THE Basingstoke Barracudas took on their toughest challenge yet as they stepped out onto the ice in Bracknell against local high-flyers the B52's.

The Skate Station, Target Therapies and Surrey Lofts sponsored side were facing a team that has just celebrated its 20th anniversary, and play in the league above Basingstoke.

They have long been thought of as the best recreational team in the region would be a daunting experience for any team in a two game challenge series.

However, the Barracudas were in good spirits having come off the back of a couple of strong performances since rebuilding the squad over the winter.

The game was closely fought from the start and over the three periods the Barracudas proved the stronger of the two teams fighting off a number of penalty kills to keep themselves ahead on the score sheet, walking away eventual winners 9-6 on the night.

The sides then faced each other again two weeks later, this time in Basingstoke and a very close encounter saw the visitors leading 4-3 midway through the final period as they eventually ran out 6-3 winners.

The Barracudas now focus on their Southern Elite Cup campaign which starts with two home games.

The first is against Swindon Spitfires(B) on Saturday March 23 (face-off 8.15pm).

The second will see a local derby against rivals Basingstoke Raptors on Saturday March 30 and face-off for this one is 4.30pm.

Both match will take place at the Basingstoke Arena with free entry to all spectators.