IN FOR THE KILL
Hunters relentless in Div Cup success
Behind on aggregate as early as heat four in the second leg of their Division One Cup final tie with Eastbourne, Huntingdon recovered to win the competition for the first time by a clear five point margin. The Hunters slipped behind to an opening burst of two 4-2’s and a 5-1 from the Seagulls at Wilmington Gardens, at that stage the silverware looked to be heading only one way and that was into the hands of Stuart Smith who’d already guided his side to three successes in the competition in the last nine years. A record breaking fourth though would have to wait with the top heavy Huntingdon quartet dominating the closing stages of the final, between them the lead four racing to victories in seven of the last eight heats. It was however Magnus Farnerud’s (6+2) second place finish in heat 14 behind home top scorer Jaroslaw Szyszko (11+1) which secured Paul Jarman’s side the trophy, their second of the season following last months maiden European Cup success for the club. Szysko though was beaten be both Roman Korbel (9) and his long-time Polish international team mate Kazimierz Agafon (14) in the closing stages, while fellow 35 year old Anatoly Koloda (10) raced to victories over Ronnell Hawtin (9+1) and Jake Coiner (6+3) in heats nine and 12. It all bodes well for the final month of the season for Huntingdon as they bid for an unique quadruple, one they’ll complete by recording victories in the finals of both the 4TT and KO Cup. With Eastbourne awaiting them in both finals the Hunters will be confident of a repeat success, Stowmarket and Verwood are the two other challengers in the fours.
Lintlithgow have become only the second side to retain the Division Two Cup after landing the SL25 trophy with a four point aggregate win over Iwade. A 47-43 home second leg victory not enough for the Colts, who conceded a crucial heat 12 5-1 to Matt Joyce (13) and tactical substitute Joel Slater (10+1). The Lions will be hoping the success boosts their promotion bid, they currently lie sixth just three points off the top three, but also only four clear of the relegation zone. The Division Three Cup was won by Steven Potter’s Burnham, the league rookies taking the silverware after completing the double over Coventry in this years final with a 52-38 home second leg win. The Bombers had already secured promotion to division two this season, Bradwell joined them this week thanks to a 48-42 home win over Keswick in their latest fixture.
Eastbourne have gone top of the division one table for the first time in two months with a 44-46 victory at Derby. Following their defeat in the Division One Cup final the win was a moral boosting one for the Seagulls who are seeking a record eighth league title, it was returned thanks to a last heat 5-1 from the unbeaten Ronnel Hawtin (15) and second string Steve Wales. Wales’s 12+2 return was his best of the season, he beating all three home heat leaders in the final three races of the meeting, the disappointing Zenon Coe (8+1) coming third to the Brit—who is still only 25—twice in that time. Stowmarket remain second in the standings thanks to two bonus point wins, with previous leaders Leeds slipping to third following a 20 point loss at Gorleston which saw them miss out on the aggregate point by ten, they were also beaten to the bonus by Stowmarket in their home meeting, the Witches coming away with what could prove to be a crucial extra league point, 89-90.
No third successive relegation in a top flight season for Coalville who secured their division one spot for SL26 with a 43-47 victory at Brickhill. The Tigers though are now down, as are two of last yeas promoted sides, Gorleston and Derby. Huntingdon secured their safety this week despite suffering a home defeat to title chasing Wimbledon, 44-46, the Werewolves remain fourth but have closed to within three points of top spot following what was their fifth straight league win. It came thanks to a heat 15 Stig Martinson (13+1) victory over Roman Korbel (9) who’d beaten both him and Cvetko Greiwe (10) two races earlier.
Henri Myllyniemi (15) completed a hat-trick of GP wins to move seven points clear at the top of the World Championship standings this week. The Finland and Horsens rider finished six points clear of the pack in Kassel, his nearest rival for the title Nathan Kay taking second after winning a race-off against Magnar Dudek. Myllyneiemi is the first rider in 13 years to win three GP’s in a row, Thomas Rafn won four in SL9, Graeme Hocking five in succession during the SL2 and 3 seasons.
Last years WU21 runner-up Erich Pavlik (10) is safely through to this years final after finishing fourth in the Pskov qualifier this week. The meeting was won with 13 points by 17 year old Aussie David Phillips, who rides for Kassel.