BRACKNELL Bees completed another win-double last weekend to maintain their bid to reach the play-offs, writes Dave Wright.

They won 5-1 at bottom-of-the-table Leeds Chiefs on Saturday before beating Peterborough Phantoms 7-5 at home on Sunday.

Yet, they were still unable to make up ground on Raiders, who currently occupy the important eighth place, as the Romford club followed up their two wins over Bees with another four-point weekend, this time at the expense of Hull Pirates.

So the National League placings remain unaltered with Raiders on 42 points and Bees 40.

Both have six league fixtures remaining, two of them against each other – at the Hive this Saturday and at Romford a week later.

Bees lost twice to them on successive days last month and they must now turn those results around if they are to move above their rivals.

If they play as they did for five of the six periods last weekend, then they have a fighting chance. But they won't be successful if there is a repeat of the final 17 minutes on Sunday when they conceded four goals to Phantoms.

Fortunately, by then Bees had swept into a 6-2 lead, due in no small measure to another magnificent performance from Dominik Gabaj.

Maintaining his rich vein of form, the 27-year-old Slovakian scored two – only the Peterborough post denying him a hat-trick – and assisted in three other goals as Bees put their first five on the board.

Josh Ealey-Newman and Aidan Doughty found the target to give their side a 2-1 lead going into the first break, with Gabaj (2) and Ealey-Newman hitting three unanswered goals in the middle period.

At 5-1 and playing well both in defence and attack, Bees appeared to have control of the game.

Martins Susters pulled one back before Joe Baird added a sixth shortly before the 50th-minute mark.

After Nathan Pollard had replied for the visitors, Josh Smith made it 7-3 with a little over seven minutes remaining.

In the last three minutes, Phantoms twice replaced goalie Ryan Bainborough with an extra skater and they pulled two goals back in less than a minute through Susters, giving him a hat-trick, and Tom Norton.

It was still a game Bracknell never looked like losing, and that could also be said about Saturday's visit to the new, but not yet finished, Planet Ice venue in Leeds.

They took charge with goals from Roman Malinik (17:38), James Galazzi (22:30), Ealey-Newman (30:54), Gabaj (31:10) and Will Stead (37:16) before Joe Coulter bagged a consolation goal for the Chiefs at 39:59 when they were on the powerplay.

Overall, Leeds had 36 shots at goal, one fewer than Bees, but saw netminder Adam Goss produce another man-of-the-match performance.

Home players, however, let their frustrations boil over, leading to two on-ice fights in the final period.

Bracknell's Josh Martin allowed himself to become a bit too much involved, and he ended up with a total of 43 penalty minutes plus a game ban, which meant he missed Sunday's encounter with Phantoms.

The TSI World-sponsored Bees are home twice this weekend, hosting Raiders on Saturday (6.15pm face-off) and Sheffield Steeldogs on Sunday (5.30pm) and they are two matches they need to win to keep their play-offs hopes alive.