BRACKNELL Bees ended their season on a high by defeating Hull Pirates 5-4 in overtime at The Hive on Saturday, writes Dave Wright.

It was a real treat for the fans, who have not had much to cheer this season, having seen their side hovering around the foot of the table since last September.

So when Alex Barker fired home with just 78 seconds left on the clock, the place erupted.

With a bigger than average attendance, there had been a great atmosphere all night, but the roar that greeted this very welcome late winner saw the noise decibels reach the highest level heard at The Hive this season.

“It was certainly exciting and a good way to finish the season,” said Bees captain Matt Foord.

His side had started the game well, racing into a 2-0 lead inside the opening five minutes through Barker and Olegs Lascenko.

But they were unable to stay ahead for long and strikes from Andrej Themar and Andrew Hirst brought the scores level by the end of opening period.

Shaun Thompson restored the lead on 24:58, but within three minutes Hirst had made it 3-3.

Bracknell News:

Shaun Thompson collects his man-of-the-match prize for his performance against Hull Pirates.

Bees took advantage of Pirates suffering double penalty trouble on 28:27, but only just.

Hirst and Nathan Salem were exiting the sin-bin just as Shaun Thompson scored his side's fourth with Luka Basic making his third assist of the match.

Thompson was unlucky not to have completed his hat-trick, while Bees also had several other chances to extend their advantage.

At the other end, Alex Mettam, who shared the net-minders' duties with Matt Smital, made some outstanding saves before Tommi Laine scored on power play to make it 4-4 in the 49th minute.

Bracknell had the better chances to win the match in the third period, but eventually had to wait until over-time.

They suffered an early blow when Shaun Thompson was sent to the sin-bin after just 16 seconds, but they kept their composure to kill off the power play.

Just when the game looked to be heading for penalties, Bees were awarded a penalty with Lukas Smital being taken out as he was looking to launch an attack from the centre of the rink.

Bees' player-coach failed to take the opportunity, being pushed wide by net-minder Ashley Smith.

There were groans all around the place, but within seconds they turned to cheers as Barker got on the end of a move involving Carl Thompson and Harvey Stead to grab a sensational winner.

Bracknell's third win over Hull this season took them up to 20 points, eight fewer than second-bottom Sheffield Steeldogs, who were hammered 10-6 by Hull on Sunday.

Shaun Thompson was voted Bees' man of the match, with Barker and Lukas Smital not far behind.

But as Foord said: “The whole team worked hard."

Looking at the season as a whole, the skipper commented: “It has been disappointing because you start with a goal of making the play-offs and we have not achieved it.

“But at the start of this season, it was largely about just getting a team on the ice and you have to give huge credit to Matt (Fettel), Carol (Miller) and Lukas (Smital) for getting the team together.

“You also have to respect the work ethic of the players. The guys have given 110 per cent every game.

“The back room staff we have here and the guys who help out on match nights deserve a great deal of credit.”

Foord continued: “Hopefully, we can continue to build the club up, get a bit more competitive and we will get a better opportunity of making the play-offs.”