THE Bespoke Guardians Swindon Wildcats endured mixed fortunes over the weekend as Aaron Nell’s men thumped Basingstoke Bison 7-2 at the Link Centre being falling 5-2 to the new NIHL league champions, Leeds Knights.

Swindon had taken a two-goal lead at The Castle through Balint Pakozdi and Nell on Saturday, only for the Knights to roar back.

Leeds were hammered 6-0 by Peterborough Phantoms in the first leg of their National Cup final on the Friday, but showed their class by edging past the Wildcats in the league prior to wrapping up their title with a 4-2 success at home to Telford Tigers on Sunday.

But analysing Swindon’s 5-2 reverse against Leeds, Nell said: “I thought we started the game really well.

“We expected Leeds to come right at us, but I thought in the first period we were really good. We went 1-0 up – Balint [Pakozdi] scored a great goal – and then we get it to 2-0 where we’re in full control.

“The thing with Leeds is, if they score one, they normally go on to score two or three quite quickly. It happened the last time we were here, and it’s happened again.

“The second and third goals are silly plays by us beforehand. We’ve got to be smarter, and we know that, but it was a good game.

“They were desperate to win, they’re not used to what happened to them the night before, but I thought we put ourselves in a really good position. We just need to be better when we’re in those positions moving forward.”

Against the Bison, head coach Nell led by example as he notched a first-period hat-trick to put Swindon in full control.

Nell then added his fourth of the night 32 seconds into the middle period before Marcel Balaz pulled a goal back for Basingstoke 10 seconds after the restart.

Pakozdi scored early in the 23rd minute to re-establish the four-goal advantage for Swindon, and Dylan Lipsey – son of Wildcats legend, David – scored his first professional goal at 37:26 to make it 6-1.

Russ Cowley added the Cats' seventh before the second buzzer, but Jack Peacock netted the final goal of the game at 39:25 for the Bison.