WE are up for the cup this weekend - a new version called the NLN Cup, with just four teams in it with us, Billingham Stars, Solway Sharks and Widnes Wild.

Like anything it’s a competition we want to win, and it won’t be an easy start at Solway on Saturday (face-off 7pm).


They beat Whitley Warriors at the weekend so they might have hit a little bit of form and they will be pumped for this weekend’s game.

We went up there the other week with only 10 players because of injury and illness, and yet still came away with a 7-2 win, although I don’t think that will have much bearing on this cup clash.

It was one of those occasions, though, where you feel if you can get through that, you can overcome anything. We’ve proved we are capable of winning even when we’re short, which gave us a lot of confidence, but I don’t think we can get carried away with it.

It means, though, there won’t be any excuses when we’re back to full strength.

Hopefully we’ll be nearer that this weekend, which will help us. Not to mention the return of head coach Budzie!

The free weekend can’t have done us any harm in that respect.

Danny ‘Dangy’ Brittle did a sterling job organising us all in Budzie’s absence. As netminder he’s in the best position to see the game unfold in front of him and point out what we’re doing well and where we are going wrong, plus he’s experienced enough to know what’s required.

I think he was feeling the stress of having to juggle playing with the responsibility, although he did well. He was desperate to win, and fortunately we did.

After the trip to Solway we host Sheffield Senators on Sunday (5.45pm).

I think this is the third time we’ve played them so far, when some teams we haven’t even played once yet, but that’s how the league works.

And the season will only get tougher because teams will want to beat us even more after setting the bar high, so we can’t rest on our laurels.