WE ENDED the 2016/17 league season with back-to-back wins against Swindon last weekend.

This confirmed our third place. In the last five years we’ve finished in the top three every year.

We’re very proud of our consistency. This is built on sound foundations, with ice hockey being played across all age groups in Basingstoke.

Local lads know that we are keen to develop young talent to give them the opportunity of being selected for the senior Bison team.

Last year, of course, we were the league champions and we marked that on Sunday evening by raising a banner in the rink.

Visitors to the rink can see how we commemorate outstanding results and outstanding individuals.

Swindon made us work hard for our wins. We had to come from behind in both games. We wanted to continue the momentum we have built up with a run of wins.

Now it’s play-off time. In the next two weeks we have six games, home and away, against Milton Keynes, Swindon and Hull, to qualify for the semi-finals and finals in Coventry.

You will know how the first of these went, as we played Hull yesterday evening. Our other home fixtures are on March 26 and April 1.

Ice hockey is always exciting, but becomes even more so as the season comes to a climax.

The rink will be packed, the atmosphere thrilling. We all, players and fans, want to be competing in Coventry for the final trophy of the season.

So, for the time being, the players will put the past behind them and focus only on the games still to be played.

They’re fit, and the squad will be completed at the weekend by Ivan Antonov, coming back from his University studies.

There’s hockey and there’s play-off hockey. See you all there.