Hammers trump Aces
- Credit: Rob Newell/TGSPHOTO
Elite League: Lakeside Hammers 51 Belle Vue Aces 42
Lakeside Hammers took all three points as they beat Belle Vue Aces at a very dry and dusty Arena Essex Raceway last night.
The race meeting was tight until the Hammers scored a 5-1 in heat 14 to put the meeting beyond doubt, as the Purfleet-based squad continue their recent fine form at home.
The first two heats saw the points shared, with the visitors taking the first two victories, but the Hammers claimed the rest of the points to keep the scores level.
Matej Zagar was victorious in the first heat and the Slovenian rider rode superbly again to win in heat three, as he replaced the absent Craig Cook.
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The Aces took a 5-1 in heat three as Scott Nicholls came home in second, which gave the away side a four-point lead in the early stages.
But the Hammers hit straight back with their own maximum score to level points at 12-12.
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Adam Ellis got a great start to win the heat, on the way to his best-ever haul on home shale, with team-mate Richard Lawson seeing off the threat from Grzegorz Zengota.
The home side took a heat advantage in heat five, as both guest riders Piotr Swiderski – who replaced the injured Kim Nilsson – won the heat and Ben Morley, in for Ashley Birks, who is out for the season, finished in third.
However, the Aces hit straight back with a 5-1 victory to take a two-point lead as Zagar took his third victory of the night and Nicholls once again followed him home in second.
The momentum in the meeting swung again in the Hammers’ favour as they picked up another maximum score to edge two points in front.
Club captain Andreas Jonsson took the victory with former captain Davey Watt, guesting for Mikkel Bech who was on under-21 duty, following him home in second.
Hammers secured another 5-1 victory to extend their advantage to six points when Richard Lawson powered his way to the front to win ahead of Ellis, who had a super ride to see off the attack from Kevin Doolan for second.
Heat nine was re-run three times, due to two false starts and Zengota crashed on the third attempt which saw him excluded, and Hammers secured their third 5-1 in a row to extend the gap to 10 points.
However, the ever impressive Zagar came in for a tactical ride in heat 10 and secured his fourth victory of the evening for the full six points, with Doolan third behind Watt in a Belle Vue 7-2 that halved the gap to five points.
Heat 11 saw the Hammers take a crucial heat advantage to extend the gap back to seven points as Jonsson won after overtaking Zengota around the outside of turn four and Swiderski finished in third.
Heats 12 and 13 saw the points shared, which almost guaranteed victory for the Hammers, as they kept hold of their seven-point advantage with two heats to go.
The home side secured the victory with their fifth maximum score of the evening as Edward Kennett picked up his only points of the night ahead of Lawson.
The final heat saw Lakeside’s Jonsson and Lawson go up against Nicholls and the mighty Zagar for the Aces.
Zagar again made a brilliant start to lead going into turn one, with Jonsson behind him in second.
The Swedish rider tried to find a way past the 33-year-old, but was unable to and the visitors sealed a heat advantage as some small consolation.
Hammers: Jonsson 13 (5); Swiderski 8+1 (4); Kennett 3 (4); Lawson 8+2 (5); Watt 5+1 (4); Morley 2+1 (3); Ellis 12+2 (5).
Aces: Zagar* 19+1 (6); Doolan 5 (5); Zengota 2 (5); Nicholls 9+2 (5); Worrall 6 (6); Hughes 1+1 (4).