Hammers face home date with Darcy
PUBLISHED: 12:15 31 July 2015
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Australian ace visits with Swindon
The Vortex Lakeside Hammers take on the Darcy Ward-led Elite League play-off hopefuls Swindon Robins at the Arena Essex Raceway tonight (Friday).
And the home side will be out for revenge after falling to a 50-39 loss at the Abbey Stadium in Wiltshire last night, which sees Swindon sitting in fourth place in the table.
The Hammers led early in the meeting and were still on level terms after 10 heats, then only three points behind with three races left.
But the Robins pulled away in the last three races mainly thanks to new signing Ward, who won heats 13 and 15.
Ward’s only defeat of the night came in the opening race where the Hammers captain Andreas Jonsson took the chequered flag.
The Vortex Hammers go into tonight’s return meeting with former favourite Piotr Swiderski coming in to replace Mikkel Bech, who sustained a hand injury in the final heat of Wednesday’s match at Belle Vue.
Kim Nilsson has still not recovered from his shoulder injury and his rides will be covered by using the rider replacement facility, which will enable any of the Hammers riders to take an additional ride.
Another former Hammers favourite, Ben Morley, comes in to replace the injured Ashley Birks at reserve.
Swindon’s new Czech Republic signing Eduard Krcmar is unavailable and will be replaced by Lewis Blackbird while Nick Morris will not be riding following a reoccurrence of an injury sustained earlier in the month.
The Robins management have decided to use rider replacement to cover his rides and, as he is second in their averages, any of their riders will be able to take an additional ride.
With their Elite Draft Riders Lewis Rose and Charles Wright both currently injured Swindon have brought in Carl Wilkinson and Robert Branford, from Rye House, to replace them.
In addition to the sensational Ward, Swindon include his fellow Australian international and Grand Prix rider Troy Batchelor as captain and in-form Polish rider Grzegorz Zengota completes the line-up.
Hammers boss Jon Cook said: “The appearance at the Raceway of Darcy Ward is always the season’s highlight and we look forward to an entertaining night and, hopefully, more League points for the Hammers.”
The action gets underway with the first race at 8pm with the grand parade of riders at 7.45pm.
Vortex Lakeside Hammers: Andreas Jonsson, Piotr Swiderski, Edward Kennett, Richard Lawson, R/R (for Kim Nilsson), Ben Morley, Adam Ellis.
Swindon Robins: Darcy Ward, Lewis Blackbird, R/R (for Nick Morris), Grzegorz Zengota, Troy Batchelor, Carl Wilkinson, Robert Branford.
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