Monday July 23, 2018
SWINDON dug out a hard-fought 51-39 win over Leicester at the Abbey on a tough night with several problems to overcome.

The CFS Filtration Robins went down to six riders early on but the return of David Bellego after a recent injury absence proved pivotal to the outcome of the meeting.

Robins skipper Nick Morris was withdrawn after crashes in each of his first two rides, coming to grief on turn two in Heat 1 hitting trouble when just behind Charles Wright.

His second incident was more spectacular as he picked up lift on the inside of turn four and straightened into the path of Scott Nicholls, with both riders lucky to walk away.

A battered and bruised Morris then withdrew suffering pains in his neck, with Robins using the injury rider-replacement facility to cover his last two rides.

Leicester gained a fortunate 5-1 in Heat 2 when Swindon guest Dimitri Berge gated but dropped a chain going into turn one – but Frenchman Berge bounced back to play a vital part in the proceedings.

Adam Ellis and Tobiasz Musielak got the Robins level with a 5-1 in Heat 3, and Berge subsequently won both Heats 7 and 8 in Swindon race advantages – the second of which was a maximum with the impressive Bellego, who had already won his first two rides and whose comeback was also crucial.

Musielak was next to come to grief with a heavy turn two crash in Heat 9 from which the Pole was fortunate to walk away, and Robins managed to pick up a 4-2 from the next even though Hans Andersen took a tactical substitute ride.

However, Andersen then teamed up with Wright for maximum points in Heat 11 as the Lions cut the gap to four points and ensured a nervy finish.

Swindon, though, had the answer to that in Heat 13 with Bellego coming in for Morris and gating sharply with Batchelor for a decisive 5-1 over Andersen and Nicholls.

Musielak showed no ill effects from his crash with a fine win in Heat 14 whilst the value-for-money Berge collected third place ahead of Stuart Robson, which rubber-stamped the Robins’ win.

A Leicester 5-1 in Heat 15 would have seen them take a league point, but in the event it was a 4-2 to the Robins as Batchelor headed Andersen with Ellis in third place.

Swindon manager Alun Rossiter said: “Track preparation is a thankless job, it’s not easy, and we’re not alone in that the shale isn’t binding, and it’s turning to sand.

“We are working hard on it, and I know the owner Terry Russell has a potential new batch coming in, so hopefully we will have the track back to its best soon, and how we all like it.

“We have to keep battling away, keep doing our thing and hopefully we can carry on. We’ve had a blip, and as soon as you have a blip everyone hits the panic button, saying this rider and that rider should come in.

“But as you could see, even though really we didn’t have Nick, we had four or five other riders who were going well.

“Dimitri picked up some important points, which is normally what Zach (Wajtknecht) does, and Dimitri covered for him well to make the job easier for the riders in the top five.”

SWINDON 51: Troy Batchelor 13, David Bellego 11+2, Adam Ellis 11+1, Tobiasz Musielak 7+1, Dimitri Berge 7, Jack Smith 2, Nick Morris 0.
LEICESTER 39: Hans Andersen 12+1, Scott Nicholls 6, Connor Mountain 5+2, Charles Wright 5+1, Ricky Wells 5, Stuart Robson 4+3, Josh Auty 2.

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