee) but hopes to field full forward lines and a full defence.