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TO THE POINT

Late maximums take York through

Heat 14 and 15 5-1’s sent York through to the quarter finals of the KO Cup at the expense of Monkston, the Monkeys eliminated from the competition by the slimmest of margins following the late capitulation on the Vipers’ Jorvic Park circuit. Second string Andrezej Baluszynski played a big part in the Vipers win, his 14 point haul in the second leg matching his best in SL26 to date, the Pole returning to the sort of form which saw him become the club number one in their SL25 promotion campaign. Balusznyski’s win with team mate Piotr Kucz (11+2) in tow completed the single point aggregate victory for the Vipers, one set up by a maximum from Kucz and reserve Aaron Allen (6+1) a race earlier, Allen holding off visiting heat leader Karl Heald (3) superbly in that, much to the joy of the York crowd. The two maximums completed an impressive comeback for Dave Baker’s side, they having twice fell 13 points adrift on aggregate with the concession of 5-1’s in both heats two and four, and it wasn’t until Krisztian Madar’s (8+2) winning 4-2 in heat nine that they got their noses in front on the night. York’s reward for their slender win is a last eight tie with Chiseldon, the second division side having completed a comfortable 16 point win over Bury in round two. York may have progressed from their all top flight tie, however their local rivals Tibthorpe didn’t fair so well in the other, the Ravens exiting at Timperley by ten, the tie over as a contest when Jan Engvist (11) and Vladimir Helbich (10+1) crossed the finishing line almost as one in heat 13 to complete the Ravens fourth 5-1 of the contest. Stafford are next up for them.

TODAY: Shorts

Timperley ended the first half of the season on a high, as after securing their place in the latter stages of the KO Cup they went on to record their first away league win of the season, defeating Midland 43-47 on their travels, a result which sees them move eight points clear of the top flight drop zone. Vladimir Helbich (14) and Viktor Visek (13+1) completed the victory for the visitors with a last heat 5-1, the result taking the Pelicans in front of their hosts for the first time on the night, just at the right time. The defeat leaves Midland in the bottom three, a point adrift of safety going into the second half of the campaign. As are York, following their home loss to Peckleton, who end the week a season high third following what was their first away league win of SL26, Bradley Allsopp (14+1) and Vlastimil Lidvin (14+1) snatching the points for the Raiders with a heat 15 5-1, they had trailed by ten after heat three.

 

Weymouth’s nine meeting winning run in division two came to a surprise end with a home defeat to Bognor, 44-46, the visitors winning the battle of the top heavy sides, the lead quartet from the Boxers picking up seven wins as against the six earned by their opposite numbers. Four of those seven were contributed by number one Rustem Fakhurtinov (14), who sacrificed the chance of a maximum when team riding with Erkan Sahlin (11+2) for the match winning minor places in the final race. Earlier in the week Weymouth—who go into the second half of the season ten points clear at the top of the standings—defeated Portland 41-49 on the road, ten heat wins going the way of the Hitmen’s top four in what was their seventh away victory of the campaign. St Ives remain second having picked up the final two bonus points on offer in their A set of fixtures, the Pirates though missed out on a place in the quarter finals of the KO Cup to Midland, despite a 50-40 home second leg win over the top flight side, the Pristines through to face Beverley by four. Bognor also exited the competition, a 48-41 loss at Warley seeing them slip to a five point aggregate loss, Warley will take on Peckleton in the last eight.

 

Division three leaders Exmouth are now without a win in four after losing their home top of the table clash with Barkham, 42-48, the Bandits closing to within a point of their rivals in the standings with what was their third away success of the campaign. With the home septet suffering two retirements and two falls between them, the Bandits victory was secured with plenty of luck, the visitors in fact winning just five of the 15 heats, in contrast Andreas Johnsen (18) managed six for the losing side. For Barkham the back-up riders were the pick, second string Tamas Babik (10+2) especially enjoying the wide expanses of the Pilgrims circuit, the Hungarian picked up wins in heat three and seven 4-2’s as well as the match winning second place in heat 14.

 

World number seven Vladimir Helbich will not return to the GP series in SL26 after failing to finish in the top eight in the Continental semi final in Lublin, a meeting won by Heatherdale’s Marian Pinkoswki (14). Coventry’s Ales Skaper (14) won the second of the semi finals in Gyor.

 

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