Hammers face defending champions

The defending Sky Sports Elite League Champions, the Poole Pirates, are at the Arena Essex Raceway tomorrow, Friday 31st August, and on current form could sink the Lakeside Hammers Play Off hopes.

The out of form Hammers have seen other results go their way over the past week but the Essex based Club must bounce back with victory over the Pirates at their Raceway on Friday following a defeat against them down in Dorset on Wednesday evening.

The Hammers go into this vital League match using ‘Rider replacement’ for Jonas Davidsson and that will mean that any of the remaining Hammers riders, apart from their No.1 Davey Watt, will be able to take an additional ride. Finnish rider Kauko Nieminen will be the choice of the Double Up rider although British rider Stuart Robson is likely to be fit again following his horrendous crash at Coventry on 20th August. The Hammers side will also include regulars in Swedes Peter Karlsson and Kim Nilsson, Australians Davey Watt and Justin Sedgmen, plus local Brit Robert Mear.

Poole will be led by Australian Chris Holder and Pole Krzysztof Kasprzak, who finished in first and second places respectively in last Saturday’s British Grand Prix, which was held at the Millennium Stadium, Cardiff. Completing their very strong top three will be Australian Darcy Ward, the World Under 21 Champion in 2009 and 2010, who is currently second in the Elite League rider averages behind only his Pirates colleague Chris Holder.

As their Swedish rider Dennis Andersson is out with a broken leg they will also be using ‘Rider Replacement’ but only Kasprzak of their top three will be able to take an additional ride. It is, therefore, likely that one of their top three will be out in thirteen of the fifteen races. The other three ‘Rider Replacement’ rides will be shared between their remaining three riders who are all from Sweden. They are former Hammers rider Ricky Kling, Linus Eklof and Ludvig Lindgren, who is the younger brother of Wolverhampton’s Grand Prix rider Fredrik Lindgren.

It will be a difficult task for the Hammers but they are all determined to claim the win over the Pirates and a victory by at least seven points will ensure the maximum three League points and keep them in contention for top four finish and ultimately a place in the end of season Play Offs.

The main action gets underway at the Arena Essex Raceway on Friday with the Grand Parade of riders at 7.45pm with the first of the 15 heats due to start at 8pm. For those fans who can arrive earlier there will be the final Anglian Junior League match of the season for the Young Hammers who will face Rye House over four heats. That will start at 7pm.

The ‘Kids for a Quid’ initiative continues for this match and will also be extended to include the following Hammers home match against Coventry on Monday 10th September. The full list of admission prices are: £17 for adults, £14 for Senior Citizens, Students and Disabled, £12 for Unemployed and 17 and 18 year olds and children aged 6 to 16 inclusive just £1 with children under the age of six admitted free of charge provided they are accompanied by a paying adult. Proof of age or status may be requested.

All tickets may be purchased on the night but, alternatively, they are also available in advance online via the Club’s website at www.lakesidehammers.co