Karlsson shows class for Hammers
Swede leads way against former club
Lakeside Hammers 55 Wolverhampton 37
Peter Karlsson came back to haunt Wolverhampton as he steered Hammers to a comfortable win last night.
The 42-year-old Swede — on loan for the season — looked at his best with a five ride 15-point maximum as Hammers maintained their hold on third place in the Elite League table.
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Things had looked bleak early on as Wolverhampton’s Swedish GP star Freddie Lindgren and Ty Proctor led from start to finish in the opening heat to give the visitors a maximum.
But the home side’s reserve pairing of Kauko Nieminen and Justin Sedgmen quickly brought things back level as they managed to pass Matej Kus.
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And it was the Swedish duo of Karlsson and Kim Nilsson who profited the most on the night as they reeled off three maximums together to put the Hammers back in control.
The first came after Robert Miskowiak gated in front of both Hammers riders, before they managed to overtake the Pole, while the second 5-1 was helped by a Lindgren fall.
GB international Tai Woffinden briefly resisted the Lakeside challenge by picking up two heat wins, as Davey Watt and Robert Mear struggled.
The exclusion of Woffinden in heat nine proved costly as Karlsson and Nilsson struck up their third heat maximum and Hammers moved 12 points clear at 33-21.
Miskowiak was given a tactical ride in heat 10, but Watt and Nieminen negated that threat with the fifth Hammers 5-1 of the night.
Lindgren attempted the same in heat 11 and when the returning Jonas Davidsson fell on the first turn it looked like Wolves would get back in contention.
But reserve Sedgmen rode the race of the night to keep the GP star behind him as the visitors could only pick up a 5-3 heat win.
And the Hammers produced race winners in all of the last four heats, two for maximum man Karlsson, to pick up their first Elite League win since June 22.
Hammers 55: Davey Watt 9 (four rides), Robert Mear 1 (3), Karlsson 15 (5), Kim Nilsson 7+3 (4), Jonas Davidsson 4+1 (4), Justin Sedgmen 8+1 (4), Kauko Nieminen 11+1 (6).
Wolves 37: Freddie Lindgren 10 (5), Ty Proctor 8+2 (5), Robert Miskowiak 4+1 (4), Ricky Wells 5(4), Tai Woffinden 7+1 (4), Matej Kus 2(4), Jacob Thorssell 1 (4).