AARON Nell believes the NIHL South One title could be decided this weekend as his table-topping Swindon Wildcats side face nearest challengers Basingstoke Bison twice in 24 hours.

The Cats’ superb league form since Christmas – which has seen them collect 24 points from a possible 24 – has lifted them from mid-table to the top of the pack.

Bison, meanwhile, are in a good run of form of their own, and sit just two points below with a game in hand.

A win at the Link Centre on Saturday (6.15pm) would therefore throw a curveball in the Cats’ bid to land the league title, having already lost out on defending their Autumn Trophy and NIHL Cup honours.

Nell said: “It’s a massive weekend. This weekend will have a big say in deciding who is at the top of the table at the end of the season.

“We’ve done well over the last five to six weeks, our performances have put us in a favourable spot.

“What we have got to now is take things a game at a time. We must continue to play as we have done in the last five or six weeks.

“The next two weeks are key really. Basingstoke back-to-back is going to be important, and then our fixtures against London and Streatham the weekend after won’t be easy either.

“Every game is like a cup final.”

Nell was also quick to praise his side’s mentality throughout last Sunday’s victory over another title rival, Peterborough Phantoms.

Despite the hosts taking an early lead, the Cats fought back to win 3-2.

And Nell wants to see that positive attitude translated onto the ice again this weekend.

“It was a good game at Peterborough – back and forth,” said Nell.

“Our commitment levels were huge and I was impressed by our desire to win – that’s ultimately what got us over the line.

“Renny (Marr) had a great game and Chris Jones chipped in with two massive goals.

“It was a great team performance, I was very proud of them.

“Renny has been great for us for the past two years. He keeps improving and keeps getting better.

“He is going to be key for us for the rest of the season.

“The goaltender position is the most important in hockey. We want to keep Renny as long as we can. We’re happy to have him confirmed for next year.”