Basingstoke Bison player/coach Doug Sheppard's weekly column

Basingstoke Gazette: Basingstoke Bison player/coach Doug Sheppard. Basingstoke Bison player/coach Doug Sheppard.

WELL, we said we wanted to give you something to be proud of last Wednesday – and taking an 8-3 lead into the second leg of the semi-final of the cup in Guildford isn’t bad, is it?

I’m sure those of you who turned up at the rink on a cold, wet Wednesday will have been warmed by a great night of hockey. You certainly made the evening special for the players.

We got ourselves into play-off mode and put together three good periods of hockey for that first leg.

What I was most pleased with was the intensity we showed for 60 minutes. Of course, the goals scored by Joe Rand, Ciaran Long and Tom Karpov lifted everyone, but we got the same effect from the number of shots we blocked and our physicality.

Muzzy Wales has been a great pick-up for the team with his energy and leadership and we were proud to celebrate his 500th EPL game on Saturday.

Joe Baird reached the same milestone on Sunday in Sheffield. We’ll be honouring him on Saturday evening.

Just beginning his career, but equally solid and competitive, is Matt Selby. He’s re-joined us on a two-way contract with Coventry and has clearly developed his game since last pulling on a Bison shirt.

We’ll all remember our first game in those anniversary shirts!

Can we build on that in our remaining league fixtures, as we continue to pressure Manchester for the League title?

The ‘Herd in the Third’ is a phrase fans and players use when we come back from a losing position going into the final period. Sheffield on Sunday saw us do it again.

All the best,

Doug

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