THE Basingstoke Bison’s quest to win the final trophy on offer this season ended in the play-off semi-finals at Coventry, as they were beaten by reigning league champions the Telford Tigers 3-2.

This was despite the Herd taking the lead at 3:56 on the first powerplay of the night, as Derek Roehl scored with a blue line bullet.

However, exactly a minute later, Telford were level, after Clarkson made the most of a nice pass from Matty Davies and scored.

The rest of the opening session remained even with both sides having chances, but there was no addition to the score.

The second session started with the Bison testing their former netminder Jon Baston, as Tomas Karpov, Grant Rounding and Rene Jarolin were all denied.

The Bison then ran into penalty trouble, when Ciaran Long joined Declan Balmer in the sin bin, which gave the visitors 33 seconds of a two man advantage.

The Herd penalty kill units did their job and Roehl so nearly scored shorthanded.

Reynolds then hit the post, before a great passing move involving Jarolin, Ivan Antonov and Joe Miller, saw Jarolin slot home at 31:54.

Telford replied from Adam Jones, as he converted a pass from Davies to make it 2-2.

The turning point of the game arrived at 37:51, when Bison captain Aaron Connolly was dismissed for boarding Milan Kolena.

This gave the Tigers a five minute powerplay, split across the period break.

Both Jonathan Weaver and Sam Zajac tested the Herd’s Tomas Hiadlovsky before the interval and Silverthorn did after.

Just when it looked like the Bison would survive the penalty, Weaver found Clarkson to score his second of the night at 42:26.

After this the Herd piled on the pressure looking for an equaliser and former Bison goalie Baston had to be at his best to deny both Jarolin and Roehl.

The tension grew as the clock ticked down, even more so when the Herd were given a late powerplay.

They pulled their goalie for the final 49 seconds, but were unable to force an equaliser.

So this means this afternoon’s top two in the league Telford and Milton Keynes, battle it out in the play-off final. This was after MK beat Guildford 8-3 in the first semi-final yesterday.