Heavy defeat sees Swans make shock exit
Top flight Caversham are out of the KO Cup after suffering their biggest aggregate defeat in the competition in 11 years. To make matters worse the 28 point loss was inflicted by third tier minnows Mildenhall, who progressed into the quarter finals for the first time ever after following up their 24 point first leg victory, with a 43-47 win at Kings Meadow this week. It was all about their experienced top men in the opener, in the return teenagers Kenn Balle (8+1) and Owen Peacock (10+1) came to the fore, the Crusaders youngsters both recording a brace of heat victories in the success. SL11 WU19 runner-up Balle—now in his third season with the club—made his mark by beating home top man Knute Vik (13) to the three points in heat 11, while both Peacock’s successes were returned in visiting side 5-1’s. On a winning run of seven in all competitions not many would have fancied been paired with Adam Williamson’s in-form team in the quarter finals, that honour goes to Houston, who came through their tie with Ringwood with a race to spare when Cameron Adams paired up with reserve Ben Sheppard for a penultimate heat 5-1 in their home second leg meeting. The Colts are one of four top flight sides to progress into the last eight, with two familiar foes in Long Eaton and Belfast meeting for a place in the semi finals. The two heavyweights have raced each other four times in the competition previously, the Rifles winners on both the last two occasions, including in the SL8 final. Sedgley are the fourth of the division one sides through, the Sprites fifth quarter final appearance in six years will be against third division Stoke, who saw off Mansfield in round two.
A last heat 5-1 from Kim Siemsen (14) and Patrik Soder sent Solihull through to the KO Cup quarter finals at the expense of Harringay. The aggregate scores were tied prior to the final heat of the tie at the Scorpions Under Rock stadium, with the maximum from the two Scandinavians taking the hosts in front in the tie for the first time. Soder’s figures of 11+2 from five were his best since his signed for the club from Malmo earlier this season. Solihull will meet holders Bradford in the last eight.
Houston ended a run of four straight losses by beating Caversham 59-31 before earning a draw at league leaders Totton. The Colts were on course for a win double until the Tigers top pairing of Simon Snow (15) and Ianos Volk (10+1) scored a last heat 5-1, the dropped point though is Totton’s first of the campaign at home, with the result ending a run of 34 successive competitive victories at the Testwood for John Shuttler’s side. Houston were the last side to win at the Testwood, the 44-46 success coming way back on the opening day of SL11. Earlier a final heat Snow (14+1)/Volk (13+1) 4-2 had earned Totton a draw at Buxton in a meeting they had twice trailed in by eight, the Tigers end the first half of the campaign six points clear of Belfast at the top of the standings. Houston boss George Seymour meanwhile says he is already planning for SL13, the signing of 25 year old Latvian’ Isakov Pavel from Harringay this week part of those preparations, 39 year old SL4 and 8 World Champion Cameron Adams makes the move to the Hoods in exchange, along with £300,000.
The top averaged British League rider Ross Nicholls (6) is out of this years World Championship after he finished tenth in his latest qualifier in Kalmar. The second round meeting was won by fellow Brit, world number four Julian Harrison (13), the Hallamshire star taking the victory after defeating Jan Tomanek in a race-off. World Number four Daniel Pesola went through from sixth, but there was no place in the third round for fellow SL11 GP riders Jordan Simpson (5) and Knute Vik (4). Harringay and Northern Ireland number one Glenn Fitzgerald (13) won the second of this weeks qualifiers in Kassel.
Ringwood’s bid for a second successive promotion gained further ground as they picked up home and away wins again this week. The Raiders extended their winning run to five with victories over Bradford and Birmingham (55-35), the former their fourth on the road this season. What was Bradford’s first loss at home in over a year came as they conceded 5-1’s in both heats 11 and 13 and then a 4-2 in the last, Daniel Pesola (10+1) involved in all three for the visitors as they clinched a 43-47 victory. At the other end of the table Solihull won at Steeple, 41-49, to end the week just a point off safety.
Stoke are up to their highest position of the season after pulling off a shock 44-46 win at Shetland. The Bombers end the week in second, moving above the Ponies after leading from start to finish in the meeting at the Scottish outpost, an engine failure for the hosts number one Jeremy Hyatt in the last doing them a huge favour. Shetland responded by winning at Leyton, 43-47, a result which keeps them in the promotion places.