Sharks face crucial period

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IT’S beginning to get towards crunch time in Sheffield Sharks’ season with defining matches coming thick and fast.

Tomorrow night the Sharks welcome play-off rivals Manchester Giants to the English Institute of Sport.

Sharks currently occupy the eighth and final play-off position with 16 points from 21 matches. The Giants are one place below on the same number of points but having played two games more.

Sharks forward Andrew Bridge says he and his teammates are ready for a tough encounter: “We’ve done pretty well against them recently, though obviously they beat us at the start of the season.

“But they’re a changed team from them, and from talking to people they’re playing differently.

“Mike Bernard’s making more of an impact, and we all know what Nick [George] can do as he was with us for ten days during pre-season.

“He a good player and he’s had a positive impact on what they do. It’ll be a tough game, last time we played them in Sheffield we blew them away, but it won’t be that easy this time.”

Sheffield’s BBL Trophy semi-final fixtures against Cheshire Phoenix have been set. The first leg is at the Northgate Arena in Chester on Sunday, February 24 (5.30pm) with the return leg at the EIS in Attercliffe on Friday, March 1 (7.30pm).