After a long away day at Edinburgh last weekend, the Nighthawks face a strong test at JMO Sports Park this weekend, when Sheffield Giants head across the Pennines for a Fathers Day feast of football.
Sheffield are a lot better than their current 1-5 record suggests. Having pushed Prem North leaders Tamworth close in their second game of the year, they came the closest any team has in the last 3 years to handing Coach Scott’s team a loss in game 5, where they led for the majority of the game. They were undone in the last few minutes of that game, but it is their defence that has been making the headlines this year. Despite their record, they have been beaten by less than a score twice this year, and Coach Chesters certainly has their defence firing. They are finding scoring hard to come by though, averaging less than 10 points per game.
Our last game with Sheffield ended our much maligned season last year, and both teams were disappointed with how it happened. A thunderstorm opened up over Skelmersdale with less than 3 minutes to go, flooding the all weather surface and after an enforced delay, the officials made the decision to end the game, handing the Nighthawks a 31-28 victory.
Merseyside come into the game on the back of a strong start to the year, sitting on 4-1 after back to back victories over the Wolves and then Manchester Titans, with their sole defeat coming at the hands of Prem North reigning Champs, Tamworth Phoenix. Their victory last weekend in Edinburgh saw the Hawks seize full control of their destiny for the season and will be looking to ensure that they do not come unstuck against what has become a bit of a bogey team in the Giants. However, Merseyside look better than ever coming into this weekend’s fixture and will be looking to ensure that the Giants don’t take home an upset.
Players to Watch
Quarterback Daniel Johnson – Johnson was able to settle into a rhythm quickly last week in the Giants victory over Leicester, and he was able to complete enough of his passes to make a difference.
RB Harry O’Neill – a consistent thorn in the Nighthawks side over the last few years, O’Neill is a diminutive back who finds holes in many a defence. Expect him to see a lot of the ball this weekend.
Defensive Unit as a whole – boasting a number of new additions from the two Sheffield university programs, the Giants defence has been their piece de la resistance this year, holding Manchester to only 6 points and nearly inflicting a defeat on perennial Prem North champions, Tamworth.
The game kicks off at 2:30pm at JMO Sports Park, with entry completely free of charge You can find out more here :-