BRACKNELL Bees ended 2018 with a 4-2 home win over Swindon Wildcats and will be hoping to start the new year with a similar result over their M4 rivals, writes Dave Wright.

The two clubs meet again at The Hive this evening (Wednesday, 6pm), although on this occasion there will be no league points up for grabs.

They meet in a two-legged challenge for the Young Epilepsy charity, the first leg having taken place in Swindon last night.

Bees head coach Doug Sheppard said: “It’s nice to get a little break over the holiday period, then get straight back into a game and again test ourselves against a top team.

“Most importantly, it’s a great chance for both us and Swindon to hopefully raise a lot of money for a great charity. ”

The Berkshire Cycles sponsored side resume their NIHL South One programme this coming Saturday when they host Peterborough at The Hive (6pm).

Bees have been beaten three times by the Phantoms this season, the latest coming a month ago when they crashed to a rather embarrassing 7-3 defeat.

Last weekend Peterborough missed two chances to go back on top of the table, losing 3-2 at Swindon on Saturday and then by the same margin in overtime to visitors Basingstoke Bison on Sunday, their third defeat in four games.

So the Wildcats head the placings on goal difference with 37 points from 26 matches, followed by Peterborough also on 37 from 22, Basingstoke 35 from 24 and Bees 35 from 25.

With fifth-placed Raiders five points behind, Bees look assured of a top-four finish, but they are very much in the running for the No. 1 spot going into the play-offs, especially if they can beat their bogey side Peterborough.

Then on Sunday (6.45pm) Doug Sheppard takes his side to second-from-bottom Milton Keynes Thunder, looking to follow up their 7-3 home win in November.