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UP FOR THE CUPS

Tigers target more silverware

Brickhill boss Glenn Ford will forego a challenge at the league title to give his side the best opportunity to add to their recent silverware haul. The KO Cup holders and second tier double winners in SL26 are into the Division One Cup semi-finals after they beat Cradley Heath 51-39 in a ‘winner-took-all’ final group qualifier, the Tigers through to the last four—where they’ll meet Group A winners Coalville—as runners-up to Leeds, who finished the first round with a 100% winning record to set up a semi-final tie with Stowmarket. Brickhill dropped just two points in the first five heats to lead the crucial tie 23-7, reserve Thomas Hollis (4+2) taking second places in two of a run of three 5-1’s in the period. Hollis is currently on a 3.00 point GSA and will remain so as long as Brickhill are in contention in the cups, with the 22 year old so far restricted to just four meetings in the league, in which he’s averaging 7.75. Averaging 5.33 Jack Bird is also being kept under-wraps, he didn’t appear for the Tigers this week, but will do so if required later in the competition, or in defence of their KO Cup crown or in the club’s Euro adventure. Brickhill’s first European Cup meeting in 11 years was a successful one, the Tigers 51-39 first leg winners over Krakow, an advantage that makes them favourites to progress from the tie in Poland next week. Hollis managed just a point in the win as others came to the fore, with fellow reserve Carlo Piccolo (7+1) plus second strings Andrey Spasskov (8+2) and Nate Stokes (6) amongst the heat winners, the scoring topped out for the home side by Mark Butcher (14) and Luca Femiano (11).

Wimbledon are heading for a second European Cup first round defeat to Lublin in three season’s. The Poles—who won home and away in their SL26 tie—made it three victories in a row over the Werewolves with a 43-47 success in the capital, the visitors leading throughout after scoring a 5-1 in the opener despite a 17 point haul from home number one, Daniel Waller. Last years runners-up Eastbourne were also in big trouble in their home clash with Prague, they trailed for much of the meeting until a Ronell Hawtin (15)/Stig Martinson (11+1) 5-1 in the last salvaged a 46-44 victory for the four-times winners of the competition. Fans of Leeds have the most to cheer about, the Jaguars—who are still looking to lift the trophy for the first time—51-39 winners over Malmo, Aaron Macaulay (14) racing to four of the home side’s 11 heat wins in this weeks first leg success.

 

Derby rebounded from dropping their first home league point in over a year to win at Beverley and reclaim their place in the division two promotion places. 17 year old Edward Morrison scored just two in place of Lukas Gruber—who’d been forced out of the line-up following the change of averages—as the Bucks were held to a draw at the Sinfin Bowl by Gorleston, the home side undone by a last heat 5-1 from Thomas Jozwiak (14+1) and Piotr Rycak (12+1). Gruber (6+1) returned for the meeting at Beverley as this time Dwayne Broxup was rested by boss Leigh Rose, and he made an immediate impact, winning heat two to consolidate a lead given to the visitors with a 4-2 in the opener. Derby would lead by ten after heat five thanks to two 5-1 scores in the space of three races, and despite number one Anton Kihlstedt scoring just four points would go on to win the clash 43-47. The result leaves Derby third, just a point off Gorleston, who returned to the top of the table with a later 20 point home win over Claygate. It was a bad end to a week for Beverley that has began with their own 42-48 victory at Claygate, Andreas Klein (6+2) scoring paid eight from his four rides after his return to the side, back in favour with boss Ian Adamson he repaid the faith immediately when winning a heat two 5-1 ahead of fellow reserve Scott Sykes (6+2). Sykes also finished second in a later heat eight 5-1.

 

Wentworth’s seven meeting winning league run in division three ended with a 50-40 defeat at Bolsover this week. They still though lead the standings, albeit with a reduced four point advantage, Paull having cut the gap with their second successive away win. The 43-47 success was returned at Calderwood, the Wanderers becoming the first away side ever to win at the Almodell venue when Martin Pokorny (11+1) and Kieron Langmead (12+1) picked up the minor places in the last. Keswick meanwhile end the week in third after claiming their second draw in three away trips, the latest away point gained at Earley, whose later meeting at Southend also ended all-square.

 

Runcorn breakthrough star 17 year old Cameron Reeves transferred his excellent league form—he’s averaging over seven in division two—onto the world stage by winning his WU19 semi-final at Paull. The English youngster scored a 15 point maximum to take victory in the tie.

 

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