Lakeside strike late to secure Birmingham victory

PUBLISHED: 12:30 03 August 2013

Peter Karlsson (red) and Lewis Bridger (blue) lead the Hammers to a 5-1  in the opening heat of their 50-40 win over Birmingham Brummies. Pic: Ray Lawrence/TGSPHOTO

Peter Karlsson (red) and Lewis Bridger (blue) lead the Hammers to a 5-1 in the opening heat of their 50-40 win over Birmingham Brummies. Pic: Ray Lawrence/TGSPHOTO

Ray Lawrence/TGSPHOTO c/o 27 Plaiters Way, Braintree, Essex, CM7 3LR - Editorial Use ONLY - FA Premier League and Football Leagu

Elite League: Lakeside Hammers 50 Birmingham Brummies 40

Lakeside left it late to secure a vital three points over Elite League leaders Birmingham Brummies as they moved back into the play-off places for the time being.

All did not look so good for the Purfleet side when they trailed 37-35 with just three heats to go but experienced duo Peter Karlsson and Davey Watt pulled off two 5-1s when it mattered the most.

But had it not been for the superb heat 14 from Richard Lawson and Pole Piotr Swiderski, who both kept the dangerous Danish youngster Mikkel Bech Jensen at bay, then it wouldn’t have created the three-point winning scenario.

It had all started so rosy for the hosts when Karlsson and Lewis Bridger swept past Ben Barker to take an opening heat maximum.

From that point onwards though, the Hammers struggled and the league leaders showed their choice of guests had been a wise move.

The hosts did not pick up another heat winner until the 10th heat such was the Brummies dominance.

Jensen – currently riding for Plymouth in the Premier League – showed why he is rated so highly by storming to two straight wins in heats two and four, as the Brummies clawed themselves level at 15 apiece after six.

Along with Jensen there was some fondness of the track for Brummies skipper Danny King, who has in the past struggled, as he won three back-to-back and was pivotal in pushing Phil Morris’ side into a 25-23 lead after heat seven.

Lakeside may not have had a heat winner until heat 10 but they made it count when Bridger and Karlsson combined once more as the Hammers now took a two-point lead at 31-29.

But the Brummies struck once more as King and Jensen beat the poor Sebastian Ulamek in heat 11 to edge in front by two again.

Watt and Karlsson finally came good in heat 13 to push the Hammers back in front and an inspired move by team manager Neil Vatcher saw Lawson replace Kevin Doolan and it paid off.

Lawson stormed out of the gate and in a great race kept out Jensen, as did Swiderski, for the Hammers to make sure of the win on the night.

But they needed a heat advantage in the last to secure all three points and Watt and Karlsson blasted away from the game to leave King and Martin Smolinski standing to keep Lakeside’s play-offs aspirations intact.

Lakeside 50 (from number of rides): Karlsson 12+2 (5), Bridger 8+2 (4), Ulamek 3+2 (4), Swiderski 8+1 (4), Watt 11+1 (5), Doolan 3+1 (3), Lawson 5+2 (5).

Birmingham 40: Kennett 6 (4), Doyle Rider Replacement, King 13 (6), Barker 2 (5), Smolinski 10 (6), Roynon 0 (3), Jensen 9+1 (6).

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