Thursday July 23, 2009
IT WAS certainly a night for milestones at the Abbey, as the Robins credited their 2009 account with another 3 Elite League points courtesy of a comfortable success over bottom-of-the-table Belle Vue.

Indeed, Swindon Speedway celebrated its 60th birthday, whilst team manager Alun Rossiter reached the ripe old age of 44. And, on track, Leigh Adams made his 500th appearance for the club and topped it off with a paid maximum – his 114th in the Robins’ colours (52 full and 62 paid).
Slovenian ace Matej Zagar also went through the card unbeaten to register his first home maximum for Swindon and his third overall (1 full and 2 paid) since linking with the side towards the end of May.

Finally, as far as the stat-fest is concerned, the meeting was the 1,658th to be staged at Blunsdon by Swindon Speedway since the track opened way back on 23 July 1949.

Leigh Adams (C) 3 2* 3 3 2* - - 13 (2)
Travis McGowan 0 3 1* 0 - - - 4 (1)
Simon Stead 3 3 3 2 3 - - 14
Jurica Pavlic 0 1 F 3 - - - 4
Matej Zagar 2* 3 3 2* - - - 10 (2)
Paul Hurry 0 1 1 - - - - 2
Ryan Fisher 3 3 2 1* 0 - - 9 (1)
Team manager: Alun Rossiter

Krzysztof Kasprzak 2 2 R 1 - - - 5
James Wright 1* 0 6 2 0 - - 9 (1)
Patrick Hougaard 2 2 2 3 1 - - 10
Morten Risager 1* 0 1* 4 - - - 6 (2)
Charlie Gjedde (C) R 0 2 0 - - - 2
Ulrich Ostergaard 1* 1 1* 0 - - - 3 (2)
Kevin Doolan 2 1 0 1* - - - 4 (1)
Team manager: Chris Morton
Referee: Mick Posselwhite

Ht 1: Adams, Kasprzak, Wright, McGowan, 66.58 (3-3)
Ht 2: Fisher, Doolan, Ostergaard, Hurry (f, rem), 68.46 (6-6)
Ht 3: Stead, Hougaard, Risager, Pavlic, 67.31 (9-9)
Ht 4: Fisher, Zagar, Doolan, Gjedde (ret), 69.02 (14-10)
Ht 5: Stead, Kasprzak, Pavlic, Wright, 67.27 (18-12)
Ht 6: McGowan, Adams, Ostergaard, Gjedde, 69.33 (23-13)
Ht 7: (Re-Run) Zagar, Hougaard, Hurry, Risager, 67.55 (27-15)
Ht 8: Wright (TR), Fisher, McGowan, Doolan, 68.68 (30-21)
Ht 9: (Re-Run) Stead, Gjedde, Ostergaard, Pavlic (fell), 67.86 (33-24)
Ht 10: Adams, Hougaard, Risager, McGowan, 67.58 (36-27)
Ht 11: Zagar, Wright, Hurry, Kasprzak (ret), 67.87 (40-29)
Ht 12: Hougaard, Stead, Fisher, Ostergaard, 68.08 (43-32)
Ht 13: Adams, Zagar, Kasprzak, Gjedde, 67.99 (48-33)
Ht 14: Pavlic, Risager (TR), Doolan, Fisher, 68.99 (51-38)
Ht 15: (Nominated) Stead (b), Adams (r), Hougaard (g), Wright (y), 67.86 (56-39)

Programme changes:
Ht 8: TR Wright (Double points); Ht 14: Fisher replaced Hurry; TR Risager (Double points).

NOTE: Under the league scoring system introduced for 2009, Swindon gained 3 points and Belle Vue received 0.

A HEAVY shower thirty minutes prior to the scheduled start time left the Abbey Stadium surface very wet indeed. However, remedial work was immediately undertaken and the meeting delayed until 8.30 p.m., as the hard working track staff prepared the Blunsdon race-strip for action.

Three successive point-shares got proceeding underway, before Swindon forged ahead with a quartet of heat advantages in the middle sector.

Belle Vue nominated James Wright and Morten Risager for tactical rides in heats eight and fourteen, respectively, but Swindon were able to limit the effectiveness of both moves. Further Robins’ heat advantages in the closing stages saw Alun Rossiter’s side eventually notch a 17-point margin of victory.

