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Holders out despite win

Sedgemoor are out of the Division One Cup after falling agonisingly short of the 11 point win they required from their final qualifier at Colney Hatch, the Rebels missing out on a vital second bonus point after the hosts limited their rivals victory to 41-49. Luck was against the visitors late on, with the referee letting Gary Hammonds (10+1) get away with a flyer in heat 13, Mark Allen (9) made a sterling attempt to chase him down, but ran out of steam when his sole opportunity arose to make the pass came on the final bend of the fourth lap. Two races later Terry Fern ended up on the deck, and again the Rebels were on the wrong end of a critical decision, no exclusion for Ivan Misencik—who looked for all the world to be the culprit for the incident—or a re-run. Misencik and tactical substitute John Flitton picked up a 5-1 as Fern watched from the sidelines, a score which ended the visitors hopes of securing the size of victory they required. And with Pennsylvania also falling just shy of a bonus point in their final group meeting—they 49-41 home winners over Chalvington—Colney Hatch somehow managed to progress to the last four of the competition, the SL2 winners finishing second in the section to New Forest. In group A Kent—who needed a 20 point win to challenge the top two—beat Cambridge 49-41 at home, but both sides go out at this stage, the two to go through to the last four are Glasshoughton and Durham. Of those the former topped the standings after beating the latter 61-29 this week, both Andy James (15) and Lee Walsh (14+1) scored maximums in the win, which set up a semi final tie with Colney Hatch, leaving Durham to face New Forest.

TODAY: Shorts

Champions New Forest returned to the top of division one with a 40-50 victory at Cambridge, the win their fifth at the venue in their last seven competitive meetings there. The visitors top three of Kristof Muller (15), Stephen Charnock (12+2) and Dominic Little (8) finished either first or second in every race they contested, their consistency allowing little opportunity for the Cougars to fight their way back into contention having conceded a 5-1 to the reserves in heat two. Sedgemoor drop to second in the standings despite picking up two of the three points up for grabs in their latest meeting at Chalvington, they though just grateful for a draw there, snatched with a last heat 5-1 from Bryan Baah (17) and Mark Allen (12+2). Pennsylvania meanwhile consolidated their position in third with home and away wins, the latter a 41-49 success at Durham, concluded with 5-1s from Kevin Dobinson (14+1) and Rafal Robakiewicz (12+2) in heats 13 and 15. The same two riders had earlier both taken second place finishes as tactical substitutes as the Pirates clawed their way back from a six point deficit in the clash.


Netherton are still looking for their first European Cup meeting win, their fifth attempt at success ending in a first round first leg home defeat to Prague. Much better in the league for the division two side though, they knocking Smethwick off their top of the table perch by recording a 43-47 victory in the west midlands derby at London Road. Much to cheer for the visitors fans as they witnessed their side record three 5-1’s in the meeting, before the unbeaten Sandro Jelic (14+1) capped a great meeting by defeating Teddy Thylander (14) and Carl Davey (10+3) in a last heat decider.


A mixed week for Claygate who having briefly moved into the promotion places in division two with an away victory at one struggling side, promptly lost at home to another. Maldon took all three available points on their visit to the Riders when Risto Anttila completed his 18 point maximum and a two point win for the visitors with a last heat victory over Chris Webb (12) and Marco Bonertz (8+2), Webb had earlier top scored with 14 as David Farr’s side beat Furness by the same score on their travels. Meanwhile at Plymouth, Lee Cooper (18) and Tomasz Kowalik (12+3) completed their maximums with a last heat 5-1 for Newport Pagnell, who also enjoyed a two point meeting victory.


A fourth away win for league debutants Oxford saw them regain top spot in division three, Bearwood the venue for the success, which at 40-50 was their best result on their travels to date. Promoter Ally Carroll was concerned that his form’s side would drop off following Tamas Bukszegi’s (10+1) promotion to second string, however the Hungarian continued where he left off at reserve, he dropping just one point in the win, which was secured with two races to spare by a fourth race victory of the night from his number one, Ladislav Klasinc (14+1).


Netherton’s Sandro Jelic (13) and Sammy Taylor (12) of Furness both raced to their fifth world championship victories of their careers, the two claiming wins in first round qualifiers at Malmo and Smethwick respectively. World number ten Tom Clarke (4) meanwhile made a shock exit after finishing 14th in the latter.


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