THE Basingstoke Buffalo set-up a semi-final play-off showdown with league champions Guildford Phoenix after they swept aside the Bristol Pitbulls in their quarter-final clash last weekend, writes Graham Merry.

The final four match-up between the Herd and Guildford takes place at Alexandra Palace on Saturday and has a 10.30am face-off.

When the Buffalo last faced the Phoenix they were narrowly beaten 2-0, in a game which could have gone either way, so there semi-final clash is set to be an enthralling contest.

The victorious team will go onto play either the Haringey Huskies or Peterborough Phantoms on Sunday in the play-off final in a game which starts at 1pm.

The Herd booked their place at Alexandra Palace thanks to 7-4 aggregate win over Pitbulls thanks to a 3-2 win at home and 4-2 success in Bristol.

In the first game of the double header in Basingstoke, the Buffs took the lead in the fifth minute from Adam Jones on the powerplay.

The visitors hit back to level things soon after from Jamie Newton.

However, the home side led by the first buzzer as man of the match Alex Sampford netted.

The only goal of the middle session saw Petts extend the Buffalo lead to two.

The last 20 minutes of the first leg saw Bristol pull a goal back from Dean Baker to set-up a tense second leg in Bristol.

The Pitbulls had an excellent first 20 minutes on home ice as goals from Sam Bryant and Nathan Chilcott gave them a 2-0 lead on the night and 4-3 overall.

However, the Buffalo hit back in the middle session and scored three goals in a four minute spell, which won them the quarter-final.

Man of the match Petts got the first, followed by a brace of goals from Harry Harcup.

Both were assisted by Xander Robinson, with Sam Hemmings-Maher picking up a helper on the second one.

The tie was finally put to bed by man of the match Petts with a goal 10 minutes from time.

This completed a 4-2 win on the night and a 7-4 aggregate victory which booked their place at Alexandra Palace.