Steve Fellows hopes Deeside Dragons’ brave performance in defeat at runaway leaders Solihull Barons will be the catalyst for a four-point weekend.
Dragons had just 11 players for the trip to the West Midlands yet gave the Barons, who are well clear at the top of the Laidler Conference, a real fright, eventually going down 7-5.
“Going into the game it wasn’t looking good and as we had under the required 12 players we had to get dispensation from the league,” said player-coach Fellows.
“It was very challenging but we had our star players available and a game-plan to think defence, slow it down and hit them on the counter attack.
“It was very close in the first period but we started to feel it in the second because Solihull were winning 7-2 and you start to worry but we won the third period 3-0. There were about 500 people in the arena but it was very quiet because we had them on edge.
“Solihull are a very good team with players earning decent money and a lot of Elite and Premier experience but we really took it to them and if we hadn’t had that second period or we’d have had a few more available I think we could have got something but it was a really good performance from the lads.”
In the wake of last weekend’s selection crisis, Fellows has released Ryan Jones and goaltender George Cox.
“There was a similar situation in the 1980s when Deeside couldn’t raise a team for a game at Hull and the club ended up getting fined £1,000 and expelled from the league, and I can’t allow that to happen because it’s not fair to the fans or the people who put their heart and soul into the club,” said Fellows, who has Kenny Williams, Gavin Austin and Si Furnival back for this weekend.
Deeside travel to basement club Bradford Bulldogs on Saturday before hosting lowly Coventry Blaze on Sunday (6.45pm).
Fellows said: “Bradford will be tough because they are rough and like to fight so hopefully we don’t pick up too many bumps and braises for the Coventry game and we can make it a four-point weekend.”