LEADING light Paul Hurry dedicated Lakeside’s comprehensive 52-37 victory over play-off rivals Birmingham to injured star Zach Wajtknecht.
Number one Hurry posted 17 points from six rides, including a win in heat four when he stood in for former-Brummie Wajtknecht, as the Vortex Hammers stretched their lead throughout a meeting that survived the steadily-increasing rain.
The reserve heat set the tone as Connor Locke and Jamie Couzins rode around unchallenged following exclusions for Lewis Whitmore and Taylor Hampshire in the first two attempts.
Visitor Tom Bacon followed suit in the third, collecting Hammers Alfie Bowtell and Ben Morley with the latter briefly attended to for a shoulder problem before winning the re-run.
From there, Lakeside were imperious with Hurry leading the way and Morley going on to win four out of six races.
Fittingly, it was the top two scorers who recorded the home side’s second maximum of the night to rubber stamp victory in heat 13, leaving Hurry with a sense of accomplishment.
“It was not a bad win, Birmingham kept us on our toes but it was a good end to what was a difficult night without Zach around,” said Hurry.
“I did that one for Zach with a bit more focus and concentration. I’m his main help as such and it feels strange not to have him here. Hopefully he will get better and be back as quickly as he can.
“The track was pretty slick because they could not water it with the threat of rain but once we all got rolling, we did okay.”
Meanwhile, Hurry believes a return to weekly meetings throughout August after a barren July will help Lakeside, who climbed to third above the Brummies in the chase for the Travel Plus National League crown, to hit top form at the business end of the season.
“The breaks we are having between meetings isn’t helping us,” he added. “The lads aren’t riding enough to stay on top of their game like they should be.
“With a few more meetings coming up, we should hopefully get on a roll and start banging in the points, though.
“Every meeting is important. Being the club that dropped down from the Elite League you have a reputation to maintain, you always have that expectation to do well.
“It is all about bringing on the youngsters and when you have the likes of Connor Locke, Jamie Couzins and Nick Laurence coming on leaps and bounds and enjoying their speedway, it is really good.”
LAKESIDE 52: Paul Hurry 17, Ben Morley 15+1, Alfie Bowtell 8, Connor Locke 5, Jamie Couzins 4+2, Nick Laurence 3+1, Zach Wajtknecht r/r.
BIRMINGHAM 37: Jack Parkinson-Blackburn 9+1, Layne Cupitt 7+1, David Mason 7+1, Liam Carr 7, Tom Bacons 6+1, Taylor Hampshire 1, Lewis Whitmore 0.