THE Lakeside Hammers will look for their second win in the space of 24 hours when they take on League leaders, the Poole Pirates, this evening at their Arena-Essex Raceway following their 16 point victory away at Birmingham last night.
The League match at Perry Barr Stadium, Birmingham was an important one for the Hammers as they needed the win to keep their Play Off aspirations intact. It turned out to be a match that saw the Hammers dominate throughout the 15 heats. Still utilising the ‘Rider Replacement’ facility for their injured Australian, Adam Shields, the remaining six members of the Hammers team all put in good performances. Pole Piotr Swiderski top scored for the Essex based Club with paid 15 points from his six rides outscoring his fellow Pole, Krzysztof Kasprzak, who top scored for the Birmingham Brummies with 11 points from his 5 rides.
All the Hammers riders achieved at least one paid win with the lowest scoring Hammers rider scoring a paid eight point tally. That compared with four of the Brummies side only scoring a total of 10 points between them. The margin of the Hammers win could have been even more but their No.1, Lee Richardson experienced machine problems in his last three rides that resulted in him scoring just one point from them after having amassed eight points from his opening three rides. 10 out of the 15 heats saw Hammers riders take the chequered flag but equally important was the fact that they only had four last places with two of those due to Richardson’s bike problems.
The Hammers will need to continue this good form if they are to gain the three vital League points available from this evening’s home match against the Pirates. Those three points would move the Hammers up into fourth place in the League table, level on points with third placed team, the Eastbourne Eagles, and more importantly up into a Play Off position. They would then need to retain that place in the table come the end of the League campaign to achieve that Play Off place.
There will be one change to the Hammers team for this evening’s match against the Pirates, which will see Swedish new signing, Kim Nilsson, make his debut for the Club. Stuart Robson, who now shares a ‘Doubling Up’ position with Kauko Nieminen, is the rider to miss the important fixture as he has a Premier League commitment with Newcastle, who race at Somerset tonight.
The Pirates include three of the riders who took part in the recent World Cup for Australia including Chris Holder, who is currently in third place in this season’s Grand Prix Series.
The action at the Arena-Essex Raceway this evening against the Pirates gets underway at the usual first race start time of 8pm with the Grand Parade of riders scheduled for 7.45pm. After an enforced break from Elite League racing at the Raceway due to the recent Speedway World Cup it is expected that the Hammers loyal supporters will return in numbers to support the team in this vital match, and, therefore, are asked to arrive at the Raceway as early as possible as a large crowd is likely.