Elite League: Swindon and Lakeside secure vital away victories in race for playoff places
Last Updated: 22/07/14 9:33am
Troy Batchelor: Vital win for Swinson (pic: Les Aubrey)
Swindon and Lakeside secured vital away victories on Monday as the race for Elite League playoff places intensifies.
The Robins inflicted the first home defeat of the season upon Belle Vue with a 49-41 win at Kirkmanshulme Lane, to move to within two points of the top four.
The home side could still have snatched a draw going into the last race, but Swindon duo Troy Batchelor and Peter Kildemand raced to a 5-1 over Aces pair Scott Nicholls and Matej Zagar to give the Robins all four points.
"It was a great win and a full team effort from the boys. Special praise goes to Peter, he's got up and got on a plane this morning from Russia and that's commitment."
Swindon boss Alun Rossiter said: “It was a great win and a full team effort from the boys. Special praise goes to Peter, he's got up and got on a plane this morning from Russia and that's commitment.
“In my mind I thought we would struggle tonight because Belle Vue are so good but we all chipped in and all the boys did a good job.”
Nicholls said: “It was just one of those nights where we got beaten by a better team. We can't take anything away from Swindon because they rode fantastically well and we knew from the start they were going to be exceptionally tough to beat.
“We believed we could win, and I still believe we could have done, and all the boys did the best they could but in the end we just didn't do enough, and honestly there's no major reason as to why.”
Meanwhile Lakeside were 46-44 victors in another tight clash at Wolverhampton, with skipper Davey Watt splitting Piotr Pawlicki and Ricky Wells in the final race to ensure the Hammers remained ahead after Mikkel Bech had suffered engine failure on the start-line.
Watt had earlier combined with Bech for a match-turning 5-1 in Heat 13 which put the visitors in front, and the result moves them clear of Poole in second place in the table.
Hammers co-promoter Jon Cook said: “To take the lead after Heat 13 for the second time in a week speaks volumes for the team’s spirit. Credit goes to them all.
“It was a great night and all the more special as the win came with Stuart Douglas with us in the pits enjoying a night with the boys before he heads to Los Angeles.”