Crown Edition - ENHANCED
Draw takes Timperley to Euro Cup win
Timperleyhave won the European Cup for the first time after beating Southampton 88-92 in this years final. Only the third all-British decider in 18 years went the way of the Titans following a draw at Banister Court, a four point first leg advantage would not be enough for most to defend on a trip to the Saints, but this was a side that were unbeaten in 14. And they certainly had the belief of being the most in-form team in the country, picking up three heat advantages in the first four on the south-coast to take an early eight point lead on the night and extending their aggregate advantage to 12. John Shuttler was in the unusual position of having to send in a tactical substitute on home shale, and when Goran Seslar returned back to the pits from his extra ride with two points and a 5-1 for his team from heat six, things looked like they may just go his side’s way. Timperley however are nothing but resilient, the Cheshire side holding off their hosts all the way to the finish, they only twice conceding heat advantages to their opponents in the next eight races while scoring three of their own in the process with the help of heat victories from Patrick Tranche and number one Tobias Schneider (twice). It was scoring which meant the visitors would not be headed neither on aggregate nor in the meeting by the club that were also looking to break their duck in the competition, Southampton and Shuttler will have to wait for their success for this night belonged to Timperley, no late dramas for them, they had this all done and dusted prior to the final race.
Timperley followed up their European Cup success by making further inroads into their deficit in the league when beating second placed Halesowen. The 46-44 home victory—completed with a last heat Ricky Lewis (13) win—meant that the Titans have already won as many meetings in the second half of the season as the first, this their eighth success from ten since the turn of the campaign. The seventh of those eight came at Rugby, 41-49, and came with the ruthlessness that now marks them out as serious title challenger’s in SL27. A tight meeting was decided by a couple of excellently taken 5-1’s involving Tobias Schneider (12+2), he first to his usual partner Patrick Tanche (6+1) in a heat 11 maximum, and second to Lewis (12) in the last heat decider. A very good week for Timperley, but not perfect, their unbeaten run in all competitions halted at 15 meetings by Halesowen, who beat them 48-42 at home in the first leg of the KO Cup semi-final, and there was an exit in the 4TT for the Titans in a tough second round group. That went the way of SL25 winners Southampton (120), who won the meeting at Stepps as well as their home leg, while Halesowen’s total of 113 from the tie was enough to see them progress to this years final as the highest scoring runners-up at this stage of the competition.
A first 4TT final for Birkenhead who progressed through the second round with a comfortable 13 point win over Group C runners-up Sawley. Glyn Hughes’s Bombers led throughout the tie having scored 36 to win their home meeting, Lubomir Gerich top scoring in every leg as his side followed up the success in the opener with three second place finishes on their travels. While Birkenhead will be looking for a maiden victory in their first final, Lyme Bay will be seeking number five, the Buccaneers qualifying for the last four for the tenth time in just 13 seasons with victory in Group A. Second place finishes in each of the first three legs meant they headed into the fourth at home just three points adrift of leaders Wimbledon, that deficit lasted just four races as they picked up ten out of a possible 12 points in those opening skirmishes, they eventual winners on aggregate by 13.
Last years runner-up Henry Saunders (14) became the first British rider to win the WU19 title in six years. The 18 year old followed up his national success at this level with victory in the final at Eastbourne, the only point dropped by the Sawley second string was to Mario Koch (12) in heat six. The German’s chances of success went with a third place finish in heat 17, while he missed out on a podium altogether when losing out in a race-off to Ustin Dombrowski (2nd) and outgoing champion, Anders Brandin (3rd).
Timperley’s Tobias Schneider (15) scored a maximum to win the Finnish GP in Pori from series leader Andy Daniel (13). Having finished clear in the meeting of his main challengers for this years world title, Tom Countess (10) and Teemu Niemi (7), Daniel managed to extend his series lead to seven points. Schneider also won the round last year, this victory his third in a Grand Prix meeting.
Wroughton’s bid for a late run at promotion in division two continued as they extended their unbeaten run in the league to five at Westward Ho. Mid-season signing from Auckland, Robert Austin, scored 8+1 from second string for the Meerkats, his win in a heat 14 4-2 setting up the 43-47 victory. Austin’s tally was his best score for the club since he score a maximum on debut against the same opponents in the reverse fixture. Elsewhere Eastbourne are back up to second after they overturned a six point deficit with heat 14 and 15 5-1’s to win at bottom of the table Cradley, 44-46.
A first away win of the season for Birstall has seen them replaced at the bottom of the third division table by Stepps. In fact it’s now four unbeaten for the Bulls following their 43-47 victory at Dundee, visiting second string Marino Jankulovski (10+1) racing to two of his sides ten heat successes on the night.