GATESHEAD Thunder are out to spoil the party tomorrow as Celtic Crusaders come to the Thunderdome looking to clinch the National Two trophy, writes RICHARD NEALE.
The Crusaders can seal the crown with what many people expect to be a win, but Thunder’s assistant coach Chris Hood has warned his team are also looking to end the season on a high.
“It’s the last 80 minutes of the season and we’re going to fight to the death,” he said. “Our players are aware they shouldn’t be second bottom of the league and know they have let themselves down in some respects in some games this season.
“Every good sportsman wants to go out and prove to the people who pay their wages and those who are paying to watch that they are good enough to play at a high level – and we’ve got a lot of good sportsmen at this club.
“There will be lots of Celtic fans coming and the league trophy is coming to the ground, so we want to try to make sure the opposition don’t get a chance to pick it up at our ground – it would be great to get a win and really mix things up in the division.”
The good sportsmen Hood talks about may not be the professional former Super League and Australian NRL players Celtic boast in their ranks, but he is adamant they can put in a performance to be proud of.
“We’ve proven we can score points against anybody in this division and when we went to their place we were well in the game for a large portion of it,” he said. “They’re not the best team defensively – they don’t really beat you up like Oldham for example – but they are very clever and can find gaps anywhere. So we’ll just need to be enthusiastic in defence and keep going.”
GATESHEAD THUNDER: Thorman, Peers, Stephenson, Nash, Wilson, Martin, Partis, Payne, Smith, Doherty, Wooden, Knowles, Williamson. Subs: Clarke, Barron, Parker, Scott.