THE Basingstoke Buffalo won their only pre-season game with a thrilling 5-4 victory over the visiting Coventry Blaze last Sunday, writes Graham Merry.

In a tight contest from the start Charles Coney had the Blaze ahead in the seventh minute.

The Buffalo hit back as Scott Anda scored from close range assisted by Cam Buckle and Oli Hemmings-Maher.

The home side then took the lead at 17:55 thanks to a great finish from Roman Cathcart, as he converted a Paul Petts pass.

Coventry man of the match Arthur Brookes tied the game up with the only goal of the middle session.

The same player then netted his second of the night early in the third period, before the Buffs replied thanks to a Hemmings-Maher’s brace with Petts assisting both and Freddie Stephens picking up a helper on the second, writes Graham Merry.

Once again Coventry tied the game from Connor Wheeldon.

The visitors were then given a great chance to win the game when Josh Richards was harshly called for cross checking.

Despite being a man down, it was the Buffalo who scored the game winner with 44 seconds left. This came from man of the match Petts assisted by Sam Compton and Hemmings-Maher.

Talking after the game one of the Buffalo’s player/coaches Petts said: “I felt we controlled the game and deserved to win. We still have things to work on in training this week, but we are now excited to get the league campaign underway and build on this win.”

The Buffalo’s league opener is at home to the Cardiff Fire on Saturday September 9.

Bison stars from last season Hallam Wilson and Carl Graham will be added to the line-up for this game, after missing the Blaze match.

Looking ahead to the clash Petts said: “Cardiff are always a strong team, so we are expecting a tough game.”