Lakeside Hammers play-off hopes dented

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Lakeside Hammers team manager Neil Vatcher now knows they will need to win every race meeting from here on in to reach the play-offs after back-to-back defeats to the Coventry Bees.

The Pufleet-based club lost seven points in two days after a 39-56 defeat on Saturday night and a 55-35 defeat on Friday evening.

A rainstorm soaked the track an hour and a half before the race on Saturday and left the likes of home rider Ben Morley struggling with the conditions.

Play-off dream hanging by a thread

Morley said: “The track was so bumpy today and I just could not find the feeling with the bike.”
His frustrations were echoed by team-mate Adam Ellis, who added: “It just was not our night tonight.

“We struggled to find any grip on the track surface but we will learn from this and go to Swindon better prepared.”

Coventry produce strong showing

While the Hammers struggled, Coventry took full advantage by securing seven 5-1 victories in 15 heats.

The Bees started strongly by picking up three of those seven wins in the first three heats.
Richard Lawson crashed in heat one after hitting a bump at the first turn and Morley also crashed in heat two.

Schlein delivers under pressure

Heat four saw the points shared, but in the next the Hammers were offered a lifeline when Rory Schlein was used as a tactical ride.

The hosts put it to good use as Schlein came home to win the heat with his club captain Davey Watt finishing second to reduce arrears to 14-19.

Coventry hit back immediately by securing two 5-1 victories in the following heats to make it 16-29.

Pride restored but not points

The Hammers were forced to use the second tactical ride and Kim Nilsson stepped up.
But he could not emulate Schlein’s success and had to fight through the field to pass Kyle Howarth for second place for a 4-4 share of the points.

Coventry then had the beating of Lakeside from the starting gates and that saw them claim another two 5-1 victories which opened up a 21 point difference.

The Hammers added some respectability with four 3-3 draws and went into heat 15 trailing 34-55.

And in the final action of the night Nilsson and Schlein showed the form they will need to make the play-offs with a 5-1 victory over Chris Harris and Michael Jepsen Jensen.

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