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Putney tear up Stag Hill to go four clear

Putney’s first ever visit to Stag Hill resulted in a double digit victory for the Spitfires, who end the week four points clear at the top of the division one table. Neil Boniface’s side complete the first two months of the season having earned 14 league points, a record at this stage of a campaign for the club, beating by two their total from SL24, when they picked up their last of four league titles. So optimism that they could end SL28 with a fifth top flight success is high, especially given the way they disposed of Stag Hill on their own track. Six up after heat seven the visitors were pegged backed by 5-1’s from the Stars in heats eight and ten—both involving second string Christopher McCarron (10+1), however the league leaders soon got their second wind, Daniel Southwood (11) winning heat 11 in a 4-2 alongside Stewart Barton, which began a run of five straight heat advantages, the fourth—a 5-1 from second string Steve Marshall (6+1) and reserve Clinton Shelton—confirming the club’s third straight away victory of the campaign. Shelton’s second in heat 14 saw him finish with season best figures of 7+2 from five, while Pavel Vonasek went on to set a personal SL28 high of 13 by claiming his fourth victory of the meeting in the final race. Putney’s strong form continued at home where a first maximum of the season for Daniel Southwood (15) helped the Spitfires record a 57-33 win over Dover, Steve Marshall (10+2) also went through the card unbeaten as he hit double figures for the first time in SL28. That win was Putney’s seventh in a row in the top flight and their biggest in the league in over two years!

TODAY: Shorts

West Ham may still be bottom of division one, but they have something the six sides directly above them in the standings do not, an away point! They broke their duck on the road in SL28 at Dudley Wood despite trailing their hosts until the end of heat 14 in the contest, a 5-1 in the penultimate race from Antony Kelly (6) and second string James Myers (7+3) levelling the scores for the Dockers, the point then secured by a fantastic tapes to line win for Vayk Kari (12) over Ighli Giacomini (13) and Janos Csordas (12+1) in the last. West Ham boss Steve Hebden has not rested on his laurels despite his side’s slight up-tick in fortunes, he active in the transfer market on the day the in-season window opened, landing former Malmo 3.00 point reserve Vaclav Hrdlicki for a fee of £329,000. The 29 year old—whose career spans just seven European League meetings—joins the club at heat leader on an eye-watering GSA of 8.15. Hebden is not the biggest spender this week however, far from it, Stag Hill spent a club record £835,000 in successfully tempting Bolsover to part with Marcin Bukalski , the 32 year old heat leader back in the top flight having previously spent five years at the highest level with Swanage. Swanage themselves have been busy, Ross Miles making Ruda Cejka their latest big money buy, another rider with little pedigree but one that can somehow command a £400,000 transfer fee.

 

In total nearly £3.5 million has already been spent on transfers since the opening of the in-season window, that figure is set to pass the £4million mark next week though, with Swede’ Staffan Lagman on his way to these shores. Lagman will command a significant signing on fee after indicating his eagerness to join a British League club, several promoters are expected to vie for the 16 year olds signature following his win in the WU19 final in Putney this week, where many were in attendance. They watched on with the rest of the 7,000 in the stadium as Lagman topped the standings with four wins in the meeting, the only rider to beat him on the night, Finnish starlet Kari Lehtimen (12), who finished runner-up in the final following a race-off win over SL27 BU19 champion, Robert Cooke. Cooke also had to settle for a minor podium place in the BU21 final a Reading, the Swanage youngster second best to fellow 18 year old Liam Robertson (14) of Peak Dean, who added the title to his BU19 crown he won earlier in the year.

 

Home and away wins have taken Newcastle into the promotion places in division two for the first time in SL28, the latter a 44-46 success at bottom side Herne Bay, who succumbed to their third home defeat of the campaign from four after conceding a last heat win to the unbeaten Ole Sorensen (15). Up to second go Brighton, commanding 40-50 winners at Cradley, who were out of contention by the end of heat 13 after conceding a 5-1 to Enar Kiseljov (11) and Hobart Buus (13+1). Cradley end the week in the bottom three, as do Cranford, who were held to a home draw by Peak Dean, despite leading the Plunderers by eight at the halfway stage. In division three Stowmarket won at Wirral, 44-45, to extend their lead at the top of the standings to four points, while Woodhouse moved up to fourth thanks to a six point success at Benfleet.

 

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