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FOUR-WARD MARCH

Buccaneers raid Cricklade

Lyme Bay end the first month of the new season top of division one by a clear three points after making it four wins from four on their trip to Cricklade. The Buccaneers terrorisation of the British League continued at the Wiltshire venue thanks to fantastic performance from their top four, Morten Kaya (12+2), Darren Corbett (9+2) and Sam Jones (9+2) all dropping just a point apiece to their hosts, while Mario Mueller (13) picked up three wins from his five races. A hat-trick of 5-1’s in the final five heats of the clash secured Lyme Bay their first double digit away league win in over two and a half years, Kaya involved in all three, including a heat 11 success alongside Shane Doxey who picked off home number one Eric Anderson (13) to secure a remarkable second on the final lap of the race. It was Doxey’s fellow second string who made sure of the two league points though three races later, Jones—on loan from Wimbledon—earning his second heat win of the night with a battling ride to hold off Anderson, who had began the meeting with three straight wins. Dave Lewis’s outfit are the only top flight side to have recorded an away success so far in the campaign, although a couple of other teams did go close this week. Birkenhead missed out on both league points at Rugby despite scoring three 5-1’s in the first five races at Rowan Arch, David Cooney—who won his first two races—finishing behind home stars’ Ryan Govier (10+1) and Tarmo Zelinski (15+1) in both heats 13 and 15 as that meeting finished all square. The spoils also shared at Harringay, where Southampton denied the hosts with a last heat 4-2.

TODAY: Shorts

Auckland (25) stormed to the meeting win as the three top flight sides represented in the Club Pairs semi final at Wolverton all failed to secure the podium finish required for progression into next weeks final. A perfect night for Erkki Arponen who picked up a rare 18 point maximum in the competition, with the first three of his six race wins turned into 5-1’s by Jean Zunters as they dented the hopes of holders Cradley (20), Cricklade and Westward Ho in quick succession. The first of those three bounced back to qualify as runners-up on the night, a heat 19 4-2 over Cricklade proving decisive for the Storm, division three side Wolverton (19) secured a surprise third place finish. Birkenhead (19) were the only one of the first round winners to make it through to the Rugby decider, no victory for the Bombers in this weeks qualifier at Sunderland though, they had to make do with sneaking through as the highest scoring fourth placed side over the two semi finals. Southampton’s Sergey Guerk (12) and Goran Seslar (9) topped the standings in the north-east, with Stone Cross and last years runners-up Eastbourne finishing just a point behind in equal second.

 

Wimbledon began their defence of the Division One Cup title with a 40-50 victory at Eastbourne. The only disappointment for the Stars on a night in which reserve Vaclav Koch (7+2) took the eye was their failure to clinch the second group bonus point, Tom Countess (12) denying the visitors that by splitting Roman Saenko (13+1) and Pazman Sabados (12) in a thrilling final race.

 

Auckland recorded the first—and only to date—away win in division two of SL26 on their trip to Furzton. Andy Roughton will wonder how his side lost it, with nine heat wins from six different riders it certainly wasn’t for a lack of ability by the hosts. However inconsistency reared it’s ugly head on a number of occasions, Andrew Chambers (7) was the main culprit, as having picked up wins in heats seven and 11 over two of the Rhinos heat leaders, Erkki Arponen (9) and Jean Zunters (12), he suffered defeats to both later on, in fact Zunters beating him twice, first in heat 13 and then in a decisive 4-2 reversal in heat 15. That result took Auckland back in front for the second time on the night, the 44-46 victory seeing them end the week a point clear at the top of the standings. Second to the Rhinos go Grangemouth, who were unlucky to come away with only a point from their trip to Wroughton, the meeting in which the Oilers had lead in by six with two races to go finishing all square as David Clark (16) secured victories in two late heat advantages for the hosts, the second returned as Robert Vyskoc (11) suffered an engine breakdown while leading the race!

 

Sunderland’s biggest away win in eight years has taken them top of the division three standings. In fact the two points secured at Bolsover are the only ones achieved by any third tier side on the road this year. The Stars dominance in a meeting they went on to win by 20 began with a Janne Vuorinen (12+1)/Anders Olofsson (11+1) 5-1 in the opening race, that the first of three heat advantages scored by the pairing, who between them raced to half of the visitors 12 race wins.

 

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