BRACKNELL Bees celebrated another successful weekend, winning twice without ever being at their best, writes Dave Wright.

They triumphed 6-5 at London Raiders on Saturday before beating Invicta Dynamos 7-6 in overtime 24 hours later.

As the scorelines indicate, Bees were seen at their best when on the offensive, but defensively they encountered some problems along the way.

Bees made slightly the better start at Lee Valley, but, with netminders Zach Grandy-Smith and Alex Mettam in good form, the opening period remained goalless until 48 seconds before the break when Jack Pitchley opened Raiders’ account.

A little more than two minutes after the resumption, Bees drew level through Tom Avery, only for the hosts to regain the lead thanks to Juraj Huska in the 26th minute.

There was then a flurry of goals with Frankie Bakrlik and Scott Spearing netting for Bees before Marek Nahlik scored for Raiders to make it 3-3 by the 37th minute.

Josh Martin put Bracknell back in front, only for Huska to bring the scores back level.

Bakrlik bagged the fifth in the 49th minute and another from Martin made it 6-4.

John Connolly cut the deficit with just over a minute remaining to set up a nervy finish, but Bees held on to record their third away win in succession.

Martin was voted their man of the match.

On Sunday, that honour went to Bakrlik after he had netted four goals in the win over Invicta.

It was fortunate the powerful Czech was in top form as for the second night running the Bees’ defending fell below its usual standard.

In fact, the team’s general performance lacked its usual intensity and they certainly made hard work of beating Dynamos.

Even a third-minute scrap between James Galazzi and Mason Webster failed to liven up proceedings – the referee stepping in after about a minute when realising there didn’t appear to be many punches being thrown.

At the time Bees were leading through Bakrlik’s goal on 2:14.

But they went into the first break trailing, with netminder Danny Milton being beaten by Tommy Ralph and then Webster.

Bees began the second period on the attack with Galazzi twice going close before seeing George Norcliffe make it 2-2 on 24 minutes, only for Adam Rehak to restore Invicta’s lead with a power-play goal on 28:51.

Norcliffe immediately replied for Bees and then Bakrlik intercepted an Invicta pass to make it 4-3 on 31:38.

But then Justin Robinson (32:44) and Ralph (33:42) both took advantage of power-play opportunities to leave Bees trailing 5-4.

All through there was quite a lot of friction between certain players, forcing referee Jan Schmejkal to speak to the two captains more than once, And the men from Kent received a 10-minute team penalty for misconduct as the players left the ice for their second break, with Ralph being nominated for a visit to the sin-bin.

The goal fest continued with Galazzi making it 5-5 on 42:30, as did the scuffles, with player-coach Spearing and Rehak both spending four minutes in the box.

Spearing saw his side fall behind again to a Louis Colvin goal on 49:14, but a rocket shot by Bakrlik from nearly 20 yards restored parity at 6-6.

In the remaining seven minutes Bees looked the more likely side to grab the winner with Bakrlik and Spearing both going close.

It came as no surprise that it was Bakrlik who went on to crash home the winner on 61:01, just seconds after leaving the bench.

His fourth goal of the game – and his sixth of the weekend – earned him his team’s player-of-the-match award, though the impressive Norcliffe must have pushed him close, Shaun Thompson, who missed the match due to family reasons, looks set to return for the National Cup group match at Swindon on Saturday (6.15pm) and Bees will then be aiming to make it eight wins from nine league games when they host London Raiders in the return fixture on Sunday (6pm).