A superb team performance from Sheffield secured the points in this hard fought match.
Poole arrived armed to the teeth with Polish stars Paradzinski and Dulinkski but the home team brushed aside their challenge and as a result they had a very quiet day. The meeting started off with a shared heat thanks to a good win by Matt Smith over Greg Cluchowski, then up stepped Andy Angell who executed a superb inside pass on Paradzinski and the resulting 6-4 to Sheffield really set the ball rolling.
Radek Handke and new signing Pawel Idziorek then put seven past Reed & Hearn and Sheffield never surrendered their lead, Handke was in scintillating form as he recorded a paid maximum and Idziorek soon found his feet and returned a solid 15+1. Young Sheffield rider Aiden Owen was always in the thick of the action and proved he is ready for the Elite League with some inspired riding, he was not put off even after a heavy spill courtesy of Paradzinski leg which resulted in exclusion for the Polish star.
The interval arrived with Sheffield nine points up and although Poole rallied in the second half of the meeting taking a good 7-2 in heat 11 they never really looked like they would trouble a Stars side who were backing up and supporting each other throughout the meeting. Poole home grown riders in reality proved to be more of a threat then their Polish stars ever were - Morgan, Reed & Hearn all rode well and scored vital points.
Sheffield finished off in style with Handke and Angell recording a heat 18 maximum, new boy Dan Chambers soon showed a liking for the Sheffield track and Ryan Hoyland and Lee Smith were always on hand when needed. An exciting match from start to finish played out in front of a good sized crowd on a bitterly cold day.
Sheffield 94: Radek Handke 19+1, Andy Angell 16+1, Pawel Idziorek 15+1, Matt Smith 12+2, Dan Chambers 10, Ryan Hoyland 9, Lee Smith 7, Aiden Owen 6+2.
Poole 84: Tom Reed 14, Greg Cluchowski 14, Aaron Morgan 12+1, Rafal Dulinkski 12, Sam Hearn 11+1, Marcin Paradzinski 10+1, Oli Sidwick 9+1, Ben Donahue 1.
The combination match was just as exciting with Poole just keeping their noses in front. Adam Watson put in some superb gates and Kyle Holland showed what a top rider he is maturing into, again it was very much a team effort from all the Sheffield riders. There were big crashes, great passes and a little bit of controversy but in the end a really good cycle speedway match. Poole riders Will Bristow, Luke Armes and Ben Donahue were the big points scorers however their younger team mates all shared the burden and surely will be pleased with their efforts.
Sheffield 62: Kyle Holland 16+2, Liam Webster 11, Andy Blackburn 10.
Poole 67: Will Bristow 19, Ben Donahue 15, Luke Armes 10+1.
Horspath Hammers defeated Wednesfield Aces in what was an exciting elite curtain raiser.
As usual for their first home meeting the Hammers had to come from behind, Lewis Bates debuted with a win in a drawn first heat, then a fall for Steve Harris chasing Lee Aris bought Aces a 7-3 in heat 2. Mark Boaler/Matuesz Szymczak returned a 7-3 to level in the third.
Shaun Rudman was excluded in the fourth and a 6-3 Aces win via Ben Mould/Sam Parr. Chris Osborne came through to take a win in ht 5 with Lewis Bates making it a 6-4. An exclusion to Mark Boaler saw Lee Aris / Scott Doherty win 6-3 and a four point lead in the sixth. Shaun Rudman took an interesting seventh heat with Lewis Bates making a 6-4 halving the lead.
Doherty had a gate exclusion in the ninth - Shaun Rudman / Mateusz Szymczak collecting a 7-2 and a three point Hammers lead at the half. Lee Aris took a drawn tenth under heavy Boaler pressure, Steve Harris / Lewis Osborne rammed a 6-4 to increase Horspath's lead in the eleventh.
