Regent Edition - ENHANCED
Holders beaten in final
Bridgwaterhave got their hands on a first trophy since winning the division three double back in SL20, a fantastic second leg performance from their top five sealing a four point victory over last years winners Glasshoughton in the Division One Cup final. The home side quickly made inroads into their six point first leg deficit in the decider, Daniel Huth (11+2) and Austrian youngster Bernd Hoover (7+1) picking up a 5-1 in the opener as Lee Cooper (5+1)—who also disappointed in the first leg—trailed back in third. Bridgwater’s weakness however is generally at reserve, and that proved to be the case again, they back to square one following the concession of 5-1 in heat two, while a 4-2 went against them two races later as Louis Richards failed to finish the race. Sandwiching that 4-2 though was a couple of 5-1’s from Brit duo Gary Jones (14) and Terry Duffield (8+2), which gave the hosts the edge if not the aggregate lead, that would come at the end of heat 12 when Jones claimed his fourth straight win of the contest in a 4-2, his win the fifth in succession for a Baboon rider. Five became six in heat 13 as Bridgwater took control with a Huth/Hans Berg (9+1) 5-1, with race win number seven in a row in heat 14 from Duffield taking Steven Potter’s side to within touching distance of the trophy. A last heat decider, but the Baboons needed just two points to be sure of the biggest club success in their history, they got three with Jones and Huth calmly riding to the minor places after Andy James (13) got away at the start, he the only rider for the visitors to score above six points in the meeting as a record equalling fifth success in the competition eluded them for now.
Birmingham, who surprisingly won the Club Pairs title as a third tier side in SL19, claimed their second club competition win in their 12 year history by beating Oxford 93-87 on aggregate in this years Division Two Cup final. Peter Hay’s Brummies were 12 points adrift of their opponents heading into their home leg, but soon brushed that deficit away, 5-1’s in heats two and three won in turn by reserve Timothy Herbert (9+1) and Gunnar Langkas (10) doing much of the work, 4-2’s in heats four and six moving them level. Ivan Misencik (15) won the first of those, he would go on to claim a maximum—his second of this years competition following his first in the club’s opening qualifying success at Whitemoor—with wins over the Silver Machine top two of Tamas Bukszegi (12+1) and Michael Crosswell (12+1) in heats 13 and 15. In-between the late Misencik successes Birmingham secured the silverware thanks to a 5-1 from the two riders who set their side on their way to victory, Langkas and Herbert.
There’s probably no more success starved fans than those at Kesgrave, but they and their promoter Stephen Gee were left celebrating this week as the side—that have finished no higher than eighth in the third tier in each of the last four seasons—claimed the Division Three Cup for a second time with a 53-37 win over table toppers Didsbury Village. A trophy double off the cards then for the likely divisional champions, a four point first leg lead just not enough for the Vaqueros to defend, they falling behind to a heat eight 5-1 won by home reserve Jiri Viko (12), who would complete Kesgrave’s success with his third win of the meeting in heat 14.
Success denied them in the Division Three Cup, but promotion in their first season secured this week by Disbury Village thanks to a 57-33 home win over Maldon. James Calderbank’s side need just three points from their remaining four meetings to secure the title. The battle for the remaining promotion places closed up as fourth place March moved to within two points of the top three with home and away wins, the latter returned at bottom of the table Loughton, 42-48, with the vital three points secured by a 4-2 from Mark Forrester (10+1) and Daniel Borel (12) as early as heat 13.
Round number three of this years GP series provided us with British winner number three, New Forest’s Stephen Charnock (11)—whose scored just 4 and 3 in the previous two rounds—topping the standings in Horsens after beating Michael Edge in a race-off. Andy James (8) still leads the way at the head of the standings by four points from fellow England international, Bryan Baah (8).
A dropped bonus point at Newport Pagnell shouldn’t impact New Forest’s bid for a fifth straight league title, they eight points clear of their fellow Knights in second following the top of the table clash, with just 12 left to ride for. At the other end of the standings Sedgemoor climbed out of the bottom three for the first time in SL23 after they fought back from six down to draw at Colney Hatch. Bryan Baah scored 17 for the visitors, who end the week on 35 points having also picked up the bonus by 12 on aggregate, the Crusaders drop to seventh place on 34 points, a point adrift of the Rebels and only points difference better off than Kent who slip into the relegation zone.