Emotional night as Hammers pay tribute to Rico
Date posted: 19-05-2012
The Hammers paid a fitting tribute to their captain Lee Richardson with this superb victory over Swindon Robins.
The evening began with a heartfelt tribute from boss Jon Cook, who along with many friends and family members joined the many fans who had turned out to pay their respects to the skipper. Once the action began all of the riders involved, taking to the track to take part in a sport that he loved, put on a superb show as the home team pulled through for an excellent three points.
It was Davey Watt who provided the spearhead, reeling off an impeccable fifteen points maximum to lead the Essex men against a Swindon side that refused to give in and staged their own mid-meeting resurgence to really make a match of proceedings.
There was certainly plenty of good early action too as both Hammers had to work hard to come from the back in the opening race, Peter Karlsson and Stuart Robson moving past quick starting Nick Morris.
High-flying Peter Kildemand was outpaced by a Richie Worrall / Robert Mear 5-1 in the second race, although made enough of a impression to show he’d certainly be a force to be reckoned with as the meeting progressed.
A second consecutive Hammers 5-1 from Watt and Kim Nilsson, passing Simon Stead in fine style, gave the Hammers an early cushion which they extended when Karlsson’s calculated fourth bend pass on Troy Batchelor in heat six saw him join Robson for a 4-2.
The Robins weren’t to be outdone, though, and staged a comeback as the meeting turned. Stead and Jason Doyle moved past Worrall for a 5-1 in heat seven whilst Kildemand popped out of the start for his second race win in heat eight which was awarded after Robert Mear took a heavy tumble on the third lap.
The home side steadied, though, and buoyed by the momentum of Worrall’s superb pass on Morris in heat eleven went on to take overall honours. The in-form Hammers reserve even passed Hans Andersen from behind in heat thirteen but sadly the race was stopped as Batchelor fell and was unable to get off of the track.
It was an excellent effort from both teams and touched by the memory of their captain, it was an inspired one too. As the meeting closed, it was the poigniant words from Cook that rang true ; the team had wanted to do this for their captain and his memory is sure to inspire them further as they continue their Elite League journey in 2012.