Newcastle Sapphire Engineering Diamonds enter a crunch weekend with regard to their ability to end the season on a huge high.
The play-offs are in full swing and currently it would be any from the Diamonds, Redcar or Somerset who could progress from their mini-league to meet the Edinburgh Monarchs in the Premier League Trophy Grand Finale at the end of the month.
They have already battled with the local Bears – losing on Teesside but winning emphatically on Tyneside last Sunday.
And tonight the Diamonds travel south to the Oak Tree Arena to tackle Somerset – which will be their most important and potentially toughest match of 2013 to date.
“We have allowed ourselves a moment of celebration in winning the Knockout Cup,” said Somerset team manager Garry May, as his side prepare to welcome the Diamonds this evening.
“But we have to push that to the back of our minds now so that we are fully focused on the matches against Newcastle.
“Whatever happens beforehand we will still need to beat Newcastle at home tonight.
“And the more points we beat them by the better, so we really need our fans to get right behind the boys in what could well be a season-defining match for us.”
Diamonds boss George English is equally adamant when talking about the importance of both matches.
He said: “Our season’s big success – or potential for success – begins tonight and there’s no doubt about that. We have to go to the toughest team in the land and get a decent result, and that will be no mean feat.
“They are led by the superb Jason Doyle who is also involved in the Elite League race to the title with Birmingham, and we know he will be a major thorn in our side.
“Nick Morris and Josh Grajzconel are two more with vast Elite experience, and with former Diamond Kyle Newman also featuring in their side we know we’re in for a battle.
“But the last time we were at Somerset we lost 39-51, and we have to improve on that, which is a goal I believe we can achieve and then it’s back home for the return on Sunday.”
The return clash with the Rebels takes place at Brough Park on Sunday evening at 6.30pm.
SOMERSET REBELS: Jason Doyle (captain) , Nick Morris, Josh Grajczonek, Alex Davies, Kyle Newman, Charles Wright, Oliver Greenwood (guest).
NEWCASTLE DIAMONDS: Richie Worrall (captain), Stuart Robson - rider replacement, Andrew Tully, Ludvig Lindgren, Anton Rosen, Chris Schramm, Lewis Kerr.