SWINDON ROBINS took their winning run to three after edging out Elite League newcomers Leicester 47-43 in an Abbey Stadium thriller on Thursday.
Former Robins Jason Doyle and Nicolai Klindt were in tremendous form for the fast-gating Lions, and there were stages of the meeting where the visitors looked likely to take more than the one league point they eventually achieved.
Swindon suffered from a succession of crashes, with Peter Kildemand and Nathan Greaves coming to grief when leading the opening two races – and but for the start of a night of mechanical woes for Mads Korneliussen, who pulled out when in the lead in Heat 3, Swindon would have been more than 9-15 down after four races.
The meeting began to swing back towards the Robins in a dramatic Heat 8 when Korneliussen again slowed while leading, and his team-mate Sam Masters hit the fence to hand Alun Rossiter’s side a 5-1.
They were awarded another maximum two races later following an awkward collision between Kildemand and Krzysztof Buczkowski, with the Pole deemed to be at fault, and that put Swindon ahead for the first time.
Doyle remained unbeaten in Heat 13 as the gap was cut to two, with Kildemand not taking part after his earlier knock, and just when Swindon looked set to confirm victory in the next race, Simon Gustafsson ploughed into the fence on turn four leaving top-scoring reserve Worrall to again prevent serious damage.
With Klindt and the unbeaten Doyle going again in the decider, the Lions had high hopes of a race advantage to draw or even win the match – but Nick Morris made a vital first-bend move to block Doyle’s outside run, and Batchelor then switched inside Klindt to see the Robins through to victory.
Rossiter said: “We made hard work of it, but a win’s a win and we’ll take it under the circumstances.
“The track was tricky tonight, and whenever that happens it always seems to affect the home riders more. We’ve got a break now before our next home meeting so we’ll look to get that sorted.
“Peter getting injured certainly didn’t help us, that made things tougher later in the meeting, and him having such a tough night was probably the difference between two or three points – but t at least we won.”
SWINDON: Steve Worrall 12+2, Troy Batchelor 9+1, Dakota North 9, Nick Morris 8, Simon Gustafsson 5+2, Peter Kildemand 3+2, Nathan Greaves 1.
LEICESTER: Nicolai Klindt 13, Jason Doyle 11+1, Sam Masters 6+1, James Sarjeant 6+1, Krzysztof Buczkowski 4, Mads Korneliussen 2, Max Clegg 1+1.