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GR-EIGHT STUFF

Record beating Newark go five clear

Newark’s fantastic start to the new league season continued with their wins over Dudley and Stoke ensuring it’s a record beating one too. Eight straight victories for the Invaders to begin their SL29 campaign, a figure which beats the previous best of seven in the top flight recorded by Swanage in SL24. One word of caution, the Swans only finished as league runners-up in that campaign! Newark still have some way to go to top the best start to a season in any division, Motor Woden won their first 13 in SL3 on their way to the division two title. Still Graham Watmough will fancy his side can have a good crack at it, especially given the early season average change didn’t do anything to disrupt his team selection. An injury has though going forward, Watmough will be without Radovan Spilka—a key reserve in the first six meetings of the campaign—for the next two after bad bruising in a fall in the Invaders latest home win over Stoke. At 20 points that was their biggest win yet of SL29 and followed an earlier 43-47 win at Dudley Heath, where Spilka was one of five different heat winners for his side in a meeting in which they claimed two thirds of the race victories. With four victories prior to heat 15 Cameron Richards was the pick for the visitors in the success, his fourth helping clinch the points in heat 14, reserve Karl Deurell picking up third in the decisive 4-2. It’s now on to Warrington for the Ivanders as they look to make it nine in the row, in the first instance Spilka’s replacement is set to be Jordan Collins, the untested 18 year Kiwi likely to be thrown straight in after joining for a £200,000 fee.

TODAY: Shorts

Dudley Wood bounced back from their defeat in the top of the table clash by winning at Brighton, 42-48. A last heat 5-1 from Janos Csordas (14) and the unbeaten Ighli Giacomini (14+1) secured the Dragons their third away win of the campaign in a meeting they’d led in from heat two, a race in which reserves Greg Robinson (5+1) and David Short had scored their only other 5-1 of the night. Brighton were weak in all departments, just four heat wins for the home side in the meeting, they certainly missed the balanced the injured Jamie Seekie would have provided at second string. Sharks boss Nick Ward has used the opening of the transfer window to help defend his club’s top flight status, the experienced Merek Milewski—a veteran of 20 GP’s and a winner of two—joining the club at heat leader for a £150,000 fee this week.

 

Tivadar Koltz missed the whole of the WSO season in SL28 with his 1.89 average in his debut campaign for Nottingham ruling him out of the early WU19 and 21 meetings. It was a different story in the league however, despite being just 17 the £400,000 Jazz signing improved his mark four-fold, he a bright point in a struggling division two side, form he continued into this year where the first average change has left him with a career high GSA of 6.46, certainly enough to qualify the now 18 year old for this weeks WU19 final. And it was victory in Wirral for the Hungarian, whose only slip up came in heat 13 when he recovered from a dreadful gate to pick up second place behind Bilston’s Kari Lehtinen (11). Lehtinen is another with a great future ahead of him, he finished as runner-up in this final last year, but no podium this time for the Finn, who finished fourth on the night behind Koltz, Kostya Grasmick and leading Brit, Charlie Craig. A youth double for the Jazz was completed by their junior Alex Brown (13), the surprise winner of the WU19 title in S27 making it two career WSO successes in the final of the BU21 championship at Dover this week, a race-off win against Robert Cooke deciding things, Cooke finishing as runner-up for the second year in a row.

 

Nottingham’s young stars couldn’t compete against the experience of West Ham who continued their great start to the division two campaign with a 40-50 victory at Brune Park. Eight unbeaten in the league in SL29 now for the Dockers, their third away win secured with a race to spare when second string Erko Teever (8+2) and reserve Calum Hicks (7+1) picked up the minor places behind home tactical substitute Balzej Polacek (15), both riders had earlier raced to wins in heat advantages for the Dockers. West Ham went on to qualify for the semi finals of the Division Two Cup, a 41-49 win at Croxley Green taking them into the last four with a group meeting to spare.

 

Three wins out of three for Cradley who end the week second in the third tier standings and are already safe in the knowledge that they’ll be in the latter stages of the Division Three Cup. It was in the cup where they recorded their first away win of SL29, reserve Dean Dick (11) racing to three wins as the Comets came out on top at Bilston, 44-46. One away win became two when Graham Weaver’s side made a league visit to Milton Keynes, a heat 14 5-1 from Benn Robertson (8+1) and Dick (9+1) wrapping up the points in an eventual 42-48 victory there.

 

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