SWINDON surged back into the Elite League’s top four with a thoroughly convincing 56-36 win over Eastbourne at the Abbey Stadium on Thursday.
Sky Sports Elite League
Swindon Robins 56
Skipper Troy Batchelor won four of his five rides as the Robins gained revenge for their defeat at Arlington on Monday, but this was an all-round team effort from Alun Rossiter’s side.
Dakota North impressively recorded three race victories of his own and guests Hans Andersen and Jason Garrity also played their part as the Robins took control early on and never looked like letting go.
Both reserves, in fact, were to the fore with the rapidly-improving Nathan Greaves twice superbly defeating the far more experienced Timo Lahti, to the delight of the crowd, while Garrity took the scalp of World Longtrack Champion Joonas Kylmakorpi in Heat 14.
Successive 5-1s in Heats 4 and 5 saw Swindon race into a 21-9 lead, and Eastbourne’s move to nominate Bjarne Pedersen for a tactical ride in Heat 6 did not produce the desired result as the visiting No.1 had to settle for third place while team-mate Mikkel Michelsen won the race.
A frantic Heat 10 saw North superbly go past Michelsen and Cameron Woodward with Andersen snatching third from Woodward on the line, and that gave the Eagles the chance for a second go at double points.
But the outcome was exactly the same as Pedersen took the win but the man on the tactical ride, Kylmakorpi, came home in third place for a 5-2 only, as Simon Gustafsson again split the visiting pair.
Swindon then upped the ante in the closing stages with Greaves partnering North to a brilliant 5-1 in Heat 12, Andersen going past Michelsen in the next as Batchelor took the flag, and Garrity then teaming up with Nick Morris ahead of Kylmakorpi in Heat 14.
The final race produced some spectacular action behind clear leader Batchelor, with North throwing everything at Pedersen and Michelsen only to be squeezed out – but the Robins’ work was already complete by that stage.
Batchelor said: “Dak was on fire today and there were a lot of positives. We got whooped on Monday but we came back strong.
“We’ve got a busy month coming up so we just need to keep on rolling. It was a good night for me and hopefully I can keep that going after I get back from the Grand Prix for Monday night.”
SWINDON: Troy Batchelor 12, Dakota North 10, Jason Garrity 9+1, Nick Morris 8, Hans Andersen 7+1, Nathan Greaves 6+2, Simon Gustafsson 4.
EASTBOURNE: Bjarne Pedersen 11, Mikkel Michelsen 8+1, Joonas Kylmakorpi 6, Timo Lahti 5, Joe Jacobs 4, Cameron Woodward 2+1, Daniel Halsey 0.