BASINGSTOKE Bison’s English Premier League title hopes ended, as they lost 5-2 to new champions Manchester Phoenix on Sunday evening.

The Herd travelled north knowing only a victory would give them a realistic chance of the lifting the title.

After the first 20 minutes the scores were locked at 1-1 after man-of-the-match James Archer had scored for the Phoenix and Andy Melachrino equalised for the Bison.

The second session saw Manchester take a two goal lead from Robert Schnabel and Michal Psurny.

The Herd’s Joe Rand reduced the lead to one, but Tony Hand made it 4-2 at 37:55.

The Bison tried to get back on terms in the final period and pulled their goalie in the final minute, but it was Manchester who scored into the empty net from Robin Kovar.

The Bison now have one weekend left of the league campaign, with games at Swindon and at home to Milton Keynes on Sunday.

The Herd will then look for more silverware in the play-offs which start on Saturday March 29.