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Lakeside Hammers fail to trump Aces

PUBLISHED: 23:02 21 September 2016 | UPDATED: 07:49 22 September 2016

A view of the pits before the start of racing (pic: Jacob Ranson)

A view of the pits before the start of racing (pic: Jacob Ranson)

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Lakeside Hammers 41 Belle-Vue Aces 49

Lewis Bridger's bike is ready for action in the pits (pic: Jacob Ranson)Lewis Bridger's bike is ready for action in the pits (pic: Jacob Ranson)

The Lakeside Hammers are now facing a tough fight to make the play-off final after suffering a defeat at the Arena-Essex raceway.

Just five days after scrapping their way into the final play-off spot, with a commanding victory over the Swindon Robins, they found themselves going into the play-off semi final first tie without skipper and grand prix star, Andreas Jonsson.

The side failed to live up to the heights shown at Friday’s meeting and are now trailing by eight points going into the second tie against the Belle-Vue Aces.

It was a bright start for the Hammers, as Swede Kim Nilsson made a jet-propelled start out the gate, before allowing his team-mate Lewis Bridger through to pick-up a 5-1 heat advantage.

Belle-Vue Aces reserve Richie Worrall brought the home side’s good start to a halt, as he cruised his way to victory against Lewis Kerr and Ben Morley, but thankfully high-flying Nilsson picked-up another race win.

Holding of Team GB’s Craig Cook to take the score line to 12-6, before the team’s shared the points in the following heat.

But, brothers Richie and Steve Worrall pulled the score back within two points, as they team rode to a 5-1 heat advantage over Bridger and Morley.

Lakeside maintained a two point lead, as the next two heats saw two stalemates.

It wasn’t until heat eight, when the Hammers extended their lead up to four, with revenge on the Worrall’s with Lawson and Kerr picking up a 4-2, although they looked set to bag a 5-1, before Richard hit the deep coming out the bend, which slowed Lewis up, allowing Richie to come through.

The in-form and seven time British champion Scott Nicholls stormed to his third race win of the night to keep the score close, before his team-mates Matej Zagar and Steve Worrall pulled it back to a two point deficit.

Zagar flew out the gate with Worrall, squeezing Edward Kennett out, only to find the Hammers number three break his way through until Worrall returned the favour.

The action kept coming with the race of the night coming in heat 11.

Home duo Lawson and Bridger pushed their way to the front coming out the first bend, but rising star Cook didn’t give up and kept chasing hard, eventually finding his way past Bridger before sneaking his way up the inside of Lawson for the race win.

The Purfleet-based side came up trumps in heat 12 and looked as though they were in control of the meetings outcome, but the Aces thought otherwise, as they team rode their way to back-to-back 5-1 race advantages and put them ahead for the first time in the meeting.

A four-point lead wasn’t enough for the Manchester-based side either, as the nominated heat 15 saw maximum man Nicholls guide his partner Cook to yet another 5-1, ahead of Nilsson and Lawson to take a 49-41 away win back up north.

Lakeside now face a tough test on trying to claw back the points at the National Speedway Stadium on Monday at 7.30pm.

Hammers: Andreas Jonsson R/R, Lewis Bridger 7+1 (5), Edward Kennett 7+0 (5), Richard Lawson 8+2 (6) , Kim Nilsson 8+2 (6), Ben Morley 2+1 (3), Lewis Kerr 9+1 (5)

Aces: Matej Zagar 6 (4), Steve Worrall 5 (4), Max Fricke 0 (3), Scott Nicholls 13+2 (5), Craig Cook 11 (5), Richie Worrall 15+1 (7), Joe Jacobs 0 (3)

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