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Points on the road for Hammers at Belle Vue

Peter Karlsson (blue) top scored for the Hammers in their 45-45 draw at Belle Vue last night. Pic: Rob Newell/TGSPHOTO Peter Karlsson (blue) top scored for the Hammers in their 45-45 draw at Belle Vue last night. Pic: Rob Newell/TGSPHOTO

Colin Munford
Tuesday, June 10, 2014
9:00 AM

Elite League Belle Vue Aces 45 Lakeside Hammers 45

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Lakeside picked up a solid two points on the road at Belle Vue, but where to left to ponder what may have been.

They were never headed throughout the meeting, but the Aces came on strong towards the end – especially Grand Prix star Matej Zagar

A ‘tactical’ move in the opener from Zagar to touch the tapes in the first running to gain the clear advantage of gate four in the re-run.

But that plan backfired as he failed to pass the fast gating duo of Davey Watt and guest Stuart Robson kept him at bay in the re-run.

Ben Morley and Ellis packed in for minor placings in heat two to keep the Hammers in front before Peter Karlsson got off to a good start from the favourable gate four and was never headed, though Mikkel Bech was stranded out the back.

After a strong start from Stefan Nielsen, Zagar forced his rider to the back and Bech took the chequered flag with guest Rory Schlein all over the back of Zagar as a 4-2 gave the visitors an 18-12 lead

Watt was close to Simon Stead at the back of heat five, but Karlsson once again looked back to somewhere near his best with the win.

The Hammers looked on course for another 4-2 heat advantage in the next but when clear in front Schlein took a tumble – and that reverse the scores in a moment of fortune for the hosts.

Bech fell foul of referee after forcing Stead off on bend four of the opening lap in heat eight meaning an exclusion for the Dane, and the Aces profited with Robson unable to find a way past Stead in the re-run despite plenty of effort.

However it was the turn of the Hammers to get some fortune as Stefan Nielsen packed up in second and with Ellis in front Lakeside picked up a 4-2 to move 29-25 ahead.

Zagar did eventually pick up a win on the night as he swept past Bech, but with Karlsson in third Lakeside still lead by four.

The visitors held a 4-2 in heat 11 after another fine start from Schlein, but a bold move from Nicholls saw the Brit go up the inside of Watt to mean a sixth shared heat of the night.

Michael Palm-Toft followed in the footsteps of Zagar to win his first heat of the night, but the ever-battling Robson past Lee Payne for a vital third to leave the Hammers four points up with just three heats remaining.

But Belle Vue, as they did on Friday in the 58-32 win at Lakeside on Friday, picked up their first heat maximum of the night to leave it level pegging at 39 apiece.

And the Hammers looked like losing it at the most important part with the Aces on a 4-2, only for Schlein to produce a wonder move on Stead right on the line to share the heat and ensure a final heat decider.

Nicholls touched the tapes to leave him going off 15 metres, and though Karlsson initially led Zagar came up trumps passing the Swede to take the victory. Karlsson and Watt held on though to secure a share of the spoils.

The Hammers return to action at home to Leicester Lions on Friday.

Belle Vue Aces 45: Matej Zagar 12 (from 5 rides), Michael Palm Toft 7+1 (5), Scott Nicholls 8+2 (6), Simon Stead 10+1 (5), Stefan Nielsen 5+2 (5), Lee Payne 3 (4)

Lakeside Hammers 45: Davey Watt 4 (4), Stuart Robson 8+2 (4), Mikkel Bech 5 (4), Rory Schlein 8+1 (5), Peter Karlsson 9+1 (5), Ben Morley 4+1 (3), Adam Ellis 7 (5)

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