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Basingstoke Bison player/coach Doug Sheppard's weekly column
12:00pm Friday 15th February 2013 in Sport
GREG Owen and Stevie Lyle can look forward to a great reception this weekend from the Basingstoke fans on their return from Latvia.
Although the GB team failed to qualify for the Olympics, the two Bison players did themselves and the club proud.
They’ve come back in time for three very important games. Tickets for the second leg of the cup semi-final on February 20 are selling fast.
Slough come with a one-goal advantage, so it’s all set up for an exciting second leg on our home ice. It’s during half-term so it’s ideal for a great family night out, to take part in our push for a cup final place, and to experience the extraordinary atmosphere generated by our fans.
We won against Telford last Saturday, but the game was marred by an injury to Matt Selby. He came to us as injury cover and has impressed in every shift. We wish him a speedy recovery.
That meant, of course, that we travelled to Sheffield short-benched and, when one of our defence received a game penalty, we were effectively reduced to two five-man units. We fought hard and were narrowly beaten.
Joe Rand epitomises the character of the team, stepping up when Selby was injured and bringing us back into the game in Sheffield with his goal.
Our home game this weekend is on Sunday when we entertain Milton Keynes. They have beaten us twice on penalties on their home ice and come here in good form. We’ve been in the top two all season and intend to keep it that way.
Many thanks to the GB Sledge Hockey team who demonstrated their skills last weekend. They will be travelling to Estonia as they compete to move up the world rankings. We wish them every success.
See you Sunday and Wednesday.