LAYING DOWN THE LAW
Brit stars in Pairs win
Given the impressive start to the season by Artur Kulyk, Ramsgate boss Phil Watmough had to think twice before including Bradley Law in his Pairs final line-up ahead of the Pole who was averaging a career best 10.22, but the decision to go with the current world number four—averaging 8.63 at the time of selection—proved to be the correct one with the 22 year old leading the Rams to their third win in the competition in seven years. Law—who won the competition with the Rams in SL16—scored 16 from a possible 18 at California as Ramsgate landed their tenth major trophy in two and a half years, his only dropped points coming in heat six when beaten by Southampton’s Paul Adams and then to his team mate Shane Goodwin (10) when the pair put on their second of three 5-1’s of the final in heat 12 against Don Valley. That result ended the challenge of the four-times winners, who—having taking maximum points from Jericho and Cradley in their first two races—had raced into an early lead in the final, but now it was the Rams in front. Their victory was completed with a 4-2 over Jericho in heat 15 and then a decisive maximum against Cradley five races later, that defeat leaving the Hammers last on the night and taking Wade Dunn’s (11) bid for a third win in the competition into SL19. A Southampton 4-2 completed the night, but that was only good enough to see them claim the runners-up spot ahead of Don Valley, this day was Ramsgate’s and given Law’s partner and new number one, Shane Goodwin, is still only 23 himself, there are likely to be many more days in the future that belong to the Rams.
It was the second time in a week that Ramsgate had got the better of Southampton, the Rams having earlier won at the Channel Arena 41-49 in the league, thus ending an unbeaten run of 33 at the venue for the hosts. Ramsgate had also been the last side to win there, Bradley Law taking the Rams to victory at the backend of SL16 on their way to the title, he involved in heat 13 and 15 5-1’s then, and again this week, Shane Goodwin (15+1) his partner in the maximums this time around, with Artur Kulyk (10)—the man who helped him do the damage two years ago—playing a key role again. Between them the trio dropped just six points in the meeting as the visitors turned a six point deficit into an eight point win in the second half, Paul Adams (9) paid for a single figure score in a league match for the first time in over a year. Southampton’s response to what was only their third defeat in a league meeting in 22 was to win at Sandwell, Adams (17+1) back in maximum claiming form as the visiting Scorpions beat their home namesakes 43-47 after scoring 5-1’s in three of the final four heats, Adams winning all three. With Quantock picking up both points at previous leaders Don Valley—who were missing second string Oliver Hollis through injury—the top of the table has closed up considerably, Ramsgate now lead a top four separated by just points difference, with Sankey and Cradley Heath—who fought out a draw at the Hammers this week—lying just a point off the quartet.
Australian David Johnson added a nought to his price-tag after winning the WU19 championship in Oslo, the 17 year old—expected to join a British club next week as the transfer window reopens—taking the title by a point from Italian Danilo Franchino (2nd) and Ormos Dorko (3rd) of Somerset.
Pre-meeting favourite George Farley landed his third career WSO event win in the BU21 final in Newquay, the 20 year old Southampton heat leader though was taken to a race-off by semi final winner Craig Willougby who inflicted Farley’s only defeat of the contest in heat 17, a race in which the previously unbeaten James Robinson (13) finished third. Farley took his revenge on Willoughby in the extra heat to pick up his first major individual title.
In-form duo second string Indro Alonen (8+3) and reserve Scott Moxley (8+2) were both paid for double figure scores as Poole picked up their first away points of the campaign at California, the two involved in turn as the Potters took the lead in the division two clash with 5-1’s in heats three and four, Alonen and his partner Graham Elrick (9+1) would add a further set of maximum points in heat seven. Poole won the meeting 43-47 and end the week outside of the relegation zone as a result, they replaced in the bottom three by the Poppies who went on to lose by 14 at then bottom of the table Jericho. New basement sitters are Manor, defeated in their latest home meeting by Exeter, 41-49, Graham Hancock (15) scoring his third straight league maximum for the visitors in the win. In division three Buxton recorded a 44-46 win at Gateshead to move up to second, Lye still lead the standings despite suffering their first defeat of the campaign on their trip to Somerset.