WARREN Jones was the Basingstoke Buffalo's hat-trick hero as they opened 2020 with an impressive 7-2 victory over the Solent Junior Devils.

Jones took just 36 seconds to open the match scoring, but the visitors levelled things in the fifth minute and then took the lead.

However, a shorthanded strike from Oscar Evans, back from injury, made it 2-2 at the first break.

The second session saw just the one goal as the Buffalo took the lead thanks to a Cam Buckle powerplay goals assisted by Sam Dollin.

The final period belonged to the home side as they scored four unanswered goals.

Travis Penny got the first as he finished a move which involved Buckle and Sam Brooks.

The Buffalo made it 5-2, as Jones scored on the powerplay from captain Neil Leary.

Evans added a sixth for the home side at 57:25 assisted by Dollin.

Then 14 seconds later, Jones completed his hat-trick as he put away a pass from Jack Peacock.

The victory closed the gap on second placed Swindon to one point, with both sides having played 11 games.

The Buffalo's next home game is on January 19 (6.15pm) when the Cardiff Fire will be the visitors.

The previous night they are away in Swindon.