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Reserve stars in Claygate success

Having beaten two higher division sides on their way to the semi finals last season, Claygate know all about KO Cup shocks, and another is on the cards for the David Farr’s ‘Riders’ side, who this week defeated top flight Durham 52-38 in the competition. A blistering start to the first round first leg meeting by the home side set the tone for the night, heat advantages going their way in all but one of the first six races, and that only ended 3-3 after Sam Grime fell while attempting to join Chris Webb (10+3) at the front to claim what would have been a third straight 5-1. Ahmed Neretin and Stuart Wade had won the first two races as Claygate picked up heat maximums, both went on to finish the meeting as joint top scorers with 13, they picking up three wins apiece from their five rides. Wade did it from reserve, his haul the biggest since his pre-season loan switch from Wordsley, with the 23 year old claiming the notable scalps of Dmitry Maslov (14), Gary Jones (6+1)—twice—and Saints number one Daniele Mosca (10+1) on the night, victory over the latter coming in a heat 14 5-1 with Webb. That took the Riders back 14 in front, and with a 3-3 to finish the night that’s the advantage they take into the second leg, where they’ll be favourites to complete the aggregate victory. To many at Claygate the cup will be a distraction to their main aim of securing a second successive promotion, it didn’t hinder them this week at Netherton though, with the Riders picking up their first away league win of the campaign on the Heathens’ Dudley Wood circuit. Wade (11) again picked up three heat wins as the Riders claimed the 43-47 victory, they having twice trailed their hosts by six in the meeting.

TODAY: Shorts

Sedgemoor’s liking for Colney Hatch’s Friern Leisure circuit has taken them to the top of the division one table for the first time this season, a last heat 5-1 from Mark Allen (14) and Bryan Baah (14+1) earning the Rebels a 43-47 victory in the meeting, one which saw them overhaul New Forest in the standings. Nick Howard’s side have now won five of their last seven league fixtures at the venue. Kent meanwhile bounced back from their own home defeat to Sedgemoor by beating Cambridge 42-48 on the road, Luke Marlowe racing to two wins in scoring a season best 10+1 for the visitors, the 20 year old was racing at reserve in the Spitfires side for the first time in SL20 following the inclusion of new signing Jermaine Stark (3+1) at second string. The defeat leaves Cambridge bottom of the division one table, they having now won just one of their last seven in the league.


Smethwick are up to second in the division two table after they finished the stronger of the two sides in their meeting at Plymouth, to win the clash 42-48. Meerkat riders won the final six races to close out the victory, picking up two 4-2’s and a 5-1 in the process, the latter returned by Teddy Thylander (14) and Andrey Rastorguev (9+1) in heat 13. £350,000 new signing Matthew Elliott (7) made an immediate impact to his new side, the second string picking up two wins himself in the closing stages of the clash, defeating home heat leaders Karel Vlasak and Neil Jones in turn. At the other end of the standings Furness are now without a win in six in the league following a home defeat to March, the Manics 40-50 success at Holker Park completed with a last heat 4-2 won by second string Nikhil Guba (14), who finished the night with his first double figure haul of the campaign.


Tamas Bukszegi’s (9) position at reserve continues to reap league points for Oxford, the Hungarian—signed from Colney Hatch for just £15,000 in pre-season—playing a pivotal role as the league newcomers beat Birmingham 41-49 on the road, his two wins in the meeting included a heat 12 victory over tactical substitute Nelek Zielinski and home heat leader Mick Davidson. Ally Carroll’s side remain second in the standings, however their deficit to leaders Pagham has now been cut to a single point.


Sedgemoor’s world number four Bryan Baah (14) claimed a record equalling sixth World Championship first round win this week, he moving level with Joszef Tolcseres in the all time list with a two point victory over Marcel Strba in his opening qualifier at Chalvington. Another SL20 GP star Kevin Dobinson eased through to the next round in fourth spot, however world number six Darko Kokol (3) made his exit at this stage. Maldon’s Risto Anttila (14) won the second of this weeks ties in Plock, a meeting in which both world number 13 Russell Draper (4) and number 15 Rain Vink (4) failed to qualify from.


Wordsley are on course to reach the second round of the KO Cup for the first time in three years after defeating Plymouth 44-46 on the road in the first leg of their tie, Per Conteh (15) scoring a maximum for the Wizards. Top flight Kent also won away from home in the competition, Mario Obrecht (18) unbeaten for them as they beat Bearwood 41-49.


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