HOLDERS IMPRESS IN PAIRS
Jaworski eyes record after semi final win
Last years victors Blake White (13) and Ludoslaw Jaworski (12) made a winning return to the Club Pairs Championship this week, they racing to victory in the Stourbridge semi final by a clear four points having received a bye in round one. Houston are looking to earn a record third win in the competition, while Jaworski—also a two-times title winner with Halifax—goes into next weeks decider in Stirling looking to become the first rider to lift the trophy on four separate occasions. They will be favourites to set the new bests given their performance in this weeks qualifier, 5-1’s over the pairings from Steeple (12), Mildenhall (13) and then Stoke (14) all but sealing their spot in the final with a third of the meeting remaining. The Colts rounded off the success with a 4-2 over the hosts who would go on to qualify through in fourth spot, before sharing the points with Cranford (21) in heat 20. The Yellowjackets finished as joint runners-up alongside Solihull, the two go through to their first finals in three and five years respectively. SL8 and 9 winners Olcay Fugleberg (13) and Daniel Williams (8) will represent Heath in the Pairs final for the fifth successive season after winning the second of the semi finals at Hallamshire, and with top flight duo Belfast (17) and Totton (15) both exiting the competition following the meeting—the former after conceding a 5-1 to Heath in their final race—it will be the Spitfires that represent the biggest danger to Houston in their bid for the silverware. The Spitfires of Brookwood (20)—runners-up last year—are also back in the final after finishing as runners-up to Heath, Ernsford Grange (19) qualified through in third.
Shaun Talbot’s record of appearing in every British Final is set to end after the 33 year old SL7 Champion only finished ninth in his semi final at Shetland, a position only good enough to see him line up at reserve in the SL11 Totton decider. Ernsford Grange heat leader Christopher Young (13) was the surprise winner of the semi final, the 30 year olds second win at this stage of the competition in his career returned after a race-off victory over Shan Herbert, lasts years runner-up Julian Harrison (12) took the third spot on the podium. With home advantage in the final Simon Snow (13) will be one of the favourites to take the crown this year, Snow won the second of the semi finals at Herne Bay this week and will now look to add the national title to his growing list of career achievements, which already includes the BU16, BU21, WU19 and WU21 crowns. Nicolas Cole (11) and Derek Stanley (10) completed the podium at Herne Bay, defending champion Harry Nicholls (8) qualified through in eighth spot.
After a defeat for champions Houston at Heath, 47-43, Sedgley are left as the only unbeaten side in division one this season. A four point home win over Cranford saw Gary Willetts’ Sprites climb to top spot in the league standings for the first time ever in their 11 year history, a week earlier they’d picked up their second away draw of the campaign on their trip to Solihull. The Scorpions never led in what was only their second top flight home meeting, going behind to a 5-1 from the visiting reserves in heat two and not back level until heat 14 when Shaun Talbot (5+1) suffered an untimely puncture for the Sprites. A 4-2 in favour became a 4-2 against for the visitors, Solihull heat leader Klement Flora gifted the win and his first points of the night. Kim Siemsen (15) ensured at least a point for the hosts with his fifth straight victory in the decider, Beck Sundling (12) and second string Alex May (7+1) kept Per Palmer (12+1) at bay to make it two away draws in a row for the Sprites, but they will be disappointed not to have won this one.
Away points are still hard to come by in division two with all ten meetings ending in wins for the home sides this week. All this means that Stourbridge still lead the way from Bradford, the latter smashing Steeple at home 57-33 after a dominant performance from their side. Second strings Scott Read (7+2) and Michael Floor (6+2) were amongst six different heat winners for the hosts, the former set to up his GSA by three points at the average change, unless of course promoter Dave Robinson limits his participation to just one further league meeting.
Mildenhall were the only side in the country to record an away league win this week and in doing so have moved up into the promotion places in the division three table. Their 39-51 success at Leyton equalled their biggest ever win on the road in their short history, they matching their SL10 12 point win at Harringay thanks to a last heat 5-1 from unbeaten loanee Bradley Turnbull (14+1) and club number one Frank Popov (11+1). 18 year old reserve Kenn Balle was paid for 13 from his seven rides, the Dane is currently averaging 9.09 in the league this season and already has one maximum to his name, scored in the Crusaders opening day win over Stepps.