Regent Edition - ENHANCED
Witches duo take Pairs
Whitemoorcontinued their strong start to the new season by winning their first trophy outside of the lower tiers in the 17 year history. Bleidilis Vitas (9) and Terry Duffield (14) broke the Witches silverware duck with victory in the SL26 Club Pairs final at March, which ended a run of successive victories for second division clubs in the competition. Holders Maldon (20) looked like they might make it three in a row for those outside of the top flight before they were cruelly denied a 5-1 over Netherton in heat 12 by an untimely fall from Darko Jericek, they pushed on to beat rivals Rugby (22) 4-2 in heat 15, but that result benefited Whitemoor more than themselves. Bryan Baah (8) and Valeri Elin (14) recovered to pick up a 5-1 in their final race of the meeting against Loughton, they the clubhouse leaders, but four points or more from Whitemoor in their remaining outing to the track would see them crowned champions. And four points it was, Vitas had picked up just one point in three races prior to a victory over Simon Atkins in heat 17, he made it two in a row with a heat 19 success over the winless Sandro Jelic, at the back Duffield was given an easy passage to a crucial point for third when the hard chasing Pasi Kuivasto came a cropper while getting to close to the back straight boards on lap three. The success caps a successful opening period of the year for Trevor Walker and his Witches, and although team changes cost them a dropped home point against Sedgemoor (45-45) this week, they remain handily placed near the head of the standings and crucially with a top seven which is under the 47 point limit heading in the next six league meetings.
Newport Pagnellhave gone five unbeaten since their opening day defeat to New Forest and top division one for the first time as a result. A comfortable 52-38 win over previous leaders Whitemoor took them to the summit, the visitors under strength due to tactical team changes, but the hosts too had an unfamiliar look about them, with key £95,000 pre-season addition Christopher Blackwell absent as promoter Glenn Ford looked to maintain the rider’s 3.12 GSA for the next six weeks. Earlier in the week Blackwell was one of five heat winners as the Knights picked up their third away league point of the season on their trip to Glasshoughton, the meeting finishing all square only after the visitors Adam Schofield fell in the last. Elsewhere in the top flight there were first away wins of the campaign for Bridgwater and Rugby, with the latter coming away from Netherton with a two point victory under their belts thanks to a last heat Valeri Elin (17) winning 4-2. It was even closer for the Baboons at Oxford, just a single point separating the two sides in the end, despite the visitors going ten up on their hosts as early as heat five. Oxford recovered by claiming four heat advantages in a row to lead by three, which included a 5-0 in heat eight in which both visitors were excluded. Bernd Hoover (15) though was just untouchable on the night and made the difference in the end, he clinching Bridgwater’s first away points of the season with three wins in the last five races, home top scorer Morten Kristensen (13+1) defeated on each occasion.
A record breaking day at Ebssfleet for Chalvington despite Stuart Smith dropping Connor Scott from the Chiefs line-up. Scott—who scored paid ten in the club’s opening day win at Smethwick—will retain his 3.00 GSA after missing the meeting, he celebrating a new best away league victory for the club from the bar, cheering on a top five who raced to 11 heat wins between them. The 36-54 success was completed by a Daniel Wedin (14)/Christian Lindblad (11+1) 4-2, the result helping the side end the week three points clear at the top of the division two standings. Scott returned for the Chiefs Division Two Cup meeting at March, a one point return for him, but three for the visitors as they won that 42-48 and made a place in the semi-finals all but theirs with still two group meetings remaining.
Claygate made it four wins on the bounce in division three with a 40-50 victory at newcomers Witham. A second placed from reserve Ken Parsons (9+2) to team mate Roy Frain (14+1) securing the points for David Farr’s side in heat 14, Frain went on to complete his second maximum of the season when finishing as runner-up to Stuart Barnett (14) in the final race. In the Division Three Cup Ashton fought back from the concession of two 5-1’s and a 4-2 in the opening three races to win at Hull, 44-46, the Rangers top two of Steven Douglas (15+1) and Nikhil Guba (12+1) dominating the scoring for the visitors.
Rugby’s Darren Spencer scored 12 to win the BU21 title in Wordsley ahead of Malcolm Bolton (2nd) and Kieron Godfrey (11). The top seven finisher’s from the meeting qualify for the WU21 semi-finals.