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FAVOURITES FLOP

Hyenas go top with win at Saints

Eastbourne have matched their best opening month of a top flight season by picking up seven out of a possible eight points to lead the way in division one. It was a runners-up place for the Hyenas the last time they enjoyed such a start in SL24, however after winning at pre-season title favourites Southampton, their ambitions will be to finish one place higher and claim that illusive first ever league title. A second 44-46 victory for the Knock-Out and Division One Cup holders at Banister Court in as many seasons, the away win secured by heat 14 when Harry Myers (11) and reserve Jordan Charlton (5) picked up a decisive 4-2 in a race which featured Saints heat leader Lee Andersen (10). It was only the second time Andersen had been beaten in the meeting, with Myers also successful when the two met in heat three. In between the 24 year old—now in his fourth season with Eastbourne—inflicted Sergey Guerk’s (11+2) first defeat of the night in heat ten, the home number one went on to be beaten by Tom Countess (11) in heat 13, those three points coming a crucial time for the visitors, as it allowed them the chance to finish the meeting off prior to Guerk’s return in the last. Earlier in the week Southampton had picked up their first away point of SL29 on their visit to Halesowen, with a last heat 5-1 from Goran Seslar (12) and Guerk levelling things up at the Heathens. The last heat maximum was something of a gift, Andy Daniel (11) the unwilling giver as his engine failed to complete the four laps. Daniel had gone into the meeting unbeaten in the league this season.

TODAY: Shorts

Wimbledon fought back from eight points down to snatch a single point victory in their top flight fixture at Birkenhead. A last heat 5-1 from Pazman Sabados (13) and Olga Burdin (13+1) left the hosts empty handed in a fixture they had led in from heat two, the victory for Sabados was his fourth of the night, Burdin had also already picked up three, including one as a tactical substitute in heat eight, where along with fellow replacement Jari Annala (10+1) he earned a 5-1 for his side. Birkenhead drop to the foot of the standings as a result, below Grangemouth, who ended Auckland’s winning start to the season and claimed their own first success since promotion with a 47-43 home victory over them.

 

Last years runners-up and one of the favourites for this years competition Southampton are out of the Club Pairs after finishing last in their second round tie at Swinton (24). The hosts—represented by Magomed Saitov (16) and Mario Mueller (8)—topped the standings alongside Grangemouth (24), in what has to be said was by far the most competitive of the two ties, it featuring five of the six top flight sides left in the competition. Halesowen (26) the odd one out, their pairing of Darren Corbett (15) and Andy Daniel (11) dominating the qualifier at Wolverton (19), scoring four 5-1’s on their way to a six point victory over Coleshill (20). Bullbridge (19) and Wolverton finished a further point back and both will join the top two in next weeks final in Liden, as will SL22 and 24 winners Eastbourne (20), who finished third in the Swinton qualifier.

 

Three 5-1’s in the final five heats earned Southampton three out of a possible four points from their Division One Cup first round meeting at Auckland. The hat trick of Goran Seslar (16+2)/Sergey Guerk, (15+2) maximums turning a six point deficit into a 44-46 victory for the Saints, who are now clear favourites to progress to their fourth successive semi-final in the competition.

 

Stone Cross’s impressive start to their division two campaign came to an end with a shock home 44-46 defeat to Kingsgate. The Crusaders had followed up their back-to-back wins in the opening week with a draw at Sawley, where a couple of 5-1’s involving second string Derek Chandler (8+1) and a last heat 4-2 won by Dusan Hobler (15+1) had seen them level things in a meeting they had trailed in by eight. However the Kings proved to be tough opposition and Stuart Smith’s decider to drop his trump card at reserve Jonathan McKechnie perhaps backfired a little, they conceding a 4-2 and the lead to the Kings in heat 14, a race he would have featured in. Dejan Jermanis (5+1) became the fifth different visitor to win a race in that, his fellow second string Anton Smyshlyaev (12) had already won two and went on to finish second in a meeting winning 3-3 for the visitors in the last. Elsewhere Sawley recovered from their dropped point to Stone Cross at home to win at Coleshill, 43-47, Tarmo Zelinski (15) scoring his first maximum since his late pre-season switch to the Grenadiers from Rugby in the victory. In division three Burrett Road are the new leaders thanks to their 42-48 win at Lenton and later 16 point home win over Wednesfield.

 

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