AWAY THEY GO
Tigers win at Belfast
A third successive win against one of their title rivals as left Totton in pole position to win the four-way championship fight, the Tigers entering the final month of the campaign a point clear of Long Eaton and Belfast at the top of the standings, Heath lie a point further adrift in fourth. Totton’s seventh away win of the SL8 league campaign was their most important yet, as it came against then leaders Belfast, the visitors led for much of the meeting which was dominated by their heat leaders, Cameron Adams (14) and Simon Snow (11) dropping just one point apiece on their outings to the track, while having beaten Hayden Brown (7+1) in a sprint to the line to win heat five, Miksa Mathe (10+2) went on to claim second in the decisive heat 15 5-1 behind Adams. Nyek Timko (15) had already ridden to the fastest two times of the night so went into the decider as favourite to win it, as did Belfast with a two point advantage at the time. However Timko had already been beaten once by Adams and the Tigers’ rider immediately got the better of his rival once again in the finale, out trapping him and then squeezing him for room on the inside. The visitors top men though seem to have forgotten about Soren Engel (7), huge cheers went up as the Dane exited the second bend in front, now could he stay there? The answer was a resounding no, within a lap he was relegated to the back and Timko was the man chasing down the two visitors on the final lap, but to no avail, Totton had their 5-1 and another crucial three points. Belfast’s first home defeat of the campaign was followed by their third away success, the damage to their title hopes caused by Totton limited at Caversham where Timko (15) scored his 13th league maximum of the season, the Sinks winners by four. Heath also picked up away points, two for a draw and bonus at Sedgley secured with a last heat 5-1.
A second meeting against Totton in the week and a second defeat for Belfast, however the 11 point loss on the road resulted in a single point aggregate win in the final of the Division One Cup, the Sinks successfully retaining the trophy they won for a third time last season, their fourth win is a new record for the competition.
A run of five straight 4-2’s from heat three onwards eased Epping on their way to victory in the final of the Division Two Cup, having drawn the first leg at Alfreton Bill Jones’ Stags were always favourites to claim what is their second win in the competition, the great start calmed any nerves, with 5-1’s in heats heat nine and then 13 wrapping up the silverware with two races to spare. The hard work had been done in the first leg also for Milton Keynes in the Division Three Cup final, 22 points up from that the Mystics trip to Rowley Regis was a far from daunting one, back-to-back heat wins form Timothy Bluestone (10+1) kept this weeks hosts at bay, with the league rookies going on to clinch the trophy with a Lachlan Jackson (13) second place finish in heat 13.
Brookwood’s late challenge for promotion from division two continues to gather momentum, thanks largely to the performances of Harry Nicholls (15) at number one and Marcus Vincent at reserve (10+2), who both again scored in double figures as the Spitfires beat the already relegated Steeple 40-50 on the road. The win—their fifth in a row—leaves Paul Wyer’s side just points difference off the promotion places, with just sides below them in the table left for them to ride. Cranford (50 points) move up to second in the standings having picked up a draw on their travels for the second week in succession, the two points gained at Herne Bay taking them above Alfreton (49), who they visit next week, the second meeting of a vital promotion double-header for the Yellowjackets, who first host leaders Epping (51).
Milton Keynes (55 points) gave themselves some breathing space at the top of the division three table with a 44-46 win at Witham, although they later missed out on the bonus point against nearest challenger’s Wavendon (54) by two, despite ending the Witches five meeting winning run with a 51-39 victory. Third placed Ernsford Grange (46) lost ground on the top two after suffering a shock home 43-47 defeat to bottom side Mansfield, Yorkies reserve Steven Rodenbaugh top scoring in that one with 11+1 from five, which included three points for victory in a match winning heat 14 5-1.
Three-time defending world champion Erich Lacina (13) ends the week level alongside Cameron Adams (11) at the top of this years GP series standings after victory in the British round in Mansfield, the Prague man winning the meeting by a point from Ludoslaw Jaworski after a heat 18 victory, the runner-up finished third in the same race.
England’s hopes of International League success suffered a blow as they were held to a draw by Hungary in Gyor, hosts number one Nyek Timko top scored with 16 in the meeting.