If you check here is the link to the Knockout Cup Final details on the Phoenix site. Where you can read about the generous accommodation made by the Elite League and the Giants in terms of accommodating the, as yet to be played, Knockout Cup Final games against the Giants. Now ill admit im ranting about this with no knowledge about the dealings and communications between all three parties, as are everyone else really!
Now lets set a few things out first:
- The problem has been created as both the Phoenix and the Giants have progressed to the final, both finals are two legs. Add in to the usual fixture crunch that happens at the end of the season and you are left with a perfect storm.
- The Giants are an arena team, so they don’t have huge amounts of flexibility in re-arranging or shoe horning in extra games! Having said that they do have Dundonald!
- The Elite League leaving the competition to run so late in the season.
- The Giants qualified for the CC Final first and got 2nd leg at home! Fair enough!
Ok so sorry they turned into a little rant to! As you will have read to accommodate the final the Phoenix V Giants game this sunday the 22nd March is doubling up as the 1st Leg of the Final. The second leg will be played at the O on Thursday the 26th March.
This is wrong on a number of levels:
- The Giants only have to make one visit to Altrincham, however the Phoenix have to make another trip to Belfast. To be fair the Giants should be making two trips to Alty, one for the league game and one for the 2nd Leg of the final! Which……
- Should be at Altrinhcam. Any scrap of credibility and fairness the league had has now firmly left the building. The Phoenix qualified for the final first and therefore, as the Giants had the 2nd leg of the CC final, we should have the 2nd leg of this final.
- So we could have had the final played over the Tue/Thu of next week, no big deal, the Phoenix have been playing like this all March!
- Plus I don’t buy the argument that this was the only date that O was available. Bullocks, that’s why the Giants have been using Dundonald, that’s why the CC final is in Dundonald. Play at Dundonald!
Generally in life I don’t get very angry, the only times I do its always hockey related, and this is no exception im really angry about this! OK ignore this as a ‘little team fan rant’ but bullocks again, the big 4 and Elite League have had their way and had us over a barrel! This is a crappy deal, the Phoenix have lost out on a money spinning home second leg, a leg that potentially could have had the team lifting a trophy at home! The one concession I will make is it makes the last game of the season, against the Giants from a pointless league game into a meaningful cup final game, but that is it! Nothing else!
I just can’t calm down about this, the Phoenix really have been shafted!
I will doff my cap to Andy C and Neil who must have worked tirelessly sorting this out! But its not right we should be having the 2nd leg!
So phew, got that off my chest, onto tonight's CC Final 2nd Leg. This will be a tight game, and one im sure will be played at the same insane intensity levels of the first leg! I hope the Phoenix can do it, I wont be there in person but will be in spirit!