The Hammers put together this comprehensive victory over their near neighbours Ipswich to keep their momentum going as they look to secure their passage through to the end of season Elite League play-offs.
The result of this one was in little doubt as the meeting progressed with the visitors carrying too many low scoring riders and the home side carrying several keen to make an impression. The first of these was Peter Ljung, making his home debut for the club and putting together a useful paid seven score as he enjoyed a successful home debut.
Hammers also tracked Canadian Kyle Legault as a guest, who also impressed and produced one of the rides of the night when he defeated Scott Nicholls in heat eleven.
The home side secured heat advantages in three of the first four heats with Legault teaming up with Scott Robson for a maximum in heat two after Lee Richardson had stormed past Scott Nicholls in the opener. Nicholls recovered to take victory of his own in an exciting clash with Kauko Nieminen in heat five, enduring a cut and thrust first couple of laps in which both riders took the lead.
Richardson and Ljung showed that they were keen to cement their new partnership in the colours of the crossed Hammers with their own maximum in the sixth race which put their side ten points clear and left an opportunity for the Witches to use the first of their allocated tactical rides.
The black and white helmet appeared in heat eight in the form of Linus Sundstrom. The Swede, who would go on to secure a healthy paid nine points haul, was beaten to the first turn by the fast starting Ljung and settled into second place alongside Chris Slabon to ensure an Ipswich 5-3.
Jonas Davidsson put two sticky rides behind him to claim his first race win of the night in heat nine, a fairly comfortable 5-1 with Nieminen over Robert Miskowiak in heat nine. The following race saw Ljung’s evening come to an unfortunate end when he got into trouble on the final bend whilst on another 5-1 with Richardson to let Daniel King and Ales Dryml through for a shared heat.
The second throw of the dice for Witches boss Pete Simmons came in the form of Scott Nicholls, tactically nominated against Shields and Legault in heat eleven. Shields produced a sublime gate to trap Nicholls on the curb on the first and second turns and Legault was quick to ride around and join his team mate, holding off the ever-trying Nicholls for the loudest cheer of the night.
The final four races were shared with heat wins shared amongst the teams. Richardson completed his evening’s work early in heat twelve with another win over Nicholls and another unbeaten maximum, his second in a row at the Arena Raceway. Nicholls popped out of the gate in heat fifteen to finish his own personal evening on a high as behind him Nieminen and King battled with the flying Finn taking third place to finish an equally good night’s work.