Monday August 24, 2009
THE Elite League’s top two sides went head-to-head in a pulsating encounter at Monmore Green, which most certainly lived up to all the pre-match publicity.

In a titanic duel, it was Wolverhampton who eventually shaded the encounter 47-43, whilst Swindon’s gallant effort saw them snaffle away another precious point.

Fredrik Lindgren 3 3 3 3 3 - - 15
Nicolai Klindt 0 1 0 0 - - - 1
Tai Woffinden 3 3 3 3 - - - 12
Adam Skornicki 1 1 2* 0 - - - 4 (1)
Peter Karlsson (C) R 3 2 1 1 - - 7
Chris Kerr F 0 0 - - - - 0
William Lawson 3 1 1 1 2 - - 8
Team manager: Peter Adams

Leigh Adams (C) 2 2 3 2 2 - - 11
Morten Risager 1* 0 3 1 - - - 5 (1)
Simon Stead 2 1* 2 2 0 - - 7 (1)
Travis McGowan 0 2 1* 3 - - - 6 (1)
Matej Zagar 3 2 0 R - - - 5
Paul Hurry 2 0 1 - - - - 3
Mark Lemon 1* 2* 2* 0 1 - - 6 (3)
Team manager: Alun Rossiter
Referee: Margaret Vardy

Ht 1: Lindgren, Adams, Risager, Klindt, 55.09 (3-3)
Ht 2: Lawson, Hurry, Lemon, Kerr (fell), 56.77 (6-6)
Ht 3: Woffinden, Stead, Skornicki, McGowan, 55.79 (10-8)
Ht 4: Zagar, Lemon, Lawson, Karlsson (ret), 56.20 (11-13)
Ht 5: Woffinden, Adams, Skornicki, Risager, 55.61 (15-15)
Ht 6: Lindgren, Zagar, Klindt, Hurry, 55.58 (19-17)
Ht 7: Karlsson, McGowan, Stead, Kerr, 56.16 (22-20)
Ht 8: Risager, Lemon, Lawson, Klindt, 56.79 (23-25)
Ht 9: Woffinden, Skornicki, Hurry, Zagar, 56.55 (28-26)
Ht 10: Lindgren, Stead, McGowan, Klindt, 56.28 (31-29)
Ht 11: Adams, Karlsson, Risager, Kerr, 56.70 (33-33)
Ht 12: Woffinden, Stead, Lawson, Lemon, 56.52 (37-35)
Ht 13: Lindgren, Adams, Karlsson, Zagar (ret), 55.83 (41-37)
Ht 14: McGowan, Lawson, Lemon, Skornicki, 57.10 (43-41)
Ht 15: (Nominated) Lindgren (r), Adams (y), Karlsson (b), Stead (g), 56.21 (47-43)

Programme changes:
Ht 12: Lemon replaced Hurry; Ht 14: Lawson replaced Kerr.

NOTE: Under the league scoring system introduced for 2009, Wolverhampton gained 2 points and Swindon received 1.

IN WHAT will surely rank as one of the season’s most memorable Elite League encounters, Swindon and Wolverhampton traded blows throughout, but it was the Black Country side who eventually prevailed by a slender 4-point margin.

The Robins’ scoring was led by skipper Leigh Adams, who acquired 11 points from his five ride schedule. Strong middle-order scoring from Travis McGowan (6+1), Simon Stead (7+1) and an accomplished paid 6 from debutant Morten Risager served Swindon well. Matej Zagar started the evening strongly, but failed to score in his final two outings, whilst Mark Lemon once again impressed with a paid 9-point tally.

Integral to Wolverhampton’s success was the scintillating form of Tai Woffinden. The young British rider had been a major doubt for the meeting after sustaining an injury on Sunday afternoon. However, the teenager’s unblemished 12-point haul, along with Fredrik Lindgren’s 15-point maximum provided the Wolves with a sturdy foundation. Elsewhere in the Wolverhampton septet, Peter Karlsson carded a 7-point score, whilst Scottish youngster William Lawson notched an impressive paid 8 from a reserve berth.

Proceedings got underway in super-fast style as Lindgren negotiated a hectic first corner to assume the lead. Meanwhile, the Robins’ pairing of Adams and Risager comfortably filled the minor scoring positions to register an opening race point-share.

A 3-3 ensued in heat two as Scottish youngster Lawson took victory. In the early stages, his team-mate Chris Kerr held second spot but the American was passed by the Robins’ flying reserve, Lemon. Kerr then fell and that promoted Paul Hurry into third position as the progressive scores shuffled to 6 points apiece.

A Wolverhampton 4-2 moved the home side into a slender 2-point advantage in heat three. The teenage hot-shot, Woffinden, had to repel a spirited late charge from Stead, who had executed a splendid pass of Adam Skornicki on the penultimate lap.

Swindon struck back fabulously in heat four as the Slovenian thrill-merchant, Zagar, combined with Lemon. The duo eased to a comfortable victory ahead of Lawson and the home captain, Karlsson, whose race was curtailed prematurely due to mechanical gremlins.

The electric Woffinden collected his second win of the night in race five as Wolverhampton registered a 4-2 advantage to level the scores at 15 apiece. Swindon linchpin Adams chased Woffinden throughout and, despite an intense last-lap charge, was unable to pass the young Brit.

A second successive Wolves’ 4-2 from Lindgren and Nicolai Klindt in race six nudged the home side into a 2-point lead before a well acquired 5-1 from Risager and Lemon handed Swindon the advantage. The Robins’ duo fended off a persistent challenge from Lawson, who applied significant pressure in the latter stages.

Woffinden and Skornicki moved Wolverhampton back into the ascendancy with a heat nine 5-1, before an even split in the following encounter maintained the home side’s lead.

Adams notched his only victory of the night in race eleven, the Swindon No. 1 combined with Risager to secure a 4-2 and level the scores. Indeed, Risager was amongst the action from the offset and the Danish youngster indulged in a tremendous scrap with Karlsson for second spot.

With the scores locked at 33-33, the Swindon duo of Stead and Lemon were unable to halt Woffinden’s charge in heat twelve. Behind, Lawson’s third spot once again handed the home side a 2-point cushion with just three races remaining.

Lindgren conjured a lightning fast heat thirteen start and romped away from the chasing pack. Adams slotted into second position, but a third placed finish for Karlsson doubled Wolverhampton’s advantage to a 4-point margin.

However, Swindon displayed great tenacity to notch a 4-2 from the penultimate race, as the Aussie pairing of McGowan and Lemon tussled with the Wolverhampton duo throughout.

With Alun Rossiter’s side trailing by just 2 points, a nail-biting wait for heat fifteen ensued. In the finale, it was Lindgren who continued his dominant form by gaining victory. With Adams in second position and Karlsson in third, it provided the Wolves with a 4-point margin of victory as both sides gained Elite League points from the memorable encounter.

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