Manchester Phoenix 4-5 Milton Keynes Lightning (after overtime) Manchester Phoenix 5-2 Peterborough Phantoms AFTER crashing out of the EPL Cup on Thursday night, Manchester Phoenix bounced back with a double winning weekend to keep them in pole position for the league title.

Defenceman James Neil played hero and villain on Thursday in the second leg of the cup semi final against the Lightning, netting twice to help Tony Hand’s come from behind to take the game into overtime.

However he made a costly turnover in the extra period which led to Phoenix’s exit as the Lightning ran out 10-9 winners on aggregate with a game winning goal from Stanislav Lascek.

Hand’s side took on bottom side Peterborough on Saturday and quickly put their cup exit behind them with a comfortable 5-2 win.

Early goals from Frantisek Bakrlik and Joe Graham put the home side in control before further strikes from Richard Bentham, Bakrlik and James Archer secured the points with replies from Erik Piatak and Luke Ferrara.

And on Sunday night, Hand’s side travelled to Shropshire to take on the red hot Telford Tigers, winners of nine games in a row and came away with the points.

In a low scoring affair where the goalies made the difference, it was Phoenix who was to strike late on to secure a double winning weekend with a James Archer strike.

Phoenix forward Andy McKinney said after defeating the Phantoms: “It was very important to bounce back with a win tonight. We worked hard, kept to our game plan and picked up the points.”