Hammers trumped by Aces

Lakeside well beaten in Elite League

Lakeside Hammers saw their five-match winning streak come to an end after a 58-35 defeat at Belle Vue last night.

Hammers had beaten King’s Lynn, Birmingham (twice), Swindon and Belle Vue over a five-week spell, but were put to the sword in Manchester in their final outing before the World Cup break.

The visitors produced four race wins on the night, one each for Lee Richardson, Peter Ljung, Piotr Swiderski and Robert Mear, but were well beaten by their hosts.

After an incident-packed opening heat, which saw Chris Harris beat Richardson after Belle Vue’s Ricky Kling had retired and Lakeside’s Kauko Nieminen fell, Hammers edged into a slender lead with a 4-2 from Mear and debutant Kevin Doolan.

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But Belle Vue hit back with 5-1s in three of the next four races, as Ljung and Richardson suffered retirements, to quickly move 11 points clear.

Nieminen was forced out of a shared heat seven, before Richardson produced a double-point win to cut the gap to six points.

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Aces hit back with successive maximums, though, to move 14 points up with five races remaining.

And after Swiderski could only finish third in his heat 11 tactical ride, Belle Vue reeled off two more maximums and a heat 15 advantage to finish well clear.

Craig Cook top scored for the home side with a paid 19 tally from his seven rides, while Rory Schlein collected a paid maximum, having missed the clash in Purfleet a few days earlier.

Richardson reached double figures, despite pulling out of two races, while Swiderski was paid for 11 points, but it was a night to forget mostly for Hammers, who return to action at Peterborough on July 18.

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