Dogs race into semi final spot

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Sheffield Steeldogs go into 2012 on a high with a Cup semi-final position secured.

That along represents a tremendous achievement for Steeldogs and player coach Andre Payette in only their second year in existence and only three imports.

Dogs beat Peterborough Phantoms 4-1 to clinc the semi spot and two added league points.

They will face Milton Keynes in the semi with Guildford and Manchester meeting in the other. It would be fantastic if both northern teams could make it through to the final.

Manwhile, Steeldogs face Telford Tigers tonight, 7.45pm.

Payette continues to appeal to all Sheffield hockey fans to come and support his team after a big crowd last Friday.

Telford have been playing well since they also returned to full strength with the return of the GB U20’s players and can cause upsets with their tenacity. The games between the two teams have been feisty goal fests, so another entertaining game in store.

Steeldogs are tied with Manchester on 32 points in fourth and fifth positions in a really tight Premier league, though with Guildford edging away at the top on 44 points.

“It’s an exciting New Year in prospect for Steeldogs and we hope you will continue to enjoy it with us” said the coach.

Payette had been delighted with the 4-1 win over Phantoms.

They survived a lack-lustre initial 31 minutes of the game and at 0-1 down, he called a very significant time out.

This seemed to do the trick as Lloyd Gibson lifted the spirits with a goal four minutes later at 35.20.

Janis Ozolins then doubled it at 36.12 to take Steeldogs into the second break with a one goal lead.

Andrew Hirst gave some breathing space on a two goal lead at 50.39 as the team turned up the heat on the Phantoms who had held the Steeldogs in check for the first half of the game.

Payette celebrated with the fourth goal at 58.32. It ensured the celebrations could begin in the stands in clinching the semi-final position.