Another Lee Aris win in a drawn twelfth, with Mark Boaler / Matuesz Szymczak taking a 6-4 in the thirteenth. Lewis Osborne's exclusion bought a Gavin Wheeler / Jack Hibbard 6-3 in the re-run fourteenth, the lead cut to four. Steve Harris / Chris Osborne replied with a Hammers 6-4 in the fifteenth.
Mateusz Szymczak executed a high speed pass on Lee Aris bringing through Lewis Bates for a vital drawn sixteenth, Ben Mould winning. Mark Griffiths took the flag in 17 and Mark Boaler the final heat.
A very good advertisement for Elite League racing, Wednesfield without the injured Chris Jewkes showed they will be a force whilst anyone discounting Horspath do so at their peril especially as both Errol Thaw and Dave Carmichael are on good form and waiting in the wings.
Horspath 91: Mark Carmichael 6+1, Lewis Bates 12+2, Steve Harris 13, Lewis Osborne 9+1, Mateusz Szymczak 14+2, Mark Boaler 15, Shaun Rudman 14, Chris Osborne 8+1.
Wednesfield 85: Ben Mould 17+1, Rikki Johnson 11, Scott Doherty 7+1, Lee Aris 17, Gavin Wheeler 9+1, Sam Parr 3, Jack Hibbard 6.
Horspath 88: Lee Clarke 10+1, Simon Munden 13, Wayne Clarke 15+1, Errol Thaw 14+2, Mike Burgess 10, Zac Payne 11+1, Wayne Hutt 6+2.
Wednesfield 50: Jack Hibbard 11, Dave Meanley 5, Sam Parr 13, Mick Aris 3, Matt Haddock 11, Steve Mullinder 4, Lewis Bearsmore 3.
A highly entertaining encounter full of good racing and incidents. The Monarchs opened up an early lead of 11 points thanks to maximum heat wins form Marchant/Stephenson and Nowacki/Jarvis. Proceedings then started to go awry with exclusions for Pike in heat 7 and Ashford in the next, allowing Ipswich to close the gap to just five points. The highly impressive Lewis Roberts and Leigh Cossey achieving the almost unheard of task of keeping world champ Nowacki back in third place.
After the interval Leicester consolidated but certainly didn’t have things all their own way, the Ipswich riders being prepared to fight to the wire. Fittingly paid maximum man Stephenson wrapped it up in the penultimate heat taking a good 7-3 with partner Nowacki over Mower and Cossey.
Ipswich can look at their young guns Lewis Roberts and Jamie Chittock with some pride, but top man was a rejuvenated Richard Williamson who made full use of his extra reserve rides to top score.
Leicester never looked like losing but made hard work of it, Jarvis only managed to finish two races and Marchant, Pike and Ashford all suffered their own exclusions. On the plus side ‘The Humber Hurricane’ Adam Stephenson was flying and Nowacki and Peck both looked sharp.
The meeting was preceded by a minutes silence for Wil Burns.
Leicester 90: Adam Stephenson 18+2, Lukas Nowacki 16+2, Adam Peck 14+2, Dan Pike 12, Craig Marchant 9, Jason Ashford 8, Carl Jarvis 7, Kev Burns 6.
Ipswich 83: Richard Williamson 15, Jamie Chittock 13+1, Leigh Cossey 12+2, Lewis Roberts 11+1, Josh Brooke 10+1, Lee Grange 8, Leon Mower 7+2, Ian Grange 7+1.
A close match with Ipswich netting a vital 6-4 in the final heat after Joe Kemp suffered a first bend fall. Matt Hill was in superb form for the visitors collecting a 20 point maximum.
Leicester 64: Ash Doughty 13+1, Nick whitehead 13+1, Joe Kemp 10+2, Matt Hartshorn 10+1, Colin Pole 8, Liam Davies 6, Lauren Davies 3, Lee Kemp 1.
Ipswich 65: Matt Hill 20, Charlie Rumbold 16, Richard Felgate 9+1, Jordan Stant 7, Fraser Harris 6, Lauren Jacobs 4, Danielle Riley 3+1.