Cardiff

Dragons Fired Up For The Prem

Cardiff have been crowned champions of West 1 and stand just one game away from a perfect season.

The Harlequins are 12 from 12 in a glorious revitalisation and are eyeing a place in the Prem next season.

“It has been a great season and we have really progressed as a team,” said captain Ceri Hill. “We have traditionally done well in West 1 and had high expectations but we’ve surpassed them.

“We will have a club discussion after the final game about the play-off game but I’m optimistic that it will be a yes this season.”

Cardiff won West 1 last year, along with the Intermediate Flags, but declined the opportunity to challenge for a slot in the top flight.

This season they found an astro for more structured training and were rewarded with new recruits and a more cohesive team game.

“The training facilities have made a huge difference and we now have a second team that is going well and we are in a strong position,” added Hill. “Most of the guys who played this year will be around next season so getting into the Prem is a realistic goal.”

The team has been driven on by former Timperley goalie turned face-off supremo Paul Chapman’s dominance and goals from Hamish Tilley, Ondrej Teluch and Will Barrett.

The stats are impressive. Cardiff have hit 192 goals while only conceding 59. They have been pushed close by Bath but probably need the challenge of a demanding Prem season to forge another Dragon dynasty.

Lacrosse is thriving at university level in Wales with Cardiff University fielding a 2nd team and a new set up at the University of South Wales in Pontypridd.

“It has come on over the last decade and really accelerated over the last three years to probably its highest point right now,” said Hill. “That has helped us but at club level in Wales we need that junior development.

“We are concentrating on finishing the season well with the Bath game and then the Intermediate Flags. Both will be tough games but we are looking forward to them.”

Cardiff, who were relegated from the Prem in 2013, will need to play off against the winner of East 1 to claim the Premiership slot on April 18. Their opponents, at current league standings, would be Maidstone who are in 3rd place behind Spencer and Hillcroft’s 2nd teams, who cannot be promoted.

Spencer will be Prem champions if they triumph at Purley on Saturday while Welwyn will be hoping to give themselves a lifeline at East Grinstead

Prem Fixtures

East Grinstead v Welwyn

Hampstead v Hillcroft (1:00pm)

Purley v Spencer

Reading v Hitchin

Blues v Bristol Bombers