BRADFORD BULLDOGS’ hopes of making the NIHL North Two Laidler play-offs were ended when rivals Sutton Sting clinched the fourth and final post-season spot with a come-from-behind win at Hull Jets.
Head coach Andy Brown said it was tough on his team who had staged something of a late surge to challenge for the Final Four Weekend in Widnes on April 16-17, winning three of their last four games.
But despite going 4-1 down in the first period at Hull, the Sting were able to stage an impressive comeback to take both points in regulation, their winning goal coming with less than two minutes to go on the power play to seal a 6-5 victory.
It means this weekend’s clash between Bulldogs and their Nottinghamshire rivals at Little Horton Lane will effectively be a dead rubber, although the Bulldogs will be keen to sign off their regular season campaign in winning style.
“We knew it was going to be a tall order to make the play-off weekend because we’d given ourselves a lot to do,” said Bulldogs’ boss Andy Brown.
“But we gave ourselves a chance going into the last couple of games which was pleasing because we showed at times that we were as good as most teams in this division.
“We’ve had it tough at times with injuries and player unavailability, but that’s the same for a lot of teams, to be fair.
“We want to make sure we finish off with a win and send a strong message to the rest of the league and show that we’ll come back in 2022-23, ready to make that top four next time around.
“Lastly, I’d like to say congratulations to Sutton for making it to the final four, it was obviously a cracking comeback in Hull. We hope it’s a great weekend for all four teams that have made it there.”