Swindon hit Premiership table hot spot

Swindon hit Premiership table hot spot

Swindon are top of the SGB Premiership table – after a big finish to defeat basement side Leicester 52-40 at the Abbey Stadium.

The Carpets4Less Robins completed a remarkable rise from sixth to first in the space of just over a month, with their tenth successive victory taking them to the summit.

But the Lions, with some smart guest bookings, battled all the way and threatened a huge upset when they pulled back from ten points down to level the scores with three heats to go.

The Robins’ response, though, was emphatic as they closed the meeting with three successive 5-1s to keep up their spectacular sequence.

Flying Frenchman David Bellego was to the fore again as he dropped just one point in five rides – whilst Chris Harris stood in for skipper Jason Doyle to great effect as he also carded paid 14, despite two blown engines which forced him onto borrowed machinery.

Leicester reserves Josh Bates and Rohan Tungate briefly put their side in front with a 5-1 in Heat 2, but Bellego and Bradley Wilson-Dean quickly responded for the Robins – Wilson-Dean producing a terrific effort to pass both Erik Riss and Lasse Bjerre in Heat 3.

The scores were level going into the fifth race and a 3-3 looked likely until Tungate shed a chain on the third lap and fell heavily, with his machine ending up wedged in the fence.

Robins then took a grip of the meeting with back-to-back 5-1s in Heats 6 and 7, Harris teaming up with Tobiasz Musielak in the first, whilst Adam Ellis produced a ride full of commitment to round the Lions duo off turn two in the next, and join acting skipper Nick Morris up-front.

Musielak headed Riss in Heat 8 with the Leicester man going for double, but Wilson-Dean was unfortunate to suffer a blown engine in the next which cost him third place.

The visitors had more trouble in Heat 10 when Bjerre ran into Musielak on the second lap and took a heavy fall, with Scott Nicholls swiftly laying his machine down to prevent a more serious incident.

Bjerre was withdrawn with a knee injury but Nicholls pulled off a stunning ride in the re-run to blast between Harris and Musielak after the Robins duo had initially passed him off the second bend.

Riss then flew from the start and was quickly joined by Nicholls for a 5-1 in Heat 11, Morris finding no way through – and the Robins nerves were jangling as the Lions levelled the scores with a 4-2 in the next, Wilson-Dean having to work overtime to secure second place against Bates.

Reserve guest Simon Lambert had failed to score, but after Harris suffered trouble at the end of Heat 10 it was his bike to the rescue – and Heat 13 saw the former British Champion produce a sensational ride on borrowed equipment to pass first Thomas Jorgensen and then Nicholls and complete a vital 5-1 with Morris.

That put the Robins back in front, and they wrapped up victory in the next courtesy of Bellego and Ellis, with a terrific first lap to get the better of Bates – and the hat-trick was complete in the finale through Harris, this time with a fast start on Lambert’s bike, and Bellego ahead of Nicholls and Riss, to leave the Lions rather unfortunate to go home with nothing.

Swindon boss Alun Rossiter said: “It looked like it was going to go against us at one stage – we were comfortable, but then they came back and made it tough.

“We had a bit of a get-together which seemed to rejuvenate everybody, and a big thanks to Simon Lambert who lent Chris Harris his bike for his last two rides. Every time Chris rides for me, he never lets me down.

“Ten wins out of ten is a fantastic run, and we’ve got to be happy with it – but we’re not getting carried away. You’ve got to keep your feet firmly on the ground, but we are top of the league and into the semi-finals of the Knockout Cup, so we’re in a good place right now.”

Robins now travel to Rye House on Saturday – where recently axed Rockets skipper Edward Kennett will guest for Doyle – before the next Abbey Stadium action against Somerset on August 17.


SWINDON 52: David Bellego 13+1, Chris Harris 12+2, Nick Morris 9, Tobiasz Musielak 8+1, Adam Ellis 5+2, Bradley Wilson-Dean 5+1, Simon Lambert 0.

LEICESTER 40: Scott Nicholls 11+1, Erik Riss 8, Rohan Tungate 7+1, Josh Bates 7+1, Thomas Jorgensen 7, Lasse Bjerre 0, Pawel Przedpelski r/r.

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