SWINDON ROBINS 54 LAKESIDE HAMMERS 38: A perfect ending to regular season for Hans (From Swindon Advertiser)
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SWINDON ROBINS 54 LAKESIDE HAMMERS 38: A perfect ending to regular season for Hans
CAPTAIN Hans Andersen strolled to a classy maximum as the Robins ended their regular season with a comfortable 54-38 victory over Lakeside last night.
The Dane was barely troubled on his way to five impressive victories, on a night where the Hammers’ play-off hopes came to an end and the Robins set up a mouth watering semi-final clash with old rivals Poole.
Peter Kildemand was also in the hunt for a maximum going into heat 15 but just missed out as he finished third, but it mattered not after three straight 5-1s in the middle of the meeting all but ended the contest following a handful of early scares.
Despite the ease of victory there was still a nervous moment after Australian Troy Batchelor hit the deck in heat 13 after being collected by Cameron Woodward, but after a few minutes of treatment and fears he had suffered an injury the reliable rider was back on his feet and taking his place in the re-run.
Ashley Birks failed to score from his four rides which will be of concern going into the play-offs, but Edward Kennett recovered from a bad start to score paid six from his final two rides while Nick Morris impressed again for 7+2.
But the night belonged to Andersen, and after a difficult few weeks which had seen him not live up to his high standards the Dane was pleased to be back on song.
“It wasn’t bad, a good win and it looked a little more difficult earlier on because they put up a bit of a fight,” he said.
“I’m pretty pleased because it’s nice to have been able to go through the card, especially at home, and I’ve been going reasonably well all season although there’s been a few dips.
“I’m pretty happy and this is a great way to go into the play-offs, and I was pleased with how I rode.
“Peter lacks a bit of heat 15 experience because he goes through the card but then misses out in heat 15, but he will have his maximum soon.
“We are looking forward to the play-offs but then we start from scratch, but we are confident we can win.”
Andersen was allowed to win heat one with ease afterKennett picked himself up and carried on after falling in turn one, and Birks suffered the same fate as he superbly chased Richard Lawson in heat two but couldn’t get his bike out from under the fence before he was excluded.
Lawson won the re-run with relative ease ahead of Kyle Howarth as the Hammers took the lead, but Kildemand did his usual trick in heat three as he made the gate to take his first win of the night. Morris was last into the first turn, but a superb cut back allowed him to ghost inside both Piotr Swiderski and Davey Watt to join his teammate for the maximum.
After Batchelor passed his teammate Howarth the Robins reserve could only watch as Lewis Bridger sailed through to secure a 4-2 behind Lawson which levelled things up at 12-12, and it stayed locked up as Kildemand and Andersen then won shared heats.
Birks suffered bike trouble in turn one of heat seven which led to Swiderski leading a Lakeside 4-2 as the visitors took the lead once again, but the Robins bounced back immediately as Kennett found some form after two disastrous rides to win a Swindon 5-1 by half the length of a straight.
Two more 5-1s followed as the immaculate Kildemand and Andersen were backed up by Morris and Kennett in heats nine and 10, which brought former Robins Seb Ulamek out in black and white looking to salvage something for his side.
The Pole could only manage second place behind Batchelor which ensured only a 5-3 heat advantage, and when Kildemand won his fourth straight ride of the night the Hammers’ play-off hopes were gone.
There was an air of concern around Blunsdon after an out of control Woodward took Batchelor out and left the Robins man sprawled on the track, but thankfully he was able to get up and race in the re-run and back up Andersen for another maximum.
Morris went from last to first to win the penultimate heat of the night, before Andersen jumped out the start to stroll to the classiest of maximums.
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