Regent Edition - ENHANCED
BRIDGING THE GAP
Baboons into final
Less than five years since making their league debut Bridgwater are beginning to make their mark at the very highest level of competition. 4TT finalists in their second season in the sport, Pairs finalists this year and now they are just two meetings away from landing the Division One Cup. The Baboons impressed with home and away wins over Kent to reach the final in only their second season in the competition, a 44-46 victory at the Spitfires this week taking them through by 18, 20 year old Adam Schofield (14+1)—a guest for the injured Gary Jones—scoring a maximum in the visitors success. Schofield could be back for the first leg of the final with Jones still a month away from recovery from a broken wrist, that final will be against Glasshoughton, who overcame a battling Colney Hatch side to reach the decider by six this week. Despite going into their home leg just two points adrift of their opponents the hosts were taken right to the wire, a last heat Andy James (15)/Mark Lyons (12+2) 5-1 eventually completing a six point aggregate victory for the Gazelles. It’s a sixth final in the competition for Glasshoughton, who lifted the trophy for a fourth time by beating New Forest by 15 over two legs last year, this years contest is expected to be a much closer affair, the two finalists currently separated by just one place and three points in the top flight standings. First though both clubs are in KO Cup action next week, and if the odds are anything to go by they are likely to meet in the final of that competition also, with Bridgwater taking on second division Oxford and Glasshougton facing top flight strugglers Rugby at the last four stage.
Birminghamfought off a determined fight-back from Claygate to reach the final of the Division Two Cup for the second time in three years. The SL21 runners up took a 14 point lead with them to Glebelands for the second leg of the semi final and needed every point of that advantage, their lead cut to two at the end of the tie following a heat 15 4-2 won by the hosts’ Chris Webb (13), Ivan Misencik’s (16) second place in that denying the Riders a race-off. Meanwhile second tier leaders Oxford comfortably won the battle of the division’s top two with Durham to take their place in the final, the Silver Machine progressing by 16 following a 55-35 second leg win in which the hosts scored five 5-1’s.
Didsbury Village remain on course to win the third tier double in their debut season after reaching the final of the Division Three Cup with a 43-47 victory at Ashton this week. Leading by just eight, the return leg at the Rangers—who had qualified through the group stage for only the second time in 14 attempts earlier in the year—was expected to be a tough one for the Vaqueros, not so though, a run of three 4-2’s adding to their advantage early on, while in the closing stages a hat-trick of 5-1’s would take them through with plenty to spare. Mart Lemsalu (13+1) was involved in the first two of those maximums, he second to Jone Leir (10+1) when in as a tactical substitute in heat 12 before winning heat 13 ahead of team mate Marek Pacholec (8+1). Kesgrave will their opponents in the decider, the Kestrels back in the final for the first time since they won the competition in SL15 after they completed a 12 point last four win over Rackenford in Devon this week.
Four straight wins and a heat 18 second behind last years winner and Chalvington team mate Oliver Hensley (9) was good enough to see Christian Lindblad (14) become the third Swede in 11 years to lift the WU21 winners trophy this week. The 18 year old follows in the wheel tracks of fellow countrymen Daniel Wedin (SL20)—another Chiefs team mate—and Martin Skoog (SL13). Pre-meeting favourite Adam Schofield (12) had to settle for second after he failed to recover from a bad start to the meeting, the semi final winner only third in heat three behind Andreas Brammer (11)—who lost out to the bronze medal to Jason Danoff in a race-off—and Jack Mills (7).
A 42-48 win at bottom side Chalvington helped New Forest extend their lead at the top of division one back up to four points, the Chiefs—who lost at home to second placed Pennsylvania last week—again struggling to cope with the fire power of a leading team, with Kristof Muller (14), Dominic Little and Stephen Charnock (10+1) racing to nine wins between them in the contest. Elsewhere Rugby boosted their survival hopes by picking up a draw at fellow strugglers Sedgemoor, the scores at the Rebels ending level following Mike Conlon’s (13) last heat victory over Carl Davey (13) and Bryan Baah (13+2), the visitors had led by six earlier on in the meeting.
Division three leaders Didsbury Village were the only away winners outside of the top flight this week, their meeting at Thanet (44-46) settled by a last heat 5-1 in their favour.