News that the Lakeside Hammers will face fierce local rivals Eastbourne in the Semi Final of the 2011 Elite League Play Offs was greeted with a hugely favourable response by the Club.
“It is the fixture we wanted.” said team owner, Stuart Douglas. “We know now that the atmosphere will suit the occasion, and that really transmits in a positive way to the lads. This isn’t just another Speedway meeting; this is the best four teams in the Country fighting to be top dog.”
The Hammers have qualified for their third Play Off series in the five years of Douglas’ and Jon Cook’s spell at the helm.
“It’s our public intention every season to qualify – that is our minimum standard we set ourselves.” said Douglas. “Last year we just tailed off in the final furlong, but this season we have gathered momentum through the Summer. I feel we are really strong now, and in a good position, in what has been a really closely fought League this year. The Eagles are a good side, and will be the bookies’ favourite for this Semi, so all the pressure is on them. We are more than a match for them at the Arena-Essex Raceway, and I think we can also give them a pretty close run at their track.”
Earlier this season, the two teams competed in a closely fought home and away battle, with the Eagles just taking the spoils.
“We lost two of our heat leaders before the meeting even started at their place, but we still ran them very close – Peter Ljung and skipper Lee Richardson looked particularly impressive.” added Douglas. “We are undoubtedly a stronger unit now, so it’s shaping up to be a fantastic occasion – definitely one for the fans not to miss.”
In the second semi final, League leaders Poole opted to take on Elite League newcomers, King’s Lynn.
Lakeside Hammers versus Eastbourne starts at 7.30, this coming Monday, 19th September at the Arena-Essex Raceway.
Please note: The Play-Offs ARE valid for Hammers 2011 Season ticket holders. To avoid queuing on the night, non season ticket holders can also purchase tickets online. Click on the next meeting image on the Hammers homepage.
Click here to download an e-flyer advertising Monday’s meeting :
Picture: Heat 7: Mear (blue), Woodward (yellow), Gustafsson (white) and Ljung off the start – Lakeside Hammers vs Eastbourne Eagles – Elite League Speedway at Arena Essex Raceway – 22/04/11 – (Gavin Ellis/TGSPHOTO)