THE Basingstoke Buffalo put up a brave fight as they were narrowly beaten by two of the best sides in their league last weekend, writes Graham Merry.

On Saturday night they lost 4-2 away at league leaders the Peterborough Phantoms and then 24 hours later, went down 2-0 to the unbeaten Guildford Phoenix.

In Peterborough, the netminders were the stars of the show as the Buffs Dan Weller-Evans and Phantoms Ryan Bainborough picked up the man of the match awards.

The home side scored once in the first two periods thanks to Brad Wright and Brad Moore.

Moore then added a third, before the Buffs hit back as Xander Robinson netted assisted by Cam Buckle and Will Birch, who picked up a point in his first game back for the club.

The visitors then made it a one-goal game after a delightful shorthanded strike from Buckle.

The Phantoms looked to be spooked, but with six minutes left Nathan Pollard completed the 4-2 win.

On Sunday night, the Buffalo gave a debut to defenceman Aston Keep and produced another good performance.

Will Birch and Hallam Wilson both had chances early on which just went agonizingly wide.

The Phoenix took the lead in the game at 11:35 from Harry Wright.

They then added a second seven minutes later, after a harsh penalty call on Wilson allowed Guildford to score on the powerplay from their man of the match Jacob Rondeau-Smith.

The second session saw Dan Weller-Evans come up with a great breakaway save to deny Ollie Denis.

He then took a blue line slap shot from Nick Minhinnick right on the face mask, but bravely carried on turning away 22 shots he faced in the period and 50 in total.

The Buffs best chance of the middle period came from Wilson shorthanded, but he was denied by Jake Stoodley.

The final 20 minutes saw the home side still working hard for their first goal and man of the match Cam Buckle found Kristian Nicholson, but he shot was saved.

Captain Sam Compton then tried a blast from the blue line and in the final minute, Stoodley produced a great double save to deny Wilson and Paul Petts to make sure of his 20-shot shut out.

After the game Hallam Wilson one of the Buffalo player coaches said: “I really feel we turned a corner this weekend as we played well against the two best teams in our league. I am upbeat going forward for the rest of the season.”

Next up for the Buffs is a home game against Peterborough on Sunday (6.30pm).