Lakeside Hammers eager to forget last heat disappointment
PUBLISHED: 09:27 29 July 2011
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The Lakeside Hammers will be fired up to put their last heat disappointment at Poole on Wednesday evening behind them when they face play-off rivals Peterborough Panthers at the Arena-Essex Raceway today (Friday).
The Purfleet-based side led from heat two on Wednesday night right up until the final heat, and looked to be taking advantage of a weaker Poole side, before falling short by 44-43.
Lakeside and the Panthers are neck and neck in the form guide for the crucial top-four finish in the League, ahead of Belle Vue, Coventry and Wolves.
Lakeside’s injury woes were increased when Piotr Swiderski crashed in heat four on Wednesday night.
The Club have flown their Polish star back to his homeland in the hope that specialist treatment to his ankle injury will allow him to return to the line-up for the vital League match tonight.
However, hopes are not high and it’s more likely that former Hammer Joonas Kylmakorpi will be called into action as a guest for the long term absentee Adam Shields with ‘Rider Replacement’ switching to cover for Swiderski.
The Hammers co-promoter Jon Cook explained: “We need to take the many positives from Wednesday, not least the point we gained, into Fridays match.
“Whilst the Pirates had their own injury problems for us to lead the whole match up until the last race with just five riders and only one heat leader after losing Piotr (Swiderski) in heat four is a sign of how hard the boys are fighting to stay in the title race.
“All five were working tirelessly on track and in the pits to get a result and although it should have been three League points you have to give full credit to Poole’s top three riders who were equally as determined to grind out a result themselves.
“In the grand scheme of things it’s still a point we weren’t expecting and if we can add three more on Friday we will be the team to beat for a Play Off spot.”
Lakeside held a seven-point lead after heat seven in the Pirates clash, thanks to a maximum from Peter Ljung and number one Lee Richardson, but Poole clawed away at the deficit, mainly down to Aussie pair Chris Holder and Davey Watt.
Going into the final heat, the Hammers were 42-39 ahead and only needed the pairing of Ljung and Richardson to gain two points to secure a valuable three points.
But Ljung fell and couldn’t get his bike out of the way in time and Richardson was forced to go it alone.
And some superb riding from Holder and Watt saw them hold off Lakeside’s captain and secure an unlikely win.
Lakeside had gone into the meeting off the back of a 40-38 win over the Pirates in the reverse fixture last Friday, in a meeting which was abandoned after heat 13 due to torrential rain.
New Swedish reserve Kim Nilsson enjoyed a fruitful debut for the Hammers, top scoring with 13+1.
The Purfleet-based side also picked up a vital win away at Birmingham the previous night 54-38, with all seven riders picking up a paid win, and Swiderski topping the scoring charts with a paid 15 points.
Friday’s Elite League match against the Panthers gets underway at the usual first heat start time of 8pm but will be preceded at 7pm with six heats of racing from ‘The Blast from the Past’.
Friday will see the start of the summer holiday special offer of ‘Kids for a Quid’ whereby children aged six to 16 inclusive will only need to pay £1 to watch 21 heats of speedway.
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