The Vortex Lakeside Hammers returned to form tonight, with a solid team performance, dominating the Belle Vue Aces, with a 58 – 32 point victory.
The Hammers set their stall out from the very first heat, with skipper Davey Watt leading home Richard Lawson, who smartly moved wide on the last two bends to keep Matej Zagar in third. Fast track reserve pairing Adam Ellis and Ben Morely continued the home domination in heat 2, as Stefan Nielsen delivered a 360 degree spin on the fourth bend.
Mikkel Bech and Peter Karlsson entered the Arena to keep the pressure on in the third, with the Danish star stalking and swooping round Nicholls to follow his team mate home. Former Hammer Richie Worrall finally managed to stem the home advantages in the next race, initially taking the lead after Lewis Bridger got slightly out of shape on the homestraight at the end of the first lap, but Bridger showed speed and his class to retake the lead by the fourth bend of lap 2.
Normal service resumed in the fifth, with Watt gating and Karlsson getting the better of Nicholls around the first and second bends. Zagar appeared as a nominated tactical in the following heat, but was left trailing after a sharp first and second bend by Bech and heat winner Bridger. Ellis and Lawson teamed up for further 5-1 before Nicholls and Bridger gave it the proverbial Hammer and tongs in the 8th, with the Aces star on a black and white tactical. Fourth after missing the start, a determined Bridger, made up ground on Nicholls, before the pair traded hard passes, with the home rider coming out on top. Words were exchanged as the rider left the track, as the Hammers established a 30 point lead.
Ellis was excluded for a second bend tumble in the second reserves race, the re-run of which Morley won at a canter. Watt again lead from the tapes in the 10th, with Nicholls and Worrall keeping Lawson at the back. Zagar gated in the eleventh, with Bech and Karlsson in hot pursuit, and the Danish star swooping round on the third and fourth to take the chequred flag.
After an initial re-run due to movement at the start, Richard Lawson was then excluded after coming down on the first bend in heat 12, in what could easily have been described as first bend bunching. In the third running of the race, Morley tried everything but couldn’t quite get the better of Worrall.
Zagar and Nicholls finally produced a maximum heat advantage for The Aces in heat 13, to add some respectability, before Bridger secured his third win on the night in the penultimate race, earning a heat 15 nomination, along with Peter Karlsson from the Hammers guest team manager Phil Morris. Zagar and Nicholls again teamed up to secure a 5-1 for the Aces, with Bridger suffering a puncture, but the three league points had already been safely secured on a confidence boosting night for The Hammers.
Heat 01: Watt, Lawson, Zagar, Worrall. 5-1…59.4
Heat 02: Ellis, Morley, Payne, Nielsen (Fell) (5-1)…10-2…60.6
Heat 03: Karlsson, Bech, Nicholls, Palm Toft. (5-1)…15-3…58.8
Heat 04: Bridger, Worrall, Morley, Nielsen. (4-2)…19-5…59.5
Heat 05: Watt, Karlsson, Nihcolls, Palm Toft. (5-1)…24-6…59.0
Heat 06: Bridger, Bech, Zagar, Nielsen. (5-1)…29-7…58.8
Heat 07: Lawson, Ellis, Palm Toft, Payne. (5-1)…34-8…60.5
Heat 08: Bech, Bridger, Nicholls, Worrall. (5-1)…39-9…59.7
Heat 09 (Re-Run): Morley, Payne, Nielsen. (3-3)…42-12…60.3
Heat 10: Watt, Nicholls, Lawson, Worrall. (4-2)…46-14…59.7
Heat 11: Bech, Zagar, Karlsson, Palm Toft. (4-2)…50-16…59.5
Heat 12 (Re-Run X2): Worrall, Morley, Nielsen. (2-4)…52-20…60.8
Heat 13: Zagar, Nicholls, Karlsson, Watt. (1-5)…53-25…59.3
Heat 14: Bridger, Palm Toft, Ellis, Payne. (4-2)…57-27…60.0
Heat 15: Zagar, Nicholls, Karlsson, Bridger. (1-5)…58-32…59.5