Werewolves exit after late capitulation
Ten down on aggregate away from home six heats into a European Cup semi final second leg meeting. No hope. Huntingdon though took on that challenge and beat the odds to take victory in a meeting they trailed in by 12, 44-46, a result which would see them reach their second European Cup final by four on aggregate. For Wimbledon it’s a second successive single digit defeat at this stage of the competition, they having lost out in similar—but less dramatic fashion—to Willenhall in SL24. Two late 4-2 reversals at home that day, against Huntingdon it was three 5-1’s in the closing five races. The Hunters comeback though started earlier than that, heat seven in fact when the topped averaged rider from either side—Cvetko Greiwe (5)—slipped from first to third in the space of half a lap as both Magnus Farnerud (12) and Anatoly Koloda (9+4) forced their way by. Greiwe’s night got even worse four heats late, the Slovenian’s bike packing up a lap from home to gift Kazimierz Agafon (11) and Koloda five points when they should have got just three. A third successive trip to track resulted in a third 5-1 against for Greiwe in heat 13, Agafon and Roman Korbel taking maximum points there, the defeated 25 year old returning to the pits dejected, no heat 15 for him, ensuring he’d end the meet with his lowest tally of SL25. The aggregate scores were now tied and remained that way heading into the last race following a heat 14 Koloda success. Wimbledon’s night to forget continued in the decider as the previously unbeaten Daniel Wallar (12) fell following a tangle with Agafon on the opening lap, the Pole and fellow 35 year old Korbel made their experience count in the re-run, bringing home their side’s amazing victory from the gate against a rider in Stig Martinson (10) who hasn’t been part of many capitulations like this.
For the first time in eight years there will be no all-British European Cup final with Leeds eliminated in Denmark this week. And given Horsen’s showing against the Jags and holders Stowmarket in round one it would be of no surprise in the Danes ended the European League’s 11 year wait for one of their side’s to win the competition. World Champion Henri Myllyniemi (15) won all ten races over the two legs against the Jags, reserves Chad Broudy (9+2) and Danny Wall (6+2) also made an impact as Horsens added a ten point home victory to their win in Yorkshire last week.
Henri Myllyniemi returned to Leeds where he scored a maximum last week in the European Cup to begin his defence of his World Championship title in the opening round of the SL25 GP series. No full house this week, defeat to Eastbourne’s Jake Coiner (12) in heat three put paid to those chances, while a shot at the meeting win went with a last place finish for the Finn in heat 13, when Nate Stokes (8), Barosz Gorczyca (7) and Stig Martinson (8) all beat him. Myllyniemi would finish above all three though in the standings, securing the runners-up spot in the European round for the second successive season with a victory in a race off against Nathan Kay. Meanwhile Conier quietly went about winning his first GP title since SL19, his heat three success the first of three in a row for the American, he ending the night with a second and third to finish a point clear at the top of the standings.
A group of two became three at the top of division one as Leeds won home and away to end the week level on points with both Eastbourne and Stowmarket. The Jaguars third success on the road of the campaign was returned at the venue of their first, Derby going down 42-48 after conceding a last heat 5-1 to Nathan Kay (15) and Aaron Macaulay (11+1). Leeds have won all four league meetings since Kay (now at five) and Macaulay (one) switched places in the starting line-up, they scoring five maximums between them in the period.
A run of four straight wins has taken Ramsgate out of the division two relegation places for the first time this season. After using 13 different riders this season George Bate has at last hit on the right combination, one constant being the double threat of Nate Stokes (15) and Kenny Dornan (13+2), who both scored maximums as the Robins won at bottom side Earley this week, 40-50. At the other end of the table Iwade moved to within a point of leaders Verwood after extending their unbeaten run to four with back to back victories, the first coming at Devon who have now lost five in a row! A last heat 4-2 earned the Colts the points, 44-46, they lost their meeting earlier in the season at the Country Ground, 29-61! In division three there were 43-47 away wins for both the top two, Runcorn (at Bolsover) and Burnham (at Cork), meanwhile Kelso moved up to fourth—albeit some 14 points adrift of the leaders—with a 42-48 win at league straggler’s Canvey.