The dates for Nottingham Lions’ relegation playoff fixtures against local rivals, Sutton Sting have been announced, with an action packed and drama filled, May weekend in prospect.
The Lions will be battling to retain their place in the English National League Division 1 North after finishing in 8th place, whilst the Sutton Sting, who finished as runners-up in Division 2, will be pulling out all the stops to round off their season with a promotion.
Both games will take place over one weekend, in what will be the first competitive meeting between the two sides and the first Nottinghamshire senior hockey derby game for many a year.
The Sting are based at the Lammas Leisure Centre in Sutton-in-Ashfield, although they play all their home games at Ice Sheffield as their own rink is too small for senior hockey.
The first leg will be played at Ice Sheffield on Saturday 12th May with a 3.15pm faceoff. Ticket details for this game will be announced as soon as we have them, for those that wish to follow the Lions up the M1.
The return leg is just 24 hours later on Sunday 13th May, at the National Ice Centre, in the lofty surroundings of CapitalFM Arena Rink and will faceoff at the earlier than usual time of 5pm.
Lions’ Head Coach Matt Bradbury had time for a quick chat with nottinghamlions.co.uk and is clearly looking forward to the challenge ahead, he commented;
“It’s been nice to have a few weekends off away from hockey - the break will have really done everyone the world of good. Whilst we await the big weekend we must maintain our efforts at training and focus on the job in hand.”
“We’ll approach the game as we have done all season, in a professional manner, we’ll roll up our sleeves and get to work. We appreciate that Sutton have had an excellent season in ENL 2 and that’s what will make both ties so intriguing and i’m sure that it will be a weekend for both sets of players, organisations and fans to remember.”
“As a team we have had a difficult season this year, but as a squad and as an organisation we achieved so much – the future of the Lions looks bright on the playing front with so many good youngsters having got a solid season of senior hockey behind them with regular ice as well as the great support from the more senior players that have had a focused and steadying effect with the young guns.”
“We are most definitely looking forward to the back to back games with Sutton and it makes for a great weekend of hockey and I encourage as many people with hockey withdrawal symptoms in Nottingham to come along and support the Lions at the National Ice Centre.”
This is a derby game that cannot fail to capture the imagination of the Midlands’ and Nottinghamshire’s hockey loving public. So come on down and join the roar, in what should prove to be a thrilling end to the season.
Children (Under 16) & OAP’s £3.00
Students (with NUS Card) £2.50
Panthers Season Ticket Holders (must show Panthers Season Ticket) £3.00
Tickets are available in advance from the Arena Box Office or via the Arena Ticket Hotline – 0843 373 3000.
Tickets will be available to buy from the Arena Box Office on the day of the game but we strongly recommend you arrive early to avoid any possible queues.