TOM Banner and Thomas Barry had a night to remember as the Basingstoke Bison beat the Telford Tigers 6-3 last Saturday, writes Graham Merry.

Basingstoke-born Banner scored his first-ever senior goal and Barry on his debut netted a brace.

The Herd welcomed back from injury defenceman Josh Kelly and with the addition of fellow blue liner Barry, signed on a two-way deal from parent club Widnes, their defensive core returned to six.

The visiting Tigers found themselves behind after just 80 seconds after a blue line bullet from Banner.

Telford equalised from Rick Plant, after Jordan Lawday had already stopped two point blank efforts seconds earlier.

The Herd goalie then continued to have an excellent game between the pipes and in the final minute of the first period, the home side retook the lead. This was after good work from Edgars Landsbergs and Aidan Doughty saw Barry tap home at the back post.

Early in the second session Vladmir Luka made it 2-2, but the Herd hit back as Brendan Baird become the third defenceman on the night to score and then Barry netted his second.

Telford called a time out at this point and shortly after pulled a goal back from Scott McKenzie, but the Bison made it 5-3 at the break thanks to Zack Milton.

The final session saw both netminders on top form. Then in the final minute, the Tigers pulled their goalie and within seconds Marcel Balaz with a long range effort hit the empty net to conclude the 6-3 win.

On Sunday night in Slough, the Bison cruised to a 7-1 victory over the Bees.

They never looked back after taking the first session 3-0 as Gael Lubwele, George Norcliffe and Balaz all scored.

Two more goals followed in the second session from Doughty and Landsbergs.

In the last 20 minutes Doughty and Ollie Hemmings-Maher made it 7-0, before a late consolation strike from Will Stead completed the scoring.

Basingstoke Gazette: Thomas Barry centre of five Bison players skates back to the bench after scoring his second of the night. Pic by Jo LoatThomas Barry centre of five Bison players skates back to the bench after scoring his second of the night. Pic by Jo Loat (Image: Jo Loat)

A delighted Bison head coach Ashley Tait said: “We had some harsh words after last week’s loss to Hull and they also had some in-house conversations between themselves. We came out and played two good 60-minute games.”

This coming weekend, the Bison are at home to the Raiders on Saturday (4.45pm) and on Sunday they are away to the Sheffield Steeldogs.

Tait said: “We have only played the Raiders once and really were not good enough on the day. We have matched up well against Sheffield with two one-goal games.

“I think if we are focused on putting a good defensive responsible performance together, we will give ourselves a chance to build on last weekend.”