Swindon Wildcats took a huge leap towards securing their passage through to the NIHL South One area play-off semi-final following an 11-1 first-leg win over Invicta Dynamos at the Link Centre on Saturday night.

The cats did the majority of the damage during the third period, scoring six goals, and will not have to do too much in Sunday evening’s game to progress on aggregate.

The only disappointing aspect for Aaron Nell’s team would have been the one goal they conceded to the team that finished bottom of the standings during the regular season.

Sam Bullas scored the first of his three in the opening period while Nell scooped home a clever finish before the opening buzzer.

Sam Jones made it three before Anthony Leone grabbed a precious goal for Invicta.

Bullas netted his second and club-captain Jan Kostal got in on the scoring before the end of 40 minutes.

Loris Taylor, Chris Jones, Eliot Randall, Floyd Taylor also scored during the third period while Kostal grabbed his second and Bullas rounded off an excellent hat-trick.

Speaking in front of the corporate hospitality guests post-match, Nell apologised for the lack of a contest but hoped people would come back next year to support the team in a new league.

Pleased with the result and contribution of goals from all over the ice, he said: "Sadly, it wasn’t the best game, but we’re happy with the way we played, and we need to make sure we finish it off tomorrow and be ready for next week.

"It was good that Floydy (Floyd Taylor) got a goal at the end and Bully (Sam Bullas) got a hat-trick. We’re just happy that we won and we’re really looking forward to next week."

Likely to rest some of his star players, Nell addressed the upcoming prospect of the second leg – a game that is likely to have even less intensity than the first leg.

Ahead of the return leg on Sunday evening, Nell said: “We’re just going to try and win – we’ve got to make sure that we don’t go backwards because we’re obviously in a very good position.”