Hammers dealt Aces loss
- Credit: Rob Newell/TGSPHOTO
Elite League: Belle Vue 52 Lakeside Hammers 37
Vortex Lakeside Hammers made the long trip back from Manchester empty handed after a battling effort last night.
Travelling north buoyed by their 45-45 draw with Elite League leaders Coventry on Monday, Hammers held a two-point lead after two-thirds of the meeting, which had been called off on two previous occasions due to the weather.
But Aces raced to four maximums in the final five heats of the night to end up convincing winners and deny the visitors any consolation.
Hammers, using rider replacement for Swedish rider Kim Nilsson, called upon guests Lee Payne and Max Clegg at reserve, following injuries suffered by Adam Roynon (collarbone) and Adam Ellis (hand) against the Bees 48 hours earlier.
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But although Clegg managed a win in heat two and picked up two third-place points later in the meeting, Payne failed to score on the night.
Belle Vue reserves Steve Worrall and Stefan Nielsen, by contrast, were paid for a combined 18 points.
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Hammers Danish star Mikkel Bech won three of his outings and top scored with 12 points, despite a tumble in heat 15 which led to his exclusion.
And captain Andreas Jonsson was paid for a dozen points despite being excluded from heat 13 for a tapes infringement.
But Edward Kennett and Richard Lawson managed just nine points between them from 11 rides, suffering three retirements, as Aces had solid contributions from all seven members of their team.
Hammers head west to Wiltshire to take on Swindon tonight (Thursday), where Paul Starke guests at reserve in place of Ashley Birks as Ellis hopes to return to the side.
And the team is set to complete a busy spell of four meetings in five days with a return clash against the Robins at Arena Essex tomorrow (Friday).
Bech tweeted: “I’m okay after the crash and ready to go again! I was going for that 2nd spot in h15 but no room left!
“Pretty satisfied with my performance but I do miss the proper team we have!”
Aces: Zagar 7+1 (4); Fricke 9+3 (5); Cook 10 (5); Grajczonek 6+1 (4); Nicholls 6+2 (4); Worrall 9 (5); Nielsen 5+4 (4).
Hammers: Jonsson 11+1 (5) Bech 12 (6); Kennett 6 (6); Lawson 3 (5); Lee Payne (G) 0 (3); Max Clegg (G) 5 (6).