Swindon’s scoring was led by paid maximums from both Leigh Adams and Matej Zagar, whilst Simon Stead deservedly scooped the Man of the Match award after amassing a 14-point tally.

Jurica Pavlic, despite starting the meeting slowly, collected a classy victory in his final ride, whilst Ryan Fisher yet again excelled from the reserve berth by acquiring paid 10 points.

Belle Vue’s score-chart was headed by impressive Danish youngster Patrick Hougaard, whilst former Robins’ rider James Wright contributed an impressive paid 10-point haul.

Robins' Captain Leigh Adams eased to a comfortable tapes-to-flag victory in the opener. The Australian conjured a fast start and headed the field exiting the back straight on lap one. Meanwhile, the Belle Vue duo of Krzysztof Kasprzak and Wright filled the minor scoring positions to ensure an opening race split of the points.

Flyin' Ryan Fisher romped away from the gate in the ensuing race and the American attacked the track with pace and determination en route to a comfortable victory.

Fellow Robins' reserve Paul Hurry fell on the first bend and this allowed the Belle Vue pairing to pack the minor placings and notch a second successive point-share.

A confident ride from Stead saw the British rider collect a well-deserved heat three victory. Meanwhile, Pavlic struggled with track conditions and was unable to stamp his authority on the race. The meeting's third successive even-split shuffled the scores to 9 points apiece.

Swindon opened up a 4-point advantage in race four with a well-worked 5-1 from Zagar and Fisher. Both Swindon riders rode brave first corners to faze out the challenge from Kevin Doolan and former Robin Charlie Gjedde.

A terrific heat five ride from Stead saw the Swindon No. 3 execute a spectacular inside pass of Kasprzak on the exit of turn four. Elsewhere, Pavlic rode well to hold third place and ensure that the Robins notched a second successive advantage.

Swindon extended their lead to a 10-point margin with a textbook 5-1 from Adams and Travis McGowan in race six. The Robins' partnership team rode impeccably to overcome and early challenge from Belle Vue. Adams held the inside line throughout, whilst McGowan utilized the developing outside dirt line.

The initial staging of heat six was prematurely curtailed after Hurry was the victim of a hard-fought first bend. All four riders were called back for the re-staging in which Zagar posted his second victory of the evening.

Behind, Hurry rode well to repel a strong and persistent challenge from Morten Risager, as his eventual third place finish extended Swindon's lead.

Trailing by a 12-point margin, Belle Vue nominated Wright for a tactical ride in heat eight. The British youngster certainly didn't disappoint the Aces' fans, as he registered an impressive victory and in doing so amassed a 6-point haul. Further back, McGowan rode a clever inside line race to roar underneath Doolan on lap three to secure third spot.

Stead once again looked fast in heat nine as he continued his winning streak. Pavlic was right amongst the action in the early stages, but unfortunately took a tumble on turn three of lap one. Thankfully, the Croatian was unscathed and able to remove his machine from the racing surface.

An Adams victory brought a heat ten share of the points, as Swindon maintained their 9-point advantage. Slovenian thrill-merchant Zagar prevailed in race eleven and the flamboyant racer was unchallenged throughout.

Belle Vue's Wright secured second spot and Robins' reserve Hurry was elevated to third spot after Kasprzak had suffered a mechanical failure on the opening lap.

The talented Patrick Hougaard became the first rider to inflict defeat on Stead in heat twelve and the Dane showed superb speed out front. The Robins' duo of Stead and Fisher battled hard to fill the minor placings and stormed past Belle Vue reserve Ulrich Ostergaard on the third lap.

The power-packed pairing of Adams and Zagar raced to a 5-1 victory in heat thirteen. The dynamic duo sped past Kasprzak on the opening lap and rode to an untroubled victory from that point on.

Belle Vue team manager Chris Morton nominated Risager for a tactical ride in the penultimate race. The Danish youngster finished in second spot, but was out-gunned by a solid ride from Pavlic. With Doolan filling third spot, the resultant 5-3 in Belle Vue's favour narrowed Swindon's lead to 13 points.

Adams and Stead concluded proceedings in fine style by cruising to a comfortable 5-1 race advantage.

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