Big week ahead for the Sharks

Fans of the DBL Sharks Sheffield may want to tune in to Friday’s BBC Sport game between Cheshire Phoenix and Bristol Flyers for a couple of reasons. The Flyers are the Sharks next opponents on the unusual night of Tuesday 17th April, having been conquerors of the South Yorkshire side on Good Friday by a solitary point. A defeat for Cheshire would see the Sharks unassailable for a Playoff position. A Cheshire win would see attentions switched to the Sharks next home game on Friday 20th April, when Worcester Wolves are the visitors. Just three wins separate five teams and three playoff spots remain up for grabs. Confused? You will be!

Even if Bristol are successful over Cheshire on Friday night, there is still a good deal of interest in the remaining fixtures. With Leicester confirming their title win last weekend, the one place most sides won’t want to finish in is eighth. The Sharks game against Bristol is a vital one as it is the head-to-head decider, the series currently poised at 1-1. And the Sharks will undoubtedly want revenge for that heart-breaking 75-76 defeat on Good Friday, where the Flyers turned the final quarter around by 22-9. The compact WISE Arena is a daunting place to go, with an atmosphere to boot and stand-in Coach Nick Burns has done a sterling job, leading the south-west side to three wins in the absence of Andreas Kapoulas down under with the England set up.

Success for Cheshire on Friday will see the Sharks still needing a win to secure the playoff spot and their next opportunity will come with the visit of Worcester Wolves to the Tank on 20th April. There’s little these two sides don’t know about each other, this being the seventh encounter of a long season. Worcester prevailed over two legs in the Cup, the Sharks over two legs in the Trophy. The league series is level at 1-1 after the Sharks won 96-92 on the road and the Wolves by 91-80 at the EIS just before Easter. Again, it could be another useful head-to-head to secure given the melee of teams in mid-table. Worcester were tactically astute to exploit the absence of Sharks skipper Mike Tuck last time out but hopefully the balance should be restored by the time this fixture comes around.

One win in the last five has been a rough spell for the Sharks, albeit that two of those games were lost by solitary points. The Sharks will be happy to welcome their talismanic skipper back from his admirable exploits in Australia leading the England side to what was effectively the quarter final stage at the Commonwealth Games. With five games left to the end of regular season, now is the time to get the momentum rolling. The Sharks have beaten all the current top eight with the exception of champions Leicester – and they have had a few challenging encounters with them this season as well! You would perhaps hope to avoid the Riders and possibly Newcastle in the playoff quarter finals but after that well, you have to beat the best if you want to be the best! The sooner a playoff spot is secured, the better. Last week’s opponents London are arguably the league’s form side and the Sharks were just a single shot away from beating them despite their current lack of numbers in the win column. The Sharks faithful have seen what the side is capable of and now is the time to muster up one last effort before the summer hiatus. It is an old cliché but there is no point in wondering what might have been. It’s time to crash the ‘Big Dance!’

Your DBL Sharks Sheffield head to Bristol Flyers on Tuesday 17th April for a 7.30pm tip off at the WISE Arena. The game is scheduled to be shown on the UNILAD Facebook platform at the time of writing.

The Sharks return home on Friday 20th April when Worcester Wolves are the visitors for another 7.30pm start. For tickets go to:

http://purchase.tickets.com/buy/TicketPurchase?pid=8466663&agency=TDC_UK&campid=TDC_NEW_WWW_2013

Just two home games remain in regular season before the Playoffs begin. We need the SharkNation to get us over that finishing line. It’s time to #FearTheFin!

Image:

Andy Chubb