The Vortex Lakeside Hammers suffered a further home defeat, losing 44-48 to reigning Elite League Champions, the Poole Pirates, despite clawing their way back from a 16 point deficit with three heats to go.
The Pirates got off to a positive start, with former Hammers Captain Davey Watt and GP Star Chris Holder gating in heat one. Hammers rider of the night Kim Nilsson had other ideas however, chasing down Holder to pass him on the final lap, leaving the away team with a 2-4 advantage.
Lewis Blackbird, guesting for the Dorset club took victory in the first reserves race, with Ellis initially in second, before over cooking it on bend 2, allowing Starke through. The returning Steve Boxall chased the Pirates reserve, but failed to prevent an away 5-1.
Mikkel Bech found himself the victim of first bend bunching in the third. In the re-run the Dane had a good scrap with former Hammer Peter Karlsson, with the Pirates guest taking the chequered flag. With Dakota North falling on the entry to the first bend on the final lap, the race was awarded.
Hammers Captain Richard Lawson took the victory in the fourth, with Blackbird squeezing past Boxall on the second bend. Nilsson scorched from the gate in the following race, keeping Holder at bay, as Starke retired at the back.
Karlsson and Watt teamed up like old Hammer times to dominate the sixth, before North and Gomolski took a further 2-4 advantage over Schlein, with Kennett spinning out on lap 1. A shared heat 8 then saw possibly the race of the night or at least effort of the night, when Nilsson, who missed the gate, first hunted down and passed Gomolski on lap two, before stalking and passing the leading Blackbird on the back straight of the last lap.
Holder and Watt came out in the following race, squeezing out Bech before dominating the remainder of the race. Twelve points down, the Hammers nominated Nilsson as a tactical, in a closely fought race which saw North take the victory, ahead of the Hammers number 2, whilst Schlein suffered engine problems whilst battling in a points scoring position.
When Blackbird and Starke took another Pirates 5-1 in the second running of the second reserves race, things were looking distinctly grave for the Hammers, but a 5-1 from Kennett and Schlein over Karlsson and Watt suddenly gave the home side some momentum. This continued in the penultimate heat, with Lawson and Bech gating to see off North and Blackbird.
Lawson and Nilsson, deserved choices for the nominated heat, then despatched of Holder and Karlsson to slam home a third consecutive 5-1, which whilst not preventing defeat, did at least bring the scores back to a level of respectability.
During the meeting Hammers Co-Promoter Jon Cook announced that a Fans Forum will take place at the Orsett Hall Hotel on Friday 22nd of May, in the Whitmore Suite. Doors open from 7.30 for an 8pm start. Entry is free to all.
Lakeside = 44
1. Rory Schlein (G) 0, 2, R, 2′ = 4+1
2. Kim Nilsson 2, 3, 3, 4!, 2′ = 14+1
3. Mikkel Bech 2, 0, 1, 2′ = 5+1
4. Richard Lawson 3, 1, 2, 3, 3 = 12
5. Edwward Kennett 1′, 0, R, 3 = 4+1
6. Adam Ellis 0, 1, 1′, R = 2+1
7. Steve Boxall 1, 1, 0, 1 = 3
Poole = 48
1. Davey Watt 3, 2′, 2′, 0 = 7+2
2. Chris Holder 1, 2, 3, 3, 1 = 10
3. Dakota North Fx, 3, 3, R = 6
4. Kacper Gomolski 0, 1, 1′ = 2+1
5. Peter Karlsson (G) 3, 3, 1, 1, 0 = 8
6. Paul Starke 2′, R, 0, 2′ = 4+2
7. Lewis Blackbird (G) 3, 2, 2, 3, 1 = 11
Poole win toss take 1 and 3
Heat 01: Watt, Nilsson, Holder, Schlein 2-4 57.9
Heat 02: Blackbird, Starke, Boxall, Ellis 1-5 3-9 60.2
Heat 03: Re-run Karlsson, Bech, Kennett, North fell 3-3 6-12 Awarded
Heat 04: Lawson, Blackbird, Boxall, Gomolski 4-2 10-14 60.0
Heat 05: Nilsson, Holder, Ellis, Starke ret 4-2 14-16 58.9
Heat 06: Karlsson, Watt, Lawson, Bech. 1-5 15-21 58.6
Heat 07: North, Schlein, Gomolski, Kennett Frem 2-4 17-25 59.9
Heat 08: Holder, Lawson, Ellis, Starke 3-3 20-28 59.1
Heat 09: Nilsson, Blackbird, Gomolski, Boxall 3-3 23-31 59.8
Heat 10: Holder, Watt, Bech, Kennett ret 1-5 24-36 59.0
Heat 11: North, NILSSON, Karlsson, Schlein ret 4-4 28-40 60.3
Heat 12: Re-run Blackbird, Starke, Boxall, Ellis ret 1-5 29-45 60.3
Heat 13: Kennett, Schlein, Karlsson, Watt 5-1 34-46 59.0
Heat 14: Lawson, Bech, Blackbird, North ret 5-1 39-47 59.9
Heat 15: Lawson, Nilsson, Holder, Karlsson. 5-1 44-48 59.0
Updates courtesy of @speedwayupdates and @lakesidelive Give them both a follow.
Image: Heat 5: Kim Nilsson (red), Robert Lambert (white) and Lewis Kerr (yellow) -CREDIT: Rob Newell/TGSPHOTO