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D-OVER AND OUT

Chapman fall costs Reading final berth

Dover are into only their second KO Cup final after coming from behind to eliminate last years runners-up Reading. The last four tie ended in dramatic fashion with the Silkmen picking up a 5-1 in the Palmer Park finale to go through by two on aggregate, Pelcis Alexander (15) and Alexander Holden (13+1) claiming the maximum in a three rider race. Missing from the contest was Craig Chapman (7), who’d been excluded in the first running after the slightest of touches between himself and Holden took both riders crashing into the back straight barrier, the referee found the home number one to be at fault. Alone and off the unfavourable gate 4 Martin Ata (13) was unable to extend his unbeaten night in the re-run, he left with little room coming out the first bend by the visiting pair, and little chance of claiming the necessary race victory. A good end to the tie for Phil Watmough’s leading riders, but he’ll probably need more from his lower order if his side are to lift the trophy for the first time when they take on West Ham, just seven points coming from his second string and reserves at Reading. SL28 winners West Ham sealed their comfortable passage through to a sixth final with a 54-35 win over third tier Lothian in their home leg of the semi final, Brian Bell top scoring with 14 as the Dockers progressed by 31 points. In contrast to their final opponents, West Ham’s bottom four more than made an impact in the tie, scoring a combined 23 this week to add to their 24 in the opener north of the border, reserve Jokke Muurimaki (9+2) especially impressive.

TODAY: Shorts

Ten unbeaten became 12 for Newark as the defending champions extended their advantage at the top of division one to four points with wins over second placed Dover and strugglers Stowmarket. The latter was their second of the campaign at the bottom of the table Vultures, and at 38-51, their biggest of their five wins on the road this season. The win featured season best figures of 8 from 4 for reserve Radovan Spilka. Welcome away success also for Putney in the top flight, Dudley Wood the venue for what was only their second win on the road of SL30. Second string Ville Multaharju returned his best figures for the visitors in the 16 league meetings since his switch from Cradley, he completing a score of 10+3 with a third place finish in a last heat match winning 4-2. Pavel Vonasek (13) beat Ighil Giacomini (12) for the race victory which secured Putney their 44-46 success, a success which all but ends any relegation fears. Stoke however are very much in trouble, they still three points adrift of safety with now just six meetings remaining after they dropped another point at home, the Wildfire held to a draw this week by West Ham, the result ending a seven meeting losing league streak on the circuit for the Dockers.

 

Defending champion Pavel Vonasek (11) moved into pole position in this season’s GP series with victory in his home nation round in Prague. The Czech Republic and Putney rider beat Ole Sorensen in a race-off to complete what was his first career individual GP win, the 31 year old having taking the world title in SL29 without a meeting success! Vonasek leads the standings on count-back from opening round winner Tommy Leinonen (8) and Alexey Otutkskiy (9), who both finished off the podium this week.

 

If Peak Dean fail to win promotion this season their promoter Stuart Smith will certainly look with regret at their meetings with Kent. The Plunderers have lost twice at home in the division two campaign, both defeats coming against the Steelers, who now certainly have their eyes on a top three finish themselves. They end the week fourth, just four points off Peak Dean and the promotion places thanks to 44-46 win at the Micheldene and later 14 point home victory over Herne Bay. Recent free transfer signing from Pori, Zarand Paris, scored ten at second string for the visitors at the Plunderers. Smith’s side recovered to claim a draw in their later fixture at Cradley, the visitors to the Comets behind for all but one race prior to Mark Smith (16+1) and Miroslav Koubsky’s (11+1) last heat 4-2. Elsewhere six race wins were enough to see Reading win at Suffolk, 44-46, the Whiteknights—unbeaten in five—end the week in a season high fifth, just five points off the promotion places.

 

Just two more wins required for Desford to complete promotion to division two in their first season back in the sport. The third tier pacesetters extended their advantage at the top with a 41-49 win at Bilston, who have now lost their last eight. The Dynamos way out in front, however the next four teams are separated by just two points, amongst them Milton Keynes who bounced back from their double loss last week by picking up four points this. Two of those were earned at Calne, where a last heat visiting side 5-1 left the final scores tied at 45 apiece.

 

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