Lakeside Hammers go clear in Elite League
PUBLISHED: 08:15 05 May 2016
Rob Newell/TGSPHOTO c/o 27 Plaiters Way, Braintree, Essex, CM7 3LR - Editorial Use ONLY - FA Premier League and Football League
Elite League: Lakeside Hammers 53 Belle Vue Aces 39
Lakeside Hammers secured an important home win against Belle Vue Aces to go three points clear at the top of the Elite League table last night.
The meeting was full of fantastic passing manoeuvres through each heat, but it took a while to get going due to sun delays and race reruns at the start of the meeting.
Belle Vue’s Steve Worrall had a memorable night, taking four wins from his seven rides and kept the away side in the meeting right until the end.
However, the Hammers managed to pull away in the final heats and secured a crucial victory against a strong Aces side.
The Hammers started the meeting in superb style, as they dominated heat one and secured a 5-1 win. Piotr Swiderski led from the first corner and Andreas Jonsson passed Australian rider Max Fricke on the inside of turn three to ensure the 1-2 finish.
The points were shared in an entertaining second heat as Robert Mear made a good start from the gate and led the first lap, with Lewis Kerr moving into third passing Joe Jacobs at turn three. However, Steve Worrall fought his way past Mear at turn one on lap two to stop the home side taking another heat advantage.
Heat three was re-run twice after Scott Nicholls fell at turn one in the first attempt and then Nicholls and Lewis Bridger collided at turn one in the second attempt, which saw the Belle Vue rider get excluded.
Once the race restarted, it was Kim Nilsson who got a great start and forced Craig Cook out wide, which allowed Bridger to move into second.
However, Cook fought back and passed Bridger at turn four, but went in too deep at turn one and crashed into the air fence at turn two. The race was awarded 5-0 to the Hammers.
Heat four was also re-run, as Ritchie Worrall crashed at turn one, which saw the rider excluded. In the second attempt, Steve Worrall took victory after passing Richard Lawson at turn four on lap one.
Lawson tried to attack the Belle Vue rider but could not find a way through, meaning the points were shared to make it 16-7 to the hosts.
Heat five was re-run too as Fricke jumped the start and was replaced by Steve Worrall.
The switch paid off for the visitors as Worrall made a great start and claimed his third victory in three races in another shared heat.
Cook starred in heat six, going from last to second to help the visitors secure a maximum, as he pulled off an incredible move past Lawson around the outside of turn two and completed the move down the back straight to bring the gap down to five points.
Nilsson and Jonsson showed a superb display of team riding to hit back immediately for the Hammers, as they secured a 5-1 in heat seven.
And the home side secured a 4-2 advantage in heat eight, as Steve Worrall again came up with a superb ride to pass Lewis Kerr, and stopped the hosts taking another maximum.
The points were shared in heat nine, while Matej Zagar came in for a tactical ride in the next outing and delivered a win from gate one and stormed to victory.
Fricke was holding second for the visitors after lap one, but Bridger forced his way past the Australian to hold the visitors to a 7-2 heat win.
The Hammers claimed another heat advantage in heat 11 as Jonsson managed to pass Nicholls around the outside of turn two, after the British rider had made the gate, to leave the match score at 38-30.
Heat 12 saw Steve Worrall claim his fourth win of the night as the points were shared, but heat 13 saw Swede Jonsson produce a stunning ride, winning the first race of the evening from gate four, as the hosts picked up another 4-2.
Hammers secured the match points in heat 14 thanks to another maximum as Lawson claimed victory and Bridger, who came close to colliding with Nicholls on the back straight, finished second.
The final heat of the night saw the points shared as Zagar took the chequered flag for Belle Vue, but Hammers had done enough to move to the top of the pile as Wolverhampton lost to defending champions Poole.
Co-promoter Jon Cook said: “We are riding well and we will be entertainers wherever we go this season.
“We are working with a group of riders we believe will get better but for now we are happy.
“Everyone played their part tonight, Andreas Jonsson was a magnificent number one and Lewis Bridger has shown we did the right thing by bringing him back to the sport, even though it was a difficult decision at the time.”
Hammers: Andreas Jonsson 12+2, Piotr Swiderski 10+1, Richard Lawson 8, Lewis Bridger 7+2, Kim Nilsson 7, Lewis Kerr 5+2, Robert Mear 4+2.
Aces: Steve Worrall 17+1, Matej Zagar 12+1, Scott Nicholls 3, Richie Worrall 3, Craig Cook 2, Max Fricke 2, Joe Jacobs 0.