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Hitmen hit top spot

Historically the Riso Cathedral had not been a happy shooting ground for Weymouth, the Hitmen missing their target on their seven previous league visits there, all having ended in defeat. The rules have been rewritten in SL27 however, Trevor Walker’s Division Two Champions went into the fixture level on points at the top of the table, Stafford—the most successful club in the past decade—hovering just above the drop zone. And that current form played out as the two met for an eighth time in the top flight at the Riso, Weymouth breaking their duck with a 44-46 victory, having gone eight up at one point on their hosts. It was a commanding performance from their top three which saw them pick up the points, Colin Richardson (9) amongst them, in as a guest for the injured Tord Finstad the American started out with a win in a heat four 5-1, reserve Edward Norton (5+2) taking second after all too easily shepherding home heat leader Steve Kirkwood wide on the opening bend. It’s been a poor start to the campaign for Kirkwood, but his four point tally in the meeting was a new low, he on the wrong end of another Hitmen 5-1 in heat seven, Davide Mateini (10) claiming the first of his two wins in that, while Linus Music (14) continued his unbeaten start to the night with wins over the former World Number four in heats 11 and 13. Music went on to clinch the victory with a second behind Markus Inannen (16) in the last, Innannen having won heat 14 as a tactical substitute, a race which finished 5-1 to send the meeting into an unlikely decider. Weymouth’s second league meeting of the week saw Richardson (9+4) line up against them, he though failing to record a win at the South Coast Arena in his six rides as Timperley lost out 48-42, a result which sends Weymouth three points clear at the top of the standings. Despite the loss the Pelicans climb to second, previous leaders Beverley having slipped to fifth after falling victim to a Stafford side keen to make up for their earlier errors. A lack of heat leader back up to Innanen (14) cost them against Weymouth, at Beverley however Mark Austin (9) and Steve Kirkwood (6) at least were competitive, although it was reserve Kemenes Cap (11+2) who proved to be the match winner, he finishing second to Austin in a heat 14 5-1 which ensured a first Angels away win of the campaign.


TODAY: Shorts

Kemenes Cap scored a SL27 best of 15+1 as Stafford qualified for the semi finals of the Division One Cup for the tenth time in 11 seasons with a 43-47 victory at St Ives, Cap racing to four wins with Marcus Innanen (15) taking another five as the Angels qualified with a group meeting to spare. Better followed though for the Pirates in their league fixture at Chiseldon, the bottom of the table clash going the way of Nick Ward’s side 41-49 despite them twice falling behind, five successive race wins at the death saw the visitors to victory, Robert Taylor (12) winning three.


Coventry fought back from an eight point deficit to win their latest league fixture at Peckleton 44-46, the Crusaders septet racing to seven wins in an eight race spell as they completed a 14 point turnaround in the scores from heat four onwards, they picking up five 4-2’s and a 5-1 in the sequence, which included three victories for Ales Skaper (13).


Three wins from three in the week for Warley saw them end the period top of the second tier standings and into the Division Two Cup semi finals. It started with a 44-46 league success at previous pacesetters Midland, without Jonathan Addison due to the change in averages the Pristines slumped to only their second defeat of SL27, Warley never headed in the meeting having taking the lead with a Stephen Brown (8+2) winning heat one 5-1, Robert Pappas (14) completed the victory with his fourth win of the night in the last. The Warriors went on to secure top spot in their Division Two Cup group with a 58-32 home rout of Houston, Brown (14+1) unbeaten on this occasion for the hosts. Midland recovered from their home loss to draw at Stepps, although they slip to second in the standings, Monkston remain third, points difference ahead of Bognor, whose 41-49 victory at Fenny Stratford has helped them into fourth.


Witham returned to the top of the division three table after becoming the third side to win at Buxton this season, Joel Rosander scoring an 18 point maximum for the visitors, who fought back from a six point deficit to win by two.


St Ives’s Pentele Kalman (12), signed for £95,000 in SL26, won the WU19 title at Tibthorpe with a heat 20 win in this weeks final over Bojan Perc (9), Nathan Strickland finished best of the Brits in fourth. Better though for Tavistock’s Stickland in the BU21 final, the 18 year old taking that title—his second of the season following his BU19 success—at Peckleton with a race off win over Jack Forster.


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