Tigers’ play-off dream ends – but Watkins won’t look back in anger

“No regrets” – that’s the call from Tigers Head Coach Tom Watkins, after his side tumbled out of the English Premier League play-offs against Peterborough Phantoms.

Saturday’s 4-2 loss at the Coventry Skydome brought to an end a remarkable season for Telford, who finished as EPL champions and British Challenge Cup holders.

But they missed on the chance to secure a treble of major trophies, with the Phantoms going on to meet either Manchester or Milton Keynes in Sunday’s final.

For Watkins, the loss will have little effect on his reflections of a historic year for the club.

He said: “It is disappointing to lose and I don’t think we were at our best. Peterborough made it very difficult for us. We were up against a very good netminder, but no regrets.

“The guys worked very hard and it would have been nice to win and cap off a really good season. I don’t really want to dwell on what happened today.”

The first period started at a frenetic pace, as both sides looked to gain a crucial early advantage. Peterborough were first on the scoresheet, with a goal after just two minutes.

The Tigers equalised at the midway point the first session, thanks to a powerplay strike from Max Birbraer. But it was the Phantoms who finished the period on top, after they scored with just two minutes remaining.

The second period saw Telford outshoot their opponents by 16 shots to 6, as their superiority began to tell. Peterborough, however, scored again on 30 minutes to finish the session 3-1 ahead.

Rick Plant gave Tigers fans a glimmer of hope with a well-worked goal just after the break, although their opponents scored again to secure victory.

Watkins added: “It was hard through the first two periods and we changed a few things, just to try and create a little more offense.

“We still outshot them, so we were creating scoring opportunities, but it wasn’t to be. The play-offs finals are a one-off game, so credit to Peterborough. They dug in, made it hard for us and I wish them all the best for the final.”

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