Regent Edition - ENHANCED
THIRD TIMES A CHARN-OCK
Brit’ and Muller retain Pairs
New Forest(25) have become the most successful side in the history of the Club Pairs after winning the competition for a record third time, Kristof Muller (15) and Stephen Charnock (10) the first partnership to successfully retain the crown since Whitby’s Thomas Aroy and Paul Scott did so way back in SL3! As in their semi final New Forest’s duo didn’t get off to the best of starts in the Cambridge decider, Oxford’s (24) Antonio Lavecchia defeating both the Knights representatives in their opener, just as Per Conteh had done last week at Kesgrave. A 4-2 against may have put the holders on the back front, but they soon marched their way to the top of the standings, three successive 5-1’s taking them a point clear of Glasshoughton (22). However heading into their heat 19 match-up the two leading clubs had switched positions, the Gazelles in front thanks to their 5-1 over Birmingham in heat 16, the Knights having dropped two points when up against Wordsley (23) in heat 17. A 3-3 would have done for the Gazelles, but for New Forest to pick off both Glasshoughton and surprise package Oxford—the second division side had ended their participation in the meeting with back-to-back 5-1’s—New Forest needed a 5-1. And they got in thanks to Charnock, not only did the British Champion get out in front of both Gazelles riders at the start, but he had the wherewithal to block Andy James route on the outside, his England team-mate forced to scrub off some speed entering the third bend which allowed Muller a run up the inside, the battle of the two last World Champions went the way of the German, which meant the Pairs title again would go the way of New Forest.
Having dropped Oliver Hensley from their home meeting with European Cup winners Sedgemoor and Neil Innes on their trip Rugby, Chalvington boss Stuart Smith wasn’t expecting his side to remain top of division one come the end of this weeks fixtures, however they won both and are now three points clear! Without Innes—who’s been averaging 8.17 at reserve—it was no surprise that the Chiefs conceded a 5-1 in heat two at Rugby, nor that they were six behind as early as the end of heat three in the fixture, these were league points it seemed Smith was filling to forego for the prospect of greater longer term benefit. His riders had different ideas though, Tomasz Blasiak (16+1) stepped in to win heat six as a tactical substitute, a 5-1 with Simon Atkins (10+1) steadying the ship, while it was full steam ahead by the end of heat seven, in which Robert Nichols (10+1) and Hensley (5+1) also picked up maximum points. Another Blasiak winning 5-1 in heat 11 renewed Chalvington’s momentum having conceded the race wins in the previous two heats, while a fourth 5-1 of the night from the side in heat 13—this time Blasiak taking a second behind Atkins—set up an eventual 43-47 success.
Wordsley are on course for a semi final appearance in their maiden Division One Cup campaign, the Wizards making it two wins out of two at the group stage on their trip Claygate (43-47), where an 18 point maximum from Per Conteh helped the visitors overturn a half-time six point deficit. The Danish Champion won four of the last eight races in the meeting, starting with a victory when in as a heat eight tactical substitute and ending with one in the decider against home top scorers Tomasz Kowalik (11) and Chris Webb (9+2). Elsewhere in the competition Kristof Muller (18) also made a perfect six ride contribution for his New Forest side, however the holders fell to a 46-44 defeat at Sedgemoor, a result which leaves Group B wide open with two of the five rounds of meetings to go. The Knights did however go on to pick up their first away point in the league of SL21, that returned at Kent where a last heat 4-2 from Muller (15) and Stephen Charnock (11) left the meeting scores there tied at 45.
A draw at Plymouth was enough to take Glasshoughton back to the top of the division two table, a last heat 5-1 from the unbeaten Andy James (18) and Ladislav Klasinc (11+3) seeing the spoils in the south-east shared between the now top and bottom sides in the standings.
The last 100% records in the British League fell in division three, leaders Maldon losing at Greensforge by a point after winning their first five, worse though for Ashton, who earlier been defeated by the Goblins, 44-46 at home. Four wins in a season best 13 for Bjomar Solheim helped Simon Walker’s side to their first every away league win, they end the week just points difference off Ashton in the promotion places. As do Kesgrave, who moved up to fifth thanks their first away win of SL21, returned at Welsh newcomers Pencoed, 44-46, Carl Wawick (13) impressing with three wins for the visitors, including the only one of the night by any rider over Igor Orman (16). Elsewhere both Hull—who are up to second in the standings—and March both recorded 43-47 wins against struggling sides on their travels, they defeating Loughton and Reading respectively, who both are still looking for their first league points of SL21.
Newport Pagnell’s Adam Schofield (14)—runner-up in the WU21 final last year—picked up his first major title by winning the SL21 WU19 crown in Oslo, the 18 year old becoming the first British winner of the meeting since Mathew Eliott in SL17 after beating compatriot Oliver Hensley—who’d won the BU19 title ahead of Schofield earlier in the year—in a race-off. At Netherton a race-off also decided the BU21 title, Sedgemoor’s Ian Sanders (14) defeating both Rhys Pugh (2nd) and Oliver Hensley (3rd) in an the extra race, the win was Sanders’ first in a WSO event.