Crown Edition - ENHANCED
KINGS OF BRITAIN
Royals land title
While their rivals were losing their heads, Rugby kept favour with the speedway gods, they crowned British League Champions for the second time after ending the SL22 campaign with back-to-back wins. Royals boss David Grainger sits proudly on the throne following his side’s final day 43-47 victory at Cradley, which backed up an earlier 14 point home win over Timperley, Lyme Bay—who went into the final two rounds of fixtures level at the top of the standings—meanwhile dropped points at home for the first time this season and also lost at Eastbourne. “Don’t leave anything in the pits” was Grainger’s message to his riders going into their home clash with Eastbourne, they certainly responded, three 5-1’s in the first five heats helping dominate that clash, they going on to win their penultimate meeting of SL22 with two heats to spare. Alexandr Danishevskiy (15) scored his 12th league maximum of the season in that win, a 13th followed at Cradley where the visitors eventually overcame a Storm side fired-up by an earlier 14 point win at Grangemouth, one which had renewed their hopes of avoiding the drop to division two. In the end Rugby had just too much firepower for them, Danishevskiy winning heat 13 and 15 4-2’s to earn his side a four point victory. With Lyme Bay losing their final meeting Rugby would top the standings by a clear four points, the silverware their first earned in a major competition since completing a league/KO Cup/4TT treble back in SL16. Rugby have also become only the third club to win the title following promotion to the top flight in the previous campaign, Lyme Bay in SL17 and Castleford in SL2 the previous two to achieve the feat.
For the fifth time in six years Wimbledon have ended the season with at least one piece of silverware, they left in late this time though, the Stars crowned KO Cup winners, but only after a last heat win for Roman Saenko (14) in the final race of the second leg of this years final against Purton. Six down from the opening leg it took this weeks hosts just three heats to level the aggregate scores and although they were in front after another three against their lower division opponents, this did not prove to be the formality expected. A Magomed Saitov (15) winning 5-1 in heat eight took Purton back in front and it would take until heat 13 for the Stars to recover their advantage, a 3-3 in heat 14 meant we’d go into a last heat decider, Saenko crucially out-gating Saitov in that, the Russian picking up the three points, Wimbledon a record fifth win the competition.
No KO Cup, but with promotion to the top flight for the first time it’s been a hugely successful season for Craig Dickson’s Purton, and especially for his main man, Magomed Saitov. The Russian topped the British league averages last season—albeit in division two—he repeated that feat this year following his transfer from Dublin to the Pirates, now though he can truly boast he his the best, he taking the World Championship title too. Victory in the final round of the eight meeting GP series saw Saitov (14) head the final World Championship standings by seven points from Roman Saenko (7), Saitov beating his main rival in his opening heat in Krakow, he followed up that victory with three more, although it was Saenko’s failure to finish no better than third in heat 16 which secured Saitov the crown.
For the second successive season Trevor Putnam (14) had to settle for the runners-up spot in the WU21 final, this time the Scot losing out to Lyme Bay’s Mario Mueller, who beat the 18 year old in a race-off for the title. Mueller—at this third club this season following moves from Netherton to Dudley and then Dudley to Lyme Bay—had lost when the two met in heat 20 of the contest in Rugby, however the 20 year old turned the tables in the decider to become the first German winner of the title.
Injury hit Dublin missed out on the third promotion place in division two after suffering a home loss to Colley, Peter Miccichie—who replaced prolific reserve David Gibbs—failed to score in the 42-48 defeat. The loss allowed Auckland to climb back up into third spot, the Rhinos bouncing back from a double loss last week with two wins this, including a 37-53 success at leaders Sunderland, where reserve Kevin Hatch (7+2) was one of six different visiting riders to win a race. The Rhinos went on to complete promotion back to the top flight at the first attempt with a 14 point home win over Heaton Mersey. Colley’s success on the road meant they survived the drop to the third tier, Stepps—who lost their home meeting with Sunderland, 44-46—joining Dudley and Hailsham as the relegated sides.
Malcolm Chambers Wolverton side ensured their seven year spell in division three would come to an end when racing to a 52-38 home win over Netherton, the victory in the penultimate week securing the side promotion for the first time in their history. Lakeside meanwhile won their final two fixtures to take the third tier title in only their second year in the sport, Trevor Walker’s Aces eighth away win of the campaign was returned at Sawley, 43-47. Cricklade complete the top three despite being held to a home draw by Sawley in their penultimate meeting of the season, other results helping Gareth Glover’s side secure promotion by a clear five points.