The Vortex Lakeside Hammers stormed back to the top of the Elite League with a convincing 56 – 38 victory over the Swindon Robins at the Arena Essex Raceway, on a night which saw Hammers reserve Ben Morley becoming the first Fast Track reserve of the new era to score a paid maximum.
Despite the threat of rain throughout the day, the Raceway crowd witnessed a solid team performance from the Hammers, with numerous on track tussles, providing some warmth on a chilly night. The evening started with the Swindon number one Peter Kildemand setting the tone for his own personal performance, with a tapes to flag victory in the opening heat.
Heat 2 provided the Hammers with a 5-0, when Dan Greenward crashed on the third bend, bringing down fellow Swindon reserve Benji Compton, who after treatment, was unable to take his place in the re-run. The Hammers then took a maximum 5-1 advantange in heat three, with Skipper Davey Watt leading home Lewis Bridger, who showed dogged determination to split the Swindon pairing of Pedersen and Morris.
Bech and Morley teamed up for a further maximum heat advantage in the fourth, with Morley gaining victory over Dakota North. The Robins finally stemmed the Hammers domination in the next race, when despite Karlsson taking the victory, Nick Morris managed to keep Bridger behind him.
Heat six saw the introduction of Kildemand as a tactical nomination, with the Danish rider showing his quality taking the chequered flag, with Watt and Bridger filling the minor places. An engine failure for Ellis whilst in third led to a Robins heat advantage in the next race, whilst Davey Watt delivered a great first lap in heat eight, to share the spoils, after Bech also suffered from mechanical failure.
Ellis and Morley dominated the second reserve race in the ninth, before Nick Morris became the second Swindon Tactical nomination in heat 10, although the Aussie was unable to get the better of the classy Karlsson.
Heat eleven delivered a great race, with Watt, Bridger and Kildemand battling it out, with the Hammers pairing eventually emerging victorious. By the time Morley teamed up with Lawson to achieve his paid maximum in heat 12, the meeting was well out of the Robins grasp. Heat thirteen saw the return of the Bridger and Kildemand tussle, with this time the Danish rider extracting his revenge.
With the points already in the bag, the only downside of the night for the Hammers occured in heat fourteen, when Fast track reserve Adam Ellis damaged his shoulder after an awkward looking tumble on the first bend whilst in second place behind Bech, who eventually won the re-run.
Kildemand completed another victory over Bridger in the nominated heat 15, again despite the best efforts of the Hammers Bexhill based rider.
After extracting revenge on the Robins, who snatched a point on their previous visit to the Raceway, Hammers Co-promoter Jon Cook commented:
“It was another good night for the team with all seven riders on form and Ben’s performance was very special. He is a cult hero at the Raceway and his second ride battle with Dakota North was a real highlight”.
The Essex team now head to Wolverhampton on Monday, with the aim of consolidating their position at the top of the Elite League table.
Lakeside Hammers = 56
1. Peter Karlsson 2 3 3 1′ =9+1
2. Richard Lawson 1′ 2 0 3 =6+1
3. Davey Watt 3 1′ 3 3 R =10+1
4. Mikkel Bech 3 2 0 3 =8
5. Lewis Bridger 2′ 1 2′ 2 2 =9+2
6. Ben Morley 2’2′ 2′ 2′ =8+4
7. Adam Ellis 3 R 3 X =6
Swindon Robins = 38
1. Peter Kildemand 3 6^ 1 3 3 =16
2. Dakota North 0 1 1′ F =2+1
3. Nick Morris 0 2 2 4^ 1 =9
4. Simon Gustafsson 0 3 0 2 =5
5. Bjarne Pedersen (G) 1 0 1′ 0 =2+1
6. Dan Greenwood X 0 1 1 1 1′ =4+1
7. Benji Compton (G) X 0 =0 – withdrawn from meeting
Heat 01: Kildemand, Karlsson, Lawson, North 3-3 (3-3) 59.2s
Heat 02: Ellis, Morley, Compton(X), Greenwood 5-0 (8-3) 60.8
Heat 03: Watt, Bridger, Pedersen, Morris 5-1 (13-4) 59.4
Heat 04: Bech, Morley, North, Greenwood 5-1(18-5) 59.9
Heat 05: Karlsson, Morris, Bridger, Gustafsson 4-2 (22-7) 59.8
Heat 06: KILDEMAND, Bech, Watt, Pedersen 3-6 (25-13) 59.7
Heat 07: Gustafsson, Lawson, Greenwood, Ellis(R) 2-4 (27-17) 60.0
Heat 08: Watt, Morris, North, Bech 3-3 (30-20) 59.5
Heat 09: Ellis, Morley, Greenwood, Compton 5-1 (35-21) 61.0
Heat 10: Karlsson, MORRIS, Pedersen, Lawson 3-5 (38-26) 59.9
Heat 11: Watt, Bridger, Kildemand, Gustafsson 5-1 (43-27) 59.2
Heat 12: Lawson, Morley, Greenwood, North(F) 5-1 (48-28) 60.5
Heat 13: Kildemand, Bridger, Karlsson, Pedersen 3-3 (51-31) 59.8
Heat 14: Bech, Gustafsson, Greenwood, Ellis(F) 3-3 (54-34) 60.4
Heat 15: Kildemand, Bridger, Morris, Watt(R) 2-4 (56-38) 59.4
Courtesy of @speedwayupdates
Image: Ben Morley of Lakeside Hammers – Lakeside Hammers vs Eastbourne Eagles, Elite League Speedway at the Arena Essex Raceway. CREDIT: Rob Newell/TGSPHOTO