The Belle Vue Aces added to the Vortex Lakeside Hammers woes, taking a 44-46 victory in a last heat decider, in an entertaining meeting at The Raceway. With the meeting evenly poised up to heat 7, the Hammers were left to rue both their luck and mistakes on track, as the away team capitalised to take the points.
Kim Nilsson got the Hammers off to a perfect start, keeping GP Star Matej Zagar honest in second, whilst Skipper Andreas Jonsson, returning after a months’ layoff, took Aces Guest Aaron Summers on the second lap.
The first reserves race saw a great tussle, with Adam Ellis and former Hammers reserve Ben Morley, guesting for the Manchester team, trading places for all four laps. In the run in to the flag, the home rider appeared to have taken second on the line, but the referee awarded a 1-5 to the Aces much to the shock of many home supporters.
Edward Kennett and Mikkel Bech restored the Hammers lead in the third, taking a maximum 5-1 from the gate, as Nicholls retired on the second lap. Richard Lawson took a tapes to flag victory in the following race, whilst Boxall tried in vain to pass Morley in second.
Summers took victory in heat 5, with Nilsson all over the Australians silencer for most of the race. Zagar followed this up in the next race with another tapes to flag victory, whilst Aces captain Scott Nicholls looked for a way past Bech, before coming under pressure himself on the final lap from Lawson.
Former Hammer Peter Karlsson, one of three former Hammers guesting for the Aces, took victory in the 7th, with Bech and Jonsson filling the minor places. With the meeting level, heat eight saw the first of three defining points, when Richard Lawson ground to a halt on the home straight whilst in the lead. With Boxall at the back, a shared heat suddenly switched to an away 1-5. The anguish of Lawson could be heard from well beyond the pits area.
After a shared heat 9, the next race saw Edward Kennett lift violently whilst in second place behind Zagar and hit the airfence as he exited the third bend of the third lap. With Bech in the third at that point, and the race awarded, a shared heat become a 2-4 advantage to the Aces, adding more pressure on the Hammers.
Andreas Jonsson delivered a dominant first and second bend in the 11th, to peg back and overtake the fast gating Karlsson, whilst Nilsson kept the Wolves veteran on his toes throughout. The 4-2 brought the Hammers back to within four points. Things looked promising for the Hammers in the second reserves race, as Boxall and Ellis gated and then led for a lap before Ellis was passed first by Worrall and then Morley before sliding off on the third bend on lap 3, turning a potential 5-1 into a 3-3.
Kennett stormed to victory in the 13th, as Jonson and Nicholls traded places throughout, with the Brit claiming second. Lawson gated in the 14th, but with Bech unable to find a way past the two Aces, the nominated heat 15 became a last heat decider.
Sadly the required heat advantage required by The Hammers was immediately quashed by a fast gating Zagar, despite the best efforts of Jonsson and top Hammers scorer Nilsson.
Scores and heat results.
Lakeside Hammers = 44
1. Andreas Jonsson 1, 1*, 3, 1, 1* = 7+2
2. Kim Nilsson 3, 2, 2, 1, 2 = 10
3. Mikkel Bech 2*, 2, 2, 0 = 6+1
4. Richard Lawson 3, 0, 0, 3 = 6
5. Edward Kennett 3, 2, FX, 3 = 8
6. Adam Ellis 1, 0, 1*, R = 2+1
7. Steve Boxall 0, 1, 1, 3 = 5
Belle Vue Aces = 46
1. Matej Zagar 2, 3, 3, 0, 3 = 11
2. Aaron Summers (G) 0, 3, 3, 1 = 7
3. Peter Karlsson (G) 1, 3, 2, 2 = 8
4. Stuart Robson (G) 0, 0, 3, 1* 0 = 4+1
5. Scott Nicholls R, 1, 0, 2, 0 = 3
6. Steve Worrall 3, 1, 2*, 2 = 8+1
7. Ben Morley (G) 2*, 2, 0, 1* = 5+2
Heat 01: Nilsson, Zagar, Jonsson, Summers. 4-2, 58.4
Heat 02: Worrall, Morley, Ellis, Boxall. 1-5, 5-7, 60.8
Heat 03: Kennett, Bech, Karlsson. Nicholls (ret). 5-1, 10-8, 59.3
Heat 04: Lawson, Morley, Boxall, Robson. 4-2, 14-10, 59.3
Heat 05: Summers, Nilsson, Worrall, Ellis. 2-4, 16-14, 59.8
Heat 06: Zagar, Bech, Nicholls, Lawson. 2-4, 18-18, 58.9
Heat 07: Karlsson, Kennett, Jonsson, Robson. 3-3, 21-21, 58.7
Heat 08: Summers, Worrall, Boxall, Lawson. 1-5, 22-26, 60.6
Heat 09: Robson, Nilsson, Ellis, Morley. 3-3, 25-29, 60.0
Heat 10: Zagar, Bech, Summers. Kennett (FX). 2-4, 27-34, awarded
Heat 11: Jonsson, Karlsson, Nilsson, Nicholls. 4-2, 31-35, 58.6
Heat 12: Boxall, Worrall, Morley. Ellis (ret). 3-3, 34-38, 61.0
Heat 13: Kennett, Nicholls, Jonsson, Zagar. 4-2, 38-40, 59.3
Heat 14: Lawson, Karlsson, Robson, Bech. 3-3, 41-43, 59.8
Heat 15: Zagar, Nilsson, Jonsson, Nicholls. 3-3, 44-46, 59.4
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Image: Kim Nilsson Credit Rob Newell/TGS Photo