Late relief for Hammers to keep play-offs hopes alive with victory over Poole
PUBLISHED: 09:00 24 August 2013
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Elite League: Lakeside Hammers 50 Poole Pirates 43
Lakeside kept their Elite League play-off hopes alive with a late and dramatic 50-43 win over Poole Pirates.
The Hammers had looked on course for victory, but a tactical win from the classy Darcy Ward in heat 11 ensured a nervy ending.
A maximum in heat 14 from Piotr Swiderski and Richard Lawson did the trick for the hosts, who needed a shared final heat to ensure all three points went their way.
But it didn’t look that way when Ward and fellow Grand Prix rider Greg Hancock gated on a 5-1.
A fine move from Swiderski and Peter Karlsson saw one sweep up the inside and one outside to earn the Hammers a precious victory.
It had started positively for Neil Vatcher’s side when Karlsson superbly held off the chasing Ward for an opening heat advantage.
Lawson came up trumps in the following heat to see off Kyle Howarth for a second advantage in succession.
Hancock thwarted Lewis Bridger and Swiderski in the next to stem the tide, however, Lawson came up trumps again in the next when skipper Davey Watt was forced to go from 15 metres back after exceeding the two-minute time limit, though did pass Micky Dyer for another 4-2.
Ward was back to winning ways in heat five only for the Hammers to move into a 22-14 lead in the following heat when Karlsson passed Adam Skornicki up the inside to take the chequered flag.
Slowly but surely the Pirates crept their way back into the meeting with wins for Hancock and Timo Lahti and the Hammers advantage was just four points at 26-22.
Any fears were soon alleviated when the hosts pulled off a fine maximum from Watt and Karlsson in heat 10 to move 35-25 in front, though that brought about the dreaded tactical ride.
Ward was victorious and with Kevin Doolan unable to beat Howarth, the Pirates took a 7-2 and reduced the arrears to just five at 37-32.
At the vital moment Poole had struck back and Ward’s heat 13 win, alongside a third for Skornicki put Lakeside’s play-off hopes in tatters.
But cometh the moment, cometh the men. Swiderski and Lawson came up trumps with a maximum, helped by Howarth taking out team-mate Lahti.
A shared final heat was all that was required but Hancock and Ward gated on a maximum.
However, a fine ride from Hammers duo Swiderski and Karlsson saw them overtake Hancock and send the home fans delirious.
Lakeside are in action at King’s Lynn on Wednesday as they bid to keep hold of their play-off spot.
Lakeside (from number of rides): Karlsson 11+2 (5), Bridger 9+1 (5), Swiderski 11+1 (6), Watt 8 (5), Doolan 1 (3), Lawson 10+1 (7)
Poole: Ward 17 (5), Hancock 8+1 (5), Lahti 5 (5), Skornicki 7 (5), Howarth 6 (7), Dyer 0 (4)
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