Review of the second round of the Cycle Speedway Elite League on 27 April.
The battle of two of the favourites for the Elite League title saw a good performance from the home Horspath team missing all of their Polish based stars take the honours 90-86 against a strong Wednesfield team.
Hammers rode an almost perfect first half capitalising on any errors or misfortune from the visitors on a track that heavy rain throughout the morning,
Two drawn heats started the meeting before Mark Boaler and Zac Payne grabbed a 7-3, with the next three races drawn Hammers notched a 6-3 via Chris Timms and Ryan Taylor taking advantage of a machine failure to Lee Aris.
A further 6-4 courtesy of Lukasz Nowacki and Lewis Osborne pushed the score to nine, an exclusion to Marcus Wadhams for legging in heat nine bought a fine win from Matt Smith but another point away.
Hammers went 12 up with another Nowacki and Osborne 6-4 in the 11th with the other races drawn until heat 14 which saw a big 7-3 to Aces from Wadhams and Smith. In the next race Aces were racing away to a maximum heat advantage a strong challenge from Nowacki saw the Hammer bought down by Aris who was excluded for legging Horspath taking the re-run 7-2 via Nowacki and Wayne Hutt.
Wednesfield rallied again with their own 7-2 following gate exclusion for Taylor with Ben Mould and Paul Heard the latter completing a maximum.
Horspath drew the last race before substituting Boaler and Nowacki for their reserves wih Aces taking the last 7-3 via Matt Smith and Chris Jewkes.
The match race saw Chris Timms - substituting for holder Bartosz Grabowski - take the flag after some very close encounters with Paul Heard. Referee Terry Ashford kept good order throughout this entertaining fixture that drew a big crowd despite the weather, Hammers will be happy to get a win with what is likely to be their most under strength squad of the season whilst Wednesfield will feel that it was a chance missed.
Horspath 90: Chris Timms 17+1, Ryan Taylor 10, Lukasz Nowacki 15, Lewis Osborne 9+2, Zac Payne 11+4, Mark Boaler 12+1, Wayne Hutt 9+1, Ollie Riley 7.
Wednesfield 86: Ben Mould 16+1, Chris Jewkes 10+2, Ricky Johnson 4, Paul Heard 20, Mark Griffiths 7, Lee Aris 7, Marcus Wadhams 8, Matt Smith 14+2.
Horspath 54: scorers Jordan Richardson 7, Danni Riley 9, Ollie Riley 14, Lee Clarke 1, George Horsley 7 Andy Johnson 13+1, Owen Johnson 3.
Wednesfield 83: Mark Winwood 15, Lee Kemp 10+3, Roger Cox 14+1, Harrie Everiss 11+1, Mick Aris 6+3, Jordan Holdcroft 12, Connor Dyke 7+2.
Newport opened their home Elite League campaign with the visit of Sheffield Stars to Newport sports village.
The racing got underway with a fine Damian Zareba heat one win, this was countered by a maximum heat win for the home teams Mark Carmichael and Nick Evans pairing.
A fine couple of further wins for the Yorkshire outfits Andy Angel and Damian Zareba in heats three and four but Newport covered their partners well, and increased the lead with Oli Sidwick and Nathan Groves and Jack Hibberd and Jamie Ball pairs gaining further heat advantages giving Newport an eight point cushion after six races.
Sheffield were trying their hardest and an Andy Angel and Gavin Parr maximum brought it back to three points with Groves the first exclusion of the day, followed shortly after by a Hibberd tapes infringement brought the scores at the break to 44 all.
Newport came out all guns blazing after a 10-minute talking to from team manager Colin Simmons during the interval with a max heat win from Oli Sidwick and Jamie Ball and two more 6-4’s took the Welsh team to a 10-point lead.
The impressive Angel and Zareba were just about keeping the visitors in the match but Newport were showing much more strength in depth and were warming up young Jacob Soper up for the last race when an unfortunate racing exclusion to Shaun Rudman for drifting too much meant the stars could win with a 7-3 in the last race.
Newport kept Ball in the race and Carmichael showed great coolness with a tapes to flag win and see home Newport by three points
Super-fit Ipswich took full advantage of the depleted home side to record a convincing and well deserved victory at Harbourside Park.
From the moment that Aaron Smith fell yards out of the tapes in the first race allowing the Eagles pair to pick up maximum points, Poole were chasing shadows and trailed by 14 points at the interval with two race wins from Arron Morgan the only bright spots.
A win from Leyton Glover after the break and a brilliantly engineered 7-3 by Gav Wheeler with partner Dave Murphy narrowed the margin to 10 points.
But three more heat wins on the bounce from the visitors in races won by Lewis Roberts, Josh Brooke and Leon Mower put the match outcome beyond any doubt. Wheeler struck again in heat 15 with another fantastic piece of team riding while Arron Morgan got his revenge in heat 16 for an earlier defeat by Josh Brooke to take his total to 18.
Ipswich used their young nine and 10 riders in heat 17 allowing the hosts only their third 7-3 of the day while Leon Mower rounded off a good personal performance with his third race win in the final heat.
The Eagles were strong from top to bottom and go to the top of the table following results elsewhere. Poole with most of their 2013 stars missing, look destined for the wooden spoon unless they can improve significantly upon another below par display.
Poole 85: Arron Morgan 18 Gav Wheeler 12+2 (4) Leyton Glover 12 Aaron Smith 11+2 Dave Murphy 11+1 (4) Luke Armes 8 (4) Wil Bristow 7 (4) Hayden Chant 6+1.
Ipswich 94: Josh Brooke 16+1 Lewis Roberts 15+2 Jamie Chittock 15 Leon Mower 15 Richard Felgate 9 Ashley Hill 8+1 Matthew Hill 7 Charlie Rumbold 6+2 Pierce Bacon 2 Ben Harvey 1.
Poole 68: Callum Albin 11, Jay Briggs 10, Dean Hook 9, Fraser Garnett 4, Callum Smith 4, Hayden Rowles 3, Caris Glover 2.
Ipswich 87: Richard Felgate 17+3, Ben Harvey 16, Pierce Bacon 15+1, Fraser Harris 15, Charlie Rumbold 12+3, Ashley Hill 12+2.