Hammers tame Lions in opener
09:14 28 March 2015
Rob Newell/TGSPHOTO c/o 27 Plaiters Way, Braintree, Essex, CM7 3LR - Editorial Use ONLY - FA Premier League and Football League
Elite League: Lakeside Hammers 59 Leicester Lions 31
Lakeside Hammers strolled to an easy victory in their opening Elite League fixture of the season against Leicester Lions last night.
The Hammers dominated the beginning of the race by picking up five 5-1s in a row to secure a 22-point lead going into heat eight.
And the home side secured victory with three heats to go after they took a 24-point lead to claim their first three points of the season.
The first heat of the night showed off some spectacular speedway, as Leicester’s Elite League Riders champion Jason Doyle made a very aggressive start going into turn one to take the lead, but was pegged back immediately by Kim Nilsson at the end of lap one.
Andreas Jonsson had to play a patient game to get the better of Ben Baker, as the Swedish rider passed the Leicester number two rider with one lap to go.
Nilsson was delighted that he managed to get past Doyle in heat one to take the chequered flag, saying: “It was really good to be able to pull it off. As a number two winning the opening heat is all I think of and it is more or less my job and it’s very nice to do it.”
The second heat ended all square as Hammers Ashley Birks and Adam Ellis finished second and third.
Birks tried to get pass Josh Auty for first place, but his attempt to overtake the Leicester rider ultimately cost him time which he was unable to regain.
But the Hammers stretched their legs by posting five 5-1s to create an enormous gap of 22 points between the sides.
Richard Lawson and Mikkel Bech gave the Hammers their first maximum of the night, courtesy of a Grzegorz Walasek mistake which allowed Bech to go through and finish in second place.
Heat four saw Leicester’s Simon Lambert throw away a potential win after being overtaken by Edward Kennett and Birks to give the Hammers another 5-1 victory.
And Leicester used their one and only tactical ride in heat five, but the decision backfired as elected rider Barker finished last.
As the teams entered the second half of the meeting the Hammers had a 35-13 lead and heat nine saw Nilsson pass Szymon Wozniak around the outside of turn three to take the lead, with Ellis bringing his bike home in third place to give the Hammers a 4-2.
The next four heats were shared as the Hammers began to make sure they brought both bikes and riders home without any injury.
But the hosts recorded their final 5-1 of the night in heat 14 with Bech and Kennett displaying a great defensive ride to stop Wozniak getting between them.
The final heat of the day saw Jonsson and Kennett up against Barker and Doyle, but the race had to be restarted as Doyle was forced out wide at the first corner and took a nasty fall.
The 29-year-old recovered from his tumble to win the rerun, seeing off the attack from Jonsson, but there was no denying Hammers a big win and their meeting at King’s Lynn on Tuesday will be shown live on Sky Sports.
Hammers: Jonsson 11 (5 rides), Bech 10+1 (4), Bech 10+2 (4), Kennett 11+1 (5), Lawson 6+1 (4), Ellis 5+3 (4), Birks 6+1 (4).
Lions: Doyle 10 (5), Barker 3+2 (5), Walasek 1 (4), Wozniak 4 (4), Pedersen 3 (4), Auty 9 (4), Lambert 1 (4).