Crown Edition - ENHANCED
Cradley into last four
Cradleybreezed into Clifford Park needing a win to be certain of securing their spot in the Division Two Cup semi finals in their first season back at this level. Furzton themselves could have progressed with a big enough victory, however the battle of the two promoted sides went the way of last years Division Three Cup finalists as Thomas Klemmensen (10), Stephen Jennison (10+1) and Brian Bodker (10) turned up the dial in their pursuit of success. The home side battened down the hatches but to no avail, the Storm’s top three racing to eight heat wins between them, in total seven victories going the way of the visitors in the last ten races as the Flyers failed to gain a heat advantage in the period. Crucially home number one Morgan Gunmundsson (7) was beaten into last place in heat 13 as Klemmensen and Bodker joined forces for a 4-2, two races later Klemmensen confirmed a 43-47 Cradley victory with a win over Mihaly Kovas (12) and Andrew Chambers (10+2). The three points for the Storm saw them finish as group winners and sets them up with a semi final tie against Grangemouth, the result pushing Purton down into second who will take on Group A victors Swinton for a place in the final. Not so good in the league for the two group winners though, the pair each losing both their division two fixtures. Just four points from Cradley’s bottom four saw Bullbridge take a 43-47 win at The Wood, meanwhile Swinton’s third home loss of the campaign was inflicted by Stone Cross, Dan Hogh scoring a maximum for the Crusaders, who like the Lions remain in the second tier relegation zone.
Magomed Saitov (6) is out of this years World Championship after failing to finish in the top seven of the Play Off round this week in Sawley. It’s the second time the SL22 and 25 World Champion has failed to reach the GP series in the last three years and also the second time in as many seasons that the defending champion hasn’t made it through, Maris Korablev having exited at this stage of the campaign last season. Southampton’s Goran Seslar (12) won the final qualifier to this years championship in Sawley from Steve Burton (10) and Brian Bodker (10), the Slovenian one of 11 that will make their debut in the GP series next week in Wimbledon. It was a busy week off the track for Saitov also, the 34 year old agreeing to leave Purton for third division Birstall after nearly five years with the Pirates. SL18 World Champion Gyorgy Eros makes the move in the opposite direction, with the Bulls—who returned to the sport this year after 16 years away—banking £200,000 as part of the deal.
Stepps missed out on the win they required at Hull to make the semi finals of the Division Three Cup for the second successive season. A draw not good enough for the Serpents who were never really in contention to take the victory, Hull eight up on the visitors at one stage. The two qualifiers in Group B were Wolverton and Westward Ho, they face Birstall and SL13 winners Sunderland respectively in the last four, the latter topping the Group A standings by a point after claiming two bonus points in their 55-35 win over Bolsover.
Lyme Bay remain seven points clear of Timperley at the head of the division one standings after the top two both followed up home wins with away draws this week. Lyme Bay extended their unbeaten league run to ten as a last heat 4-2 for the Buc’s left the finishing scores of their meeting at Harringay tied at 45 apiece, Timperley’s clash at Halesowen finished all square despite both teams leading by six at different stages of the clash, the Titans doing so with just two races to go. Third placed Southampton gained a point on the top two thanks to their 41-48 win at bottom of the table Cricklade, Sergey Guerk (15) in maximum scoring form for the Saints whose riders picked up 13 of the 15 race wins. Elsewhere Rugby’s meeting at Wimbledon ended all square despite another below par showing from Royals heat leader Fredrik Nilsson (4+1), Harringay also picked up an away point with their meeting at Birkenhead ending level thanks to a last heat Racers 4-2.
After a run of just two league wins in eight Auckland have returned to the top of the division two table with back-to-back successes. The second came in their top of the table clash at Sawley, the previous leaders going down at home for the first time in over a year as the Rhinos scored 4-2’s in two of the closing four races. Erikki Arponen (13) was involved in both for the visitors, winners by six, with impressive reserve Kevin Hatch (8) taking third behind him in heat 13.
It’s now six unbeaten in the league for Loughborough who end the week second in division three following a 41-49 success at bottom of the table Coleshill. Also on the up are Stepps, a 43-47 win at Wolverton helping the Serpents climb to a season high sixth.