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CRUSHED, AGAIN

Rebels suffer in cup

Sedgemoor look to be heading out in the first round of the KO Cup for the first time in 19 years after suffering their second 14 point home defeat to Colney Hatch of the season! Having lifted the trophy four times the Rebels are the most successful side in the history of the competition, however they were way off their best when they entertained Bill Jones’s Crusaders in the first leg meeting, just five heat wins for the hosts who conceded six 4-2’s and two 5-1’s in the final nine races of the meeting. A capitulation of the highest level brought on by a lack leadership, experience and fitness. New £175,000 signing Carl Davey started well enough, but the 33 year olds lack of racing in SL23 told, as having picked up seven points from his first three races he then failed to beat any opponent in his next three, the heat leader running two lasts in 4-2’s reversals before picking up a third behind the visiting top two John Flitton (11) and Tom Powell (14+1) in the last. It’s not as if Jones has been tracking a top heaving side at Colney Hatch this season, not one of his top four has been averaging any where near nine points in SL23, but still they managed eight heat wins between them on a track on which Bryan Baah (12) normally dominates, with Powell finishing the meeting unbeaten with four victories and that second place in the finale. A strong performance from the top four, but a better one still at reserve for Joshua Hooper, the 22 year old beating both highly rated Rebels youngsters Magnar Kozlowski (3+1) and Tyler Naylor (4+1) twice on his way to a season best score of paid 13, his early season woes well and truly put behind him.

 

TODAY: Shorts

Oxford are set to record their first win in a KO Cup tie in three years after taking an eight point ‘half-time’ lead against division three side Maldon. A season best eight from Adam Austin—who recently dropped to reserve in the Silver Machine’s side—help the second tier outfit to the win, their third on the road in all competitions this season. Their second had come four days earlier on a league trip to Plymouth, Oxford recording a 43-47 victory on the south Devon circuit despite going into the final five heats trailing by seven, 5-1’s in heats 11 and 15 from Tamas Bukszegi (13) and Michael Crosswell (14+2) starting and finishing the comeback for the visitors in that one. Oxford end the week third in the standings, a point off leaders Whitemoor.

 

Chalvington recorded their first away win in the KO Cup in five years after beating third division Kesgrave 44-46 in the first leg of their opening tie of SL23. A fourth 5-1 of the meeting did the trick for the Chiefs in the final race, Simon Atkins (11) and Daniel Wedin (6+1) picking up the maximum which gives the division one side the advantage heading into the second leg. Not so good in the league however for Chalvington, who suffered their second defeat in three top flight meetings at home with the visit of Kent, 43-47, veteran Mario Obrecht (12) racing to four of the visitors ten heat wins of the meeting, including a final heat clincher over Wedin (12) and Atkins (9+5).

 

A £1million in new signings couldn’t prevent Rugby slipping to a single point home defeat to Colney Hatch and back to the bottom of the league standings. £800,000 arrival from Didsbury Village Mike Conlon scored nine on his Fugiendo Vincimus debut, however he found himself on the wrong end of a 5-1 in heat 13 which took the visitors in front for the second time in the meeting, John Flitton (13) and Tom Powell (10+1) giving the Crusaders back the lead and this time they’d hold on, with Flitton securing all three league points with a second place finish in the last. The Crusaders, who failed to win at home in the opening month of the campaign, end the week a season high third in the table.

 

Durham extended their unbeaten league run to five with their second away victory of the SL23 division two campaign. Kevin Holtham’s addition provided a boost to the bottom end of the Saints side, he scoring five, as did fellow reserve Zsolt Gaspar, as the visitors claimed a 43-47 victory. Gaspar’s second placed finish in heat 14 ahead of opposite number Timothy Herbert (6) secured the points for Neil Magee’s side, who end the week just points difference off leaders Whitemoor. Birmingham slip to the bottom of the standings having now lost five in a row in the league.

 

Rackenford recorded their first away win since their return to the sport, and it was a big one for the Raiders, they smashing Loughton 35-55 in their division three encounter at The Den. 30 year old second string Rodoslaw Kowalewski (14+1) scored his first ever league maximum in the victory, while fellow Pole’ Rafal Pawlak impressed with nine points from the reserve berths.

 

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