Cedergren lights up Pairs
Kim Cedergren is out once again to prove those that have jettisoned him from their side that they were wrong to do so, Burnham’s £50,000 bargain buy taking the club to a first Club Pairs final just months after leading them to the third tier league and cup double. Cedergren—who also finished sixth in the World Championship in SL25—is looking to win the competition for a third different club after taking the silverware in the race-jackets of Eastbourne in SL21 and Leeds three years later, at the end of both of those seasons he was transferred out of the clubs despite the success he brought them. While Burnham (24) prospered in their home semi final this week, holders Eastbourne (19) required a last heat 5-1 over Bolsover to see them sneak through to next weeks decider in Kelso by a point. Cedergren (16) and his partner Luke Griffiths (8) finished with two maximums to their names—against Coalville and Coventry—but it was the 4-2’s against Eastbourne and fellow top flight opponents Stowmarket (22) which saw them stand out as real contenders for the silverware. Like Eastbourne the Witches will be back to contest the final after finished as runners-up on the night, Linlithgow (21) qualified through in third. More top flight struggles in the second semi final at Runcorn (22) where second division Brighton (26)—represented by Nota Gyorok (14) and Lubos Pinte (12)—topped the standings from the hosts, Wimbledon (21) may have finished a creditable third but both Huntingdon and Verwood made their exits, meaning just three of the seven finalists will be from division one.
New Way are still looking for their first win in division one, the Nighthawks—who have earned successive promotions in their two years in the sport—finding life somewhat tougher at the highest level. Verwood, promoted alongside New Way in both SL24 and SL25, earned a share of the spoils in a tight affair at the Frying Pan this week, although having taken a four point lead with three successive 4-2’s heading into heat 14 the Vipers will be disappointed they didn’t claim both league points. Crucially for the hosts visiting reserve Cerek Ostrovski, who had scored eight from his four rides up until that stage, failed to finish even a lap of the penultimate race, handing a 4-2 to New Way. Another followed in the last as Miloslav Dorosh (10) failed to find the form at the gate that had earned him three previous victories on the night, Ben Page (11) taking his first for the hosts.
A dropped point at home but success in the Pairs and then an away win in the league capped what in the end was a very good week for Glenn Martin’s Brighton side. Their victory at Bradwell, 43-47, is the only away win achieved by any second tier side in the league this season, Brighton leading throughout the contest after a 4-2 from Noto Gyorok (6) and Max Bennett (4) had given them the lead in the opener. Despite claiming the majority of the race wins Bradwell never really threatened to overhaul the Badgers advantage, which after a heat ten 5-1 from Martin Mtiliga (11+2) and Dwayne Broxup (7+1) stood at eight points, the same pairing securing the victory with the minor places in the last. Brighton end the week third in the standings, level on points with leaders Burnham, who were the side to deny them victory on their home Amex circuit at the start of the week. That ended all square after Mtiliga (8) fell in the last while under pressure from Bombers second string Damjan Vrecic (10+2), no foul according to the referee who allowed the race to proceed and finish as a 3-3 which earned the visitors their first away point at this level.
After an unbeaten start to life in division three league newcomers Paull were brought back down to earth by Cork, who stunned their hosts with a late run of three 5-1’s to win at Humber View 43-47. The Crusaders took the lead for the first time with the first of those maximums in heat 12, reserve Fiske Wahlquist (7) racing to his second win of the night in that as home heat leader Rune Kvist Jorgensen (7) trailed in last. The points where then secured when the Crusaders second reserve—Marcus Mattingly (6+1)—led around Paul Martin for a 5-1 two races later. Elsewhere Plymouth took a share of the points at Coventry thanks to a Carlo Piccolo (11)/Kenny Dornan (14+1) last heat 5-1.
Verwood teen Bradley Fowler (14) dropped just a point as he began the defence of his British Under 21 title with victory in the semi final at Cork this week. Fowler—who has averaged over ten points in the Academy League in each of the last three seasons—topped the standings from fellow 19 year olds Jake Campbell (12) and Neil Burns (11). Owen Carter (12) of Brickhill won the second of the semi finals in Derby after defeating Jacob Sinclair and Jake Rahman in a race off, Daniel Lake (11) finished fourth.