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 Weekly Report #5, #6 AND #7 
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Joined: Wed May 20, 2015 5:29 pm
Posts: 49
Location: Cambridgeshire UK
Post Weekly Report #5, #6 AND #7
After a few weeks of being busy my schedule has finally given me a couple of nights free, so I did what anybody would do.

I watched 9 league meetings.

With three weeks instead of two to cover, you're getting a bonus 50% more reporting.. All for the same low regular price! So grab a drink, get comfortable and enjoy my ramblings on the racing!

(A bit of a warning: Because I've covered so much and watched far too much racing in one go this doesn't go too in-depth that often... See it as an outline guide, and use it to target your own viewing if you've not watched the meetings yet. After all, the main purpose of these reports is to convince you that recordings are worth watching!)

WEEK 5

Stoke Sabres vs Manchester Storm

Week 5 started with the most hotly anticipated meeting thus-far as the reigning Champions Storm travelled to take on the league leading Sabres.

The early going was very close – A tied first heat followed by a strong 5-1 each way, the teams looking set to push each other to the limit. This pattern continued across the next few races, with the Storm pushing out a couple of heat advantages before getting the gap closed by the Sabres just before the half. It almost feels like a major title fight in boxing, with the two combatants feeling each other out and trading quick jabs rather than throwing the big guns from the off.

A final split heat 9 saw the night look like it'd continue down that path.. But then the Storm turned up the ante, and unfortunately for the scoreline the Sabres couldn't keep up. Only heat 15 was shared again, while FOUR of the last seven heats were 5-1s to the Storm.

Now don't misconstrue this domination on the scoreline to mean the races were the same. In fact, it was quite the contrary, with the action being tight. A combination of unfortunate slips and stylish team-riding accounting for the differences in results.

It feels like deja vu, but it has to be said... Can anyone halt the Storm this season?

FINAL: Sabres 38 - 58 Storm

Peterborough Piemen vs Newcastle Sharks

For all of my personal agitations at the Peterborough V1 track, I quite enjoyed watching this meeting. You never quite know which side is going to take it, especially as the score remains level after ELEVEN heats have been run.

Shockingly it's the SHARKS that finally got the upper hand, taking several heat advantages in the latter stages to steal the points at a track that's been known as a formidable base in the past.

Despite the loss Dons101 pulled off a masterclass to claim victory in every heat he rode. His lines were crisp and consistent, deftly flowing around the track with the precision required for any kind of success here.

FINAL: Piemen 45 - 51 Sharks

Hackney Warriors vs Glasgow Cowboys

I must admit, I'm starting to feel some sympathy for the Warriors. Every week they give it their all, and every week they come up just short... Sort of like Italy in the Six Nations, but without the absolutely mental tactics that, while legal, fly in the spirit of the competition (Cue one of their team coming up with some for a future meeting).

Their home meeting against the Cowboys was no different. Despite putting up a valiant fight time and again they seemed to lack the edge required to turn the tide. On a different night maybe they'd have taken the extra win here and there that they seemed capable of achieving.

[Also, on a personal note – Thank you to Stephen for his renaming of the recordings to Heat 1, Heat 2 etc... Makes it so much easier if I'm jumping around to know which one I need rather than counting down them all to find the specific race]

FINAL: Warriors 44 - 52 Cowboys

RIDER OF THE WEEK

I feel obliged to give this to the maximum, so step forward Dons101 to claim your prize. Taking 18-from-6 he put up a straight card of wins, landing the first full maximum of Season 11.

WEEK 6

Glasgow Cowboys vs Manchester Storm

There are no recordings for this one (Rico's fault according to TKD's original results post).

A minor shame that, as it looks like it was an exciting meeting. Cowboys edging ahead, the Storm coming back, a pattern that repeats throughout the card. In the end the final comeback was maybe one race away from levelling it up again.

FINAL: Cowboys 50 - 46 Storm

Hackey Warriors vs Peterborough Piemen

My sympathy only grows as once again the Warriors suffered a loss.

Their early going was shaky, giving up a 5-1 straight off the bat, but somehow they managed to do just enough to keep things tight through the first half of the meeting. In places it even seemed like their riders were finally finding their groove at the Hackney track.

It wasn't to be, a pair of 4-2 rides in Heats 8 & 9 creating an advantage for the away side that never got answered.

Quite a lot of nice split heats in this one to enjoy, with a little bit of something for everyone's tastes depending on the kind of result you like.

FINAL: Warriors 44 - 50 Piemen

Newcastle Sharks vs Stoke Sabres

Oh how the mighty have faltered! Not only did the Storm trip up earlier in the week, but so too did the Sabres, costing them the chance to draw back after their defeat the week prior.

Truth be told I feel the result was entirely justified. The Sharks were by far the better team, riding cleaner lines and generally showing signs that the second half of the season could be a turnaround to their inconsistent first half.

Going with this as the potential meeting of the week, as despite the wide scoreline I quite enjoyed watching the racing.

FINAL: Sharks 54 - 42 Sabres

RIDER OF THE WEEK

Wayne gets the prize this week. While his 15+1 from 7 wasn't overly impressive in itself, he takes it for one race in particular that stood out to me while going through the week.

An absolutely phenomenal ride in Heat 16 of the Warriors vs Piemen clash saw him deny Dons101 back-to-back maximums. It's for that dominant display against a strong opponent that I feel he rightly deserves the honour.


