Honours even in Hammers opener
PUBLISHED: 08:43 21 March 2015 | UPDATED: 08:43 21 March 2015
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Rico Spring Classic ends all square
Honours finished even as Lakeside Hammers drew the Rico Spring Classic with Lee’s All-Stars in celebration of the life of former Hammers captain Lee Richardson.
Both teams went into the final heat tied at 42-42 and, after an action-packed finale that saw Scott Nicholls excluded, it ended all square.
The meeting started with five successive 3-3s.
In heat one, last year’s Hammers captain Davey Watt ran away with the race after overtaking Swedish rider Kim Nilsson on the opening lap on the exit of turn four.
Heat two saw current Sky Sports presenter and former Hammers rider Kelvin Tatum take to the track. and the 51-year-old did not fail to deliver as he won his heat with some margin to Ashley Birks in second.
Heat four saw the emergence of a new Hammer in Edward Kennett and the former Birmingham rider showed the crowd what they could be looking forward to this season with a win on his debut.
Heat six saw the first 5-1 of the night for the Hammers as Kennett won again and Mikkel Bech followed the 28-year-old home to complete the first maximum.
The points were shared in the next two heats, with Rory Schlein picking up a race win for the All Stars and Kennett collecting his third win in three races.
At the halfway stage, the home side led 26-22, but the All Stars started to peg back the Hammers lead with a 4-2 win in heat nine.
Heat 10 saw another 3-3 draw, but in heat 11 the comeback was complete by the All Stars as Schlein picked up his second win to level the scores at 33-33.
The next three heats were all even, which meant heat 15 would determine who would win the meeting.
The All-Stars won the toss and chose gates one and three for the final heat and Nicholls started well, but then overcooked it on bend two.
Richard Lawson went past and fell, while Nicholls swerved to avoid the Hammer and ran across the centre green.
Schlein took the chequered flag ahead of Nilsson and Lawson and the referee decided to exclude Nicholls and award a closing 3-3.
Scorers, Hammers: Jonsson 4+2, Nilsson 10+1, Bech 5+2, Kennett 10+1, Lawson 10+1, Ellis 1+1, Birks 5.
All Stars: Watt 7, Sedgmen 3+1, Schlein 14, Worrall 4+1, Nicholls 5+1, Tatum 7+2, Morley 5.
*Lakeside’s Andreas Jonsson has pulled out of the Elite League Riders’ Championship at Leicester due to illness.
The Swede scored paid six at the Rico Spring Classic and will be replaced in the field by team-mate Richard Lawson, who joins up with Mikkel Bech.
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