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Ice hockey: Deeside Dragons face weekend double-header including spicy cup tie at Blackburn Hawks

A DOUBLE-HEADER awaits Deeside Dragons this week as they begin their National League North Cup adventure.

After travelling to face Fylde Flyers in the National Ice Hockey League North Two division on Saturday, they are on the road again on Sunday as they go to Division One side Blackburn Hawks in the cup.

The tie was already emotionally charged with a number of key Hawks personnel switching to the Dragons in the summer, including assistant coach at Deeside Ric Hughes, but the game has taken on an added edge in recent weeks following allegations a Dragons player trained with the Hawks without the permission of his parent club.

The player in question, Aaron Davies, has not featured for Steve Fellows’ side in the wake of the claim and is now subject to a transfer request from the Hawks, but before that can be resolved player-coach Fellows has requested Davies attends a disciplinary meeting to discuss his actions, which took place a couple of weeks ago.

It is a disappointing development for Fellows, who is trying to build a side featuring young local talent that can go up into Division One, but he refused to dwell on it, instead focusing on a busy weekend ahead.

“Fylde will be tough as their rink is very small which makes every game competitive as there is no room to pass,” said Fellows.

“Then we face Blackburn Hawks and the lads are likely to be keen to deliver in that one.

“We have quite a few former Hawks and we want to gain promotion so it will be a good test against opposition from a higher league.”

On Sunday the Dragons played host to table-topping Nottingham Lions in a game which ended 3-3.

Fellows’ men were impressive for the most part and led 3-1 at one stage, but the Lions capitalised when the Dragons switched off and managed to pull level.

“The players were magnificent for most of the game,” said Fellows. “We were missing Dave Costelloe, who is suspended for five games, plus Pete Founds and Gary Dixon, and Davies was obviously not playing, but we started at a high tempo and we had them.

“In the net Dave Clancy was fantastic as well but five minutes of complacency late on allowed the Lions to get a draw.

“We just have to take the positives from it and move forward.”