WEEK 7

Stoke Sabres vs Hackney Warriors

I've watched this meeting twice in a row and I still can't tell you where the difference came between the two teams.

For 16 races this contest genuinely feels like it could go either way, and I'm sure neither team would have begrudged the other had it ended in a draw. As it stands the Sabres poached a narrow win.

Definitely worth the watch! (So good I did it twice!)

FINAL: Sabres 49 - 47 Warriors

Peterborough Piemen vs Glasgow Cowboys

Hot of defeating the reigning champions the Cowboys were probably hoping to also topple the only two-time champion Piemen.

To say that didn't quite happen would be an understatement. By half-time the Piemen were already 10 points clear. The pattern continued throughout the second part of the meeting, the scoreline growing and growing with each passing race.

A telling point in the story of the meeting is that the Cowboys only heat advantage came in the final race, Heat 16. That 4-2 being no match for the nine times their hosts outscored them, four of which were maximums (5-1).

I'd recommend the Sabres definitely give this one a look over. With their Week 9 clash having the potential to be highly influential on the league standings it'd be foolish not to scout out what you're heading into... And what you're heading into is a fortress the Pies are determined to defend.

FINAL: Piemen 60 - 36 Cowboys

Manchester Storm vs Newcastle Sharks

No recordings for this one as of time of writing (So I'll ask again on Powis' behalf for somebody to help him with that), but there is a ruling from the committee as the Sharks broke the minimum ride rules.

This filled what seems to be the weekly lead-comeback-lead-just short comeback meeting quota.

The Storm do their usual starting strong, only to see the Sharks mount a bit of a fightback. I'm presuming a Craig chatbox team-talk sees it cut off and the lead shoot out once more, before a final spirited comeback ends just short of the line, allowing the Storm to buffer their lead in the final two races.

FINAL: Storm 53 - 43 Sharks

RIDER OF THE WEEK

There's something quite satisfying about picking a performance that would otherwise go unnoticed as my Rider of the Week, so I'm going to do just that and hand it to Sabres' guest rider Bobek.

Managing 9 points from 5 rides it's already a decent showing. Add in that it came with two wins and it gets even better.. And both those winning races featured two-time World Champion MiMi riding for the opposition. All that would probably satisfy many main-body riders across the league...So for all this to come from a guest riding at #6 is a showing that just had to be commended.

LEAGUE TABLE REVIEW

After seven rounds the STORM sit top on 17 points, with the SABRES just behind on 14, their Week 5 clash proving the difference between the two sides.

Below them both sits the COWBOYS, now on 13, so very much in touch and waiting to capitalise should the pair above slip up.

The PIEMEN hold fourth with 10 points. Despite having an equal record with the Cowboys in terms of wins & losses they've failed to earn as many league points via results margins (I.e falling to losses of more than 6 points).

Just behind them we have the SHARKS on 9, a side that seems to have real mixed results both home and away.

And lastly we have the still winless WARRIORS. While yet to take a victory they've received a losing bonus point from each of their away meetings (3), and should feel hard done by to not have picked up at least one victory at home.


UPCOMING FIXTURES

Three weeks remain of the season and there's plenty of interesting action left to come.

In WEEK 8 the SHARKS vs WARRIORS meetings stands out, with the bottom of the table teams clashing. I'm sure the away team will be looking to jump on the Sharks inconsistency and claim their first win.

WEEK 9 has PIEMEN vs SABRES as my pick of the bunch. Second meets fourth, and it could have major implications towards the ordering of the teams towards the top of the table.

Then it'll all come down to WEEK 10. The National Speedway Stadium could play host to the regular season decider, with the STORM vs SABRES clash edging ever closer to being a winner-takes-all affair.

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Tue Feb 28, 2017 4:42 pm
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Joined: Sun Sep 13, 2015 4:29 pm
Posts: 139
Location: Willenhall
Post Re: Weekly Report #5, #6 AND #7
unfortunately the recordings on my laptop for the storm/sharks meeting have gone, it wasn't saving every race so after practise later that night and the following day or 2,(and waiting for help as to how to put them up) the meeting recording were gone. Stefan might be able to put them up still but i'm not 100% sure.

Another great read Thrax and already looking forward to the next lot!
On a side note, Thrax, sign up for the pool/newcomers meeting and blow some cobwebs off. you'll find it in the unofficial/fun part of the forum, then general i think... he good to see you on a bike again!


Tue Feb 28, 2017 5:14 pm
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Joined: Mon May 12, 2008 10:51 am
Posts: 3502
Location: Manchester UK
Post Re: Weekly Report #5, #6 AND #7
Thanks Thrax - another cracking write up that does make me want to watch some of the recordings now. It sounds like you had a mammoth viewing session to catch up on all of the action and it's uplifting to hear that, a few tardy stragglers aside (polite nudge to the guilty parties!), the majority of the meeting recordings are available.

BTW has anyone noticed that the current league table is in exactly the same order as S10 (obviously removing the inactive teams) - despite widespread changes to all of the teams?

Whilst the fat lady isn't yet singing it is looking probable that Craig will be leading his team to yet more silverware - surely that damned trophy cabinet of his is already full?! Sabres are still in the fight but are underdogs in my book; facing the unenviable task of trying to take points away from both Piemen and Storm on their own tracks.

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