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Page last updated at 14:58 GMT, Wednesday, 2 March 2011

Wightlink Raiders boss eyes intense play-off battle

Jeremy Cornish
Cornish has taken the Raiders on an 23-game unbeaten run this season

Wightlink Raiders coach Jeremy Cornish says his side can triumph in the play-offs because they are best-suited to that style of competition.

Raiders, who need just six points to clinch the Division One South title, lost 6-4 to Bracknell Hornets in the play-off final last season.

"We're built for the play-offs, we play like a play-off team. It's why we're doing well," he told BBC Radio Solent.

"We play physically intense hockey and that's needed to win the play-offs."

The 31-year-old added: "The play-offs are a different game entirely, they're more physical and much quicker than other competitions because they're over in one month, so it's a really intense time."

The play-offs, contested by the top eight teams in the league, begin on 19 April.

If the Raiders do clinch the title, they will meet the side that finishes eighth in the table in the first round.

"The first game for us will be easier than anything, but in the play-offs anything can happen," said Cornish.

"We finished sixth last year and ended up in the final, so once these play-offs start everything that has happened this season is written off.

"It's a fresh start for every single team and every coach will be telling their team the same thing, it's a clean slate for the players and a chance to prove themselves."

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