Lakeside Hammers Co-Promoter, Stuart Douglas, expressed delight at the end of a thrilling encounter with Wolverhampton at the Arena-Essex Raceway on Friday evening, which saw The Hammers run out victors 47-42.
Club owner Douglas stated after the match: “I’m very pleased with the victory and the two League points, but I am absolutely full of admiration for both teams who showed total commitment in their desire to win. Two very good sides slugged it out, and there were some fantastic displays of riding right up and down each team. It’s not good for my nerves, but this is the kind of Speedway I want to see every week. I think Wolves were maybe stung by their previous night’s result at Ipswich where they suffered a big loss and they arrived highly focussed on winning. Our lads could sense this and stepped up to the plate when it mattered.”
That fight was typified by Hammers Finnish rider, Kauko Nieminen, who was the only rider to lower the colours of Wolves Swedish GP star, Freddie Lindgren. “This victory was really important for the team, which is why I stayed here in the UK rather than travel to Latvia to join up with the Finnish World Cup team. I’m very happy to be part of this team – the spirit in the pits is fantastic,” said Nieminen. “When Adam (Shields) came in with his bike bent after his crash with Peter Karlsson, the rest of the lads jumped into action getting it ready to go straight back out to secure the points. It was a great team effort.” Nieminen joins up with the Finland team on Saturday for the World Cup qualifier in Latvia.
The Hammers Team Manager and Co-Promoter, Jon Cook, was also pleased to get the win after what was a very busy build up to the match. He commented: “Wolves are now one of the favourites to take the League title this year so I was pleased to get the win although it would have been nice to have got the additional League point by winning by seven points but Freddie (Lindgren) and PK (Peter Karlsson) are a formidable pairing and are going to pick up a lot of maximum heat advantages when they come out in heats 13 and 15.”
Cook continued: “I would like to thank all of our supporters, and those who made the journey down from Wolverhampton, for their perseverance as many had difficult journeys to our Raceway. There were several accidents on the roads in the area, which cause heavy congestion, so we decided to delay the start by half an hour. By doing so everyone was able to get in by the first heat and the crowd numbers indicated that the majority of the fans did not give up on the journey. I think most of them will think their travel difficulties were worth it as we all witnessed a very competitive close match with some great racing.”
The Lakeside Hammers next home match will be against the Eastbourne Eagles in another vital League fixture. It will take place at the Arena-Essex Raceway on Friday 8th May with the opening race scheduled to start at 8pm.