THE Bespoke Guardians Swindon Wildcats followed up their Autumn Cup final first-leg victory on Friday with a 6-1 thumping of the Raiders on Saturday night in league action.

Aaron Nell’s men chiselled out a one-goal advantage against Leeds Knights at the Link Centre prior to what should have been a three-game weekend in total.

However, Sunday night’s return fixture against the Raiders was postponed earlier that day due to what the Essex club called “a rapidly developing Covid situation.”

But with an emotionally and physically-draining final first-leg behind them, the Cats set about trying to extend their lead at the top of the National Ice Hockey League on Saturday night.

Neil Liddiard took an early penalty for hooking, but Swindon held off the Raiders’ powerplay to remain all square in the early moments.

The hosts then took the lead as Tomasz Malasinski ripped the puck into the net in the 10th minute.

Another Raiders powerplay passed by without success following a slashing call against Edgars Bebris, and Swindon went into the locker room a goal to the good.

The middle period saw a much more efficient Wildcats performance as the goals began to flow in earnest - four goals in eight minutes all but decided the result.

Cardiff Fire’s Sam Smith scored his first goal via a wonderful solo skate down the rink, and three minutes later Reed Sayers got in on the action to add a third.

Chris Jones finished off a Bebris pass to put the Cats four goals up, and head coach Nell added a fifth in the 31st minute.

The Cats would not achieve a desired shut-out, however, after the Raiders’ Erik Piatak netted early the third period.

Not to be denied his customary goal, Emil Svec resumed Swindon’s scoring with 10 minutes to play and wrap up a thumping victory for the league leaders.