Thursday July 30, 2015
SWINDON moved back into the Elite League play-off places with a hard-fought 50-39 win over Lakeside at the Abbey Stadium on Thursday.

The M&S Van Rental Robins were given a tough time by the Hammers who refused to be shaken off, so much so that the scores were level after ten of the fifteen races before Swindon finished strongly.

There was a statement of Lakeside’s early intent when Swedish star Andreas Jonsson re-passed Darcy Ward to win Heat 1, and Jonsson then combined with an impressive Edward Kennett to take a 5-1 over Robins duo Troy Batchelor and Hans Andersen in Heat 3.

Swindon were consistently outgated and went behind when Grzegorz Zengota suffered a chain breakage in Heat 6, but an emphatic response from Ward and Batchelor with a 5-1 in the next race put the Robins ahead.

But with Charles Wright struggling thanks to the knock he took at Poole on Wednesday, the visitors pulled level again in Heat 9, before Swindon re-took the lead two races later as Eduard Krcmar held on for an important third place over ex-Robin Kyle Howarth.

With Wright ruled out, guest reserve Rob Branford stepped up with a superb win when riding solo in Heat 12, and Swindon gained a further point to their advantage when Paul Starke crashed out on the third lap.

Another Ward/Batchelor 5-1 over Jonsson in Heat 13 eased the tension, and two 4-2s in the last two races saw Swindon to an eleven-point final margin which hardly reflected the closeness of the meeting.

Manager Alun Rossiter said: “We are always stronger at the end, but it just goes to show you can never under-estimate anyone no matter what their position in the league.

“I think the turning point was probably Robert Branford’s win in Heat 12, but fair play to Lakeside, and I think they’ll be disappointed they didn’t get anything out of the meeting - in fairness, they probably deserved something.

“Full credit to Charles for making the effort because he was really stiffening up, he’d hit the fence really hard at Poole and those four points he scored were vital.”

SWINDON 50: Darcy Ward 13+1, Grzegorz Zengota 10, Troy Batchelor 9+1, Rob Branford 6, Eduard Krcmar 5+2, Charles Wright 4+1, Hans Andersen 3
LAKESIDE 39: Edward Kennett 11, Andreas Jonsson 10+2, Adam Ellis 7, Kyle Howarth 6+1, Paul Starke 3, Richard Lawson 2+1, Kim Nilsson r/r
Elite League points: Swindon 3 Lakeside 0

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