The Vortex Lakeside Hammers concluded their Elite league home meeting snatching a dramatic last heat 45-45 draw against the reigning Elite League Champions, the Poole Pirates.
The Hammers controlled the early stages of the meeting after an inital shared heat one, when Captain Davey Watt off gate four, delivered a great first and second bend to lead entering the back straight. The first fast track reserves race saw early drama, with Ben Morley and Pirates reserve Benji Compton initially clashing on the first bend of lap one, before the Hammers reserve cut underneath the Pirate on the entry of the second lap, with Compton hitting the airfence and earning an exclusion along with receiving a broken finger. In the re-run, Morley pushed Newman wide to follow fellow reserve Adam Ellis home for a 5-1.
Vaclav Mikik made a dramatic entry in heat 3, looping at the gate before Danny King led the re-run for the Hammers, with teammate Richard Lawson holding off Janowski and reserve replacement Newman, for a second maximum heat advantage.
Pirates guest Cameron Woodward gated in the fourth, as Hammers Rider of the Month, Lewis Bridger missed out, but tried valiantly to find a way past Newman who was taking his third ride on the bounce. Davey Watt again led from the gate in heat 5, as Danny King fought to pass Milik and Grajczonek. The recent Hammers recruit was following his captain home for a further 5-1, before coming to grief on the exit of the third bend of the last lap, enabling the Pirates to earn a share of the points.
Bridger flew from the gate in heat 6, as Janowski gave chase and Kildemand held off Lawson who eventually succumbed to an engine failure. Newman replaced the now withdrawn Compton in heat 7 and took a comfortable win ahead of Hammers guest Aaron Summers, whilst Grajczonek kept Ellis at bay, reducing the Hammers lead to 2 points.
Bridger replicated his immaculate gating and speed again in heat 8, getting the better of Woodward, as Lawson edged past Milik at the end of the first lap. Newman dominated the second reserves race in heat nine, before Watt led Janowski home in the 10th, whilst Summers made a mistake on the third bend to allow Milik through for third place. Kildemand took his first victory of the night ahead of King and Lawson in heat 10, before the Pirates suddenly took control of the meeting.
The impressive Newman followed Woodward home for a maximum heat advantage in heat 11, before Janowski and Kildeman teamed up to keep King behind in the following race, as Watt retired. From four points down, the Pirates entered the last two races four points to the good. Bridger took his third victory on the night in the penultimate race, but with Ellis falling on the first bend, the Hammers entered the last heat needing a maximum 5-1 to salvage a draw.
The inital running of the nominated race saw Janowski excluded after taking a tumble exiting the second bend. Kildemand gated in the re-run with Bridger in hot pursuit for all four laps. Drama unfolded on the last lap, with the Hammers rider finally getting level and then clashing bikes with the Danish star on the exit of the fourth bend, causing the Poole guest to grind to a halt, allowing Bridger to take the win and King to slip through into second place for a 5-1 maximum to the delight of the Raceway faithful, as Kildemand pushed home for a point.
Whilst the Hammers Play-off hopes now hang by a very slender thread, the meeting provided a fitting climax to the last league meeting of the 2014 season at the Raceway.
The Hammers would also like to thank each and every fan who gave generously tonight in the collection for the Speedway Riders Benevolent Fund.
Lakeside = 45
1. Davey Watt 3, 3, 3, R = 9
2. Aaron Summers (G) 0, 2, 0, 0 = 2
3. Richard Lawson 2′, R, 1, 1′ = 4+2
4. Lewis Bridger 1, 3, 3, 3, 3 = 13
5. Danny King 3, F, 2, 1, 2′ = 8+1
6. Ben Morley 3, 0, 2, 1 = 6
7. Adam Ellis 2′, 0, 1′, F = 3+2
Poole = 45
1. Peter Kildemand (G) 1′, 1′, 3, 2′, 1 = 8+3
2. Cameron Woodward (G) 2, 3, 2, 3 = 10
3. Vaclav Milik T, 2, 0, 1′ = 3+1
4. Josh Grajczonek 1′, 1, 0, 1′ = 3+2
5. Maciej Janowski 0, 2, 2, 3, Fx = 7
6. Benji Compton Fx = 0 Withdrawn
7. Kyle Newman 1, 1, 2′, 3, 3, 2′, 2 = 14+2
Lakeside win toss choose to defer to Heat 15.
Poole off 1 and 3 in Heat 1
Heat 01: Watt, Woodward, Kildemand, Summers 3-3 57.8
Heat 02: Re-run Morley, Ellis, Newman 5-1 8-4 60.3
Heat 03: Re-run King, Lawson, Newman, Janowski 5-1 13-5 58.9
Heat 04: Woodward, Newman, Bridger, Morley 1-5 14-10 59.0
Heat 05: Watt, Milik, Grajczonek, King fell 3-3 17-13 59.4
Heat 06: Bridger, Janowski, Kildemand, Lawson ret 3-3 20-16 58.8
Heat 07: Newman, Summers, Grajczonek, Ellis 2-4 22-20 60.5
Heat 08: Bridger, Woodward, Lawson, Milik 4-2 26-22 58.8
Heat 09: Newman, Morley, Ellis 3-3 29-25 60.5
Heat 10: Watt, Janowski, Milik, Summers 3-3 32-28 59.3
Heat 11: Kildemand, King, Lawson, Grajczonek 3-3 35-31 59.5
Heat 12: Woodward, Newman, Morley, Summers 1-5 36-36 59.5
Heat 13: Janowski, Kildemand, King, Watt ret 1-5 37-41 59.3
Heat 14: Bridger, Newman, Grajczonek, Ellis fell 3-3 40-44 58.7
Heat 15: Re-run Bridger, King, Kildemand 5-1 45-45 61.2
Courtesy of @speedwayupdates and @lakesidelive
Image: Lewis Bridger of Lakeside Hammers in action (heat6) – Lakeside Hammers vs Poole Pirates – Elite League Speedway at Arena Essex Raceway. CREDIT: Ray Lawrence/TGSPHOTO