Diamond Edition - ENHANCED
Beverley beaten by Boston
For the second successive season Beverley have lost their opening tie of the KO Cup competition despite being once again up against a lower division team, Boston following in the wheel tracks of Stepps, who beat the then two-times defending champions of the trophy over two legs in SL27. The in-form division two leaders took just a six point lead with them into the return leg at Figham Road this week, an advantage they all but gave away when conceding a heat one 5-1 to their hosts, Bradley Allsopp (11+1) retiring from the lead after a catastrophic engine failure. Despite that huge slice of luck Beverley took nine races in all to wipe of their first leg deficit, however after Henrik Kojefors (13) saw off Boston’s top two of Allsopp and Vlastimi Lidvin (11+1) when they entered the fray as tactical substitutes, it looked as though the place in the second round was theirs for the taking. The tie though turned on it’s head in the next two, Allsopp returned immediately to win heat 11, and this time a Dale Allitt change worked with Kevin Bullock coming home in second to secure a 5-1. Even better for Boston a race later, Bullock and reserve Charles Johnston (10+1) picking up maximum points this time and without reply, they coming in the third running of the race after falls from first Richard Coward and then home reserve Tyler Burns in the first two. Suddenly from nowhere the Barracudas were three up on the night, nine on aggregate, and given their form that was a lead they were sure to hold. And so it proved, Allsopp and then Johnson completing the upset with race victories in the next two, Boston through to face current holders Stafford.
Ales Skaper led Pitsea to the last 16 of the KO Cup, with an 18 point maximum from the on-loan Coventry star helping the Pirates cause the second shock of the first round of this seasons competition at Monkston. The Pirates twice trailed by six at the Monkeys, the margin of their first leg win, however on both occasions the visitors clawed their way back into the meeting, with Skaper and Jacob Harvey (11+3) eventually claiming a decisive draw when joining forces for heat 13 and 15 5-1’s. Tom Naylor’s side have been paired with Heatherdale in the next round, the Heathens beat Tweedside home and away in round one. Elsewhere a competition debut that had began so well ended in a ten point defeat for East Goscote, the Gunners—who drew the first leg of their tie at Chiseldon—losing at home to the Knights, 40-50, Chiseldon face York in the last 16. York were one of three top flight sides to progress after away wins, the others being Warley and Coventry, the latter have been drawn against second division side Houston in the last 16, the Mustangs completing their progress to that stage with a comfortable win at Fenny Stratford as Jonathan Huggett (15) scored his third successive maximum against the Stags, a side the Scots have now beaten three times in a row on the road. The all division one tie between St Ives and Tibthorpe ended in a two point victory for the former, Robert Taylor (14) and Darren Stevens (11+2) completing the Pirates slender success on home shale with a last heat 5-1. Easier opponents on paper at least for Nick Ward’s side next, they paired with second division East Kent—conquerors of Fort William—in the last 16.
Dave Hood’s gamble to track recent £111,000 signing Mikael Bryngelson backfired as Coventry suffered their first home league defeat of SL28, the leaders—who had already lost at Tibthorpe (47-43) earlier in the week—going down 44-46 against York. Bryngelson—who finished down in 13th in the recent WU19 final—failed to score in any of his four races and was beaten by visiting reserve Aaron Allen on two separate occasions. Allen finished with season best figures of 12+1 from five, which included a crucial paid win behind Andrezej Baluszynski in a heat 12 5-1, that giving the visitors an eight point lead in a fixture they eventually secured victory in in the final heat. The meeting at Warley also went to the wire, Beverley—who end the week second to Coventry in the standings—winning that one 44-46 thanks to a last heat Henrik Kojefors (17+1)/Richard Coward (13) 5-1.
Boston extended their unbeaten run to ten meetings and their lead at the top of division two to eight points with a 43-47 victory at Chiseldon, 5-1’s in heats 13 and 15 from unbeaten pairing Bradley Allsopp (15) and Vlastimil Lidvin (15+3) taking the Barracudas to their fourth league victory of the campaign. At the change in averages Boston find themselves way over the ultimate 52 point squad limit—not helped by the addition of Martin Krmas this week—leading to speculation that Kevin Bullock (6+1) could be about to return to his parent club Coventry. Elsewhere an 18 point maximum for Jacob Byrnes—who led around Jiri Necas (12+1) for a decisive last heat 5-1—helped Hawick pick up all three points at Fenny Stratford, 44-46, while in division three there were away wins for both new leaders East Goscote and Redhill.