Robins get close to Pirates
Swindon Robins moved to within a point of Sky Sports Elite League leaders Poole with a 49-41 win over the Pirates at a wet Abbey Stadium.
Last Updated: 07/08/12 11:30am
Swindon closed the gap on Poole at the summit of the Sky Sports Elite League with a 49-41 victory in the battle of the top two on Monday night.
An in-form Hans Andersen managed four race wins to help the Robins claim maximum points at Abbey Stadium, moving them within one of the reigning champions in the table.
The result means they also become just the second team to beat the Pirates in 2012, following in the footsteps of King's Lynn.
However it almost never happened after heavy rain in the area during the early evening left the possibilities of the meeting going ahead looking bleak.
To the credit of the staff at Blunsdon they managed to get the track in a state that was fit for racing, though even Swindon manager Alun Rossiter admitted afterwards that the conditions had played into the home team's hands.
"It would've been a bit more fun had it been on a level playing field for both teams," he told Sky Sports.
Despite the conditions Andersen was superb, only being denied a maximum ride by the fact he had to retire in his opening heat due to a mechanical problem.
It was the Dane's triumph in the 13th race, with team-mate Peter Kildemand following him over the line in second, that put the Robins eight points clear after there had been little between the teams all night.
Not even the 'Turbo Twins' of Darcy Ward and Chris Holder could get the Pirates back in contention in the closing stages, a miserable meet for the latter being summed up by him having to push his broken bike over the line just to take a point from the final heat.
"We came here tonight and we knew that it would be a tough race for both teams," admitted Poole boss Neil Middleditch.
Peterborough Panthers climbed to fifth after an emphatic 61-32 win over fourth placed Lakeside Hammers.
Norbert Kosciuch as he had his biggest pay-night in Britain speedway to date with 15+5 against the play-off chasing Hammers - dropping his only point to former Panther Peter Karlsson.
And it was a good evening all-round for the Panthers - winning twelve of the fifteen races - with Krzysztof Buczkowski (13+1), Linus Sundstrom (10+1), Kenneth Bjerre (10+1) all in the thick of the action.
Panthers co-boss Jan Staechmann was understandably delighted with the result. He said: "It was a very solid team performance with every man playing their part with some good rides.
"Norbert was very impressive, Krzysztof only dropped one point and Linus also looked very strong until he stopped in his last race.
"It was a very comprehensive victory and we need to keep this up as we have a very important month of racing ahead of us.
"We can take the confidence from this into the two big matches on Wednesday and Thursday against Poole."
Play-off chasing Birmingham grabbed a point as they lost 47-43 at Belle Vue Aces.
The Brummies lost the services of Danny King mid-meeting who was still feeling the effects of last week's injuries, but trailing by just two-points still managed to take the match to a last race decider.
But there was to be no late heroics as the Aces finished the night strongly and Brummies were left wondering if they had missed an opportunity for a valuable away win or draw.
Finally, Freddie Lindgren was back to his brilliant best with a full 15-point maximum in Wolverhampton's hard fought 47-42 win over Eastbourne at Monmore.
Lindgren, who has been struggling for consistency in British racing, was unstoppable with a string of superb rides.
He partnered Tai Woffinden to a last race 5-1 to secure a welcome win for Wolves - but Eastbourne were able to claim a consolation league point for losing by less than 7 away from home.