MATCH REPORT: Weakened Horspath pull off big win against the Aces

Horspath 90 – 86 Wednesfield, Elite League, Sunday 27th April 2014

The battle of two of the favourites for the Elite League title saw a good performance from the home Horspath team missing all of their Polish based stars take the honours 90-86 against a strong Wednesfield team.

Hammers rode an almost perfect first half capitalising on any errors or misfortune from the visitors on a track that heavy rain throughout the morning,

Two drawn heats started the meeting before Mark Boaler and Zac Payne grabbed a 7-3, with the next three races drawn Hammers notched a 6-3 via Chris Timms and Ryan Taylor taking advantage of a machine failure to Lee Aris.

A further 6-4 courtesy of Lukasz Nowacki and Lewis Osborne pushed the score to nine, an exclusion to Marcus Wadhams for legging in heat nine bought a fine win from Matt Smith but another point away.

Hammers went 12 up with another Nowacki and Osborne 6-4 in the 11th with the other races drawn until heat 14 which saw a big 7-3 to Aces from Wadhams and Smith. In the next race Aces were racing away to a maximum heat advantage a strong challenge from Nowacki saw the Hammer bought down by Aris who was excluded for legging Horspath taking the re-run 7-2 via Nowacki and Wayne Hutt.

Wednesfield rallied again with their own 7-2 following gate exclusion for Taylor with Ben Mould and Paul Heard the latter completing a maximum.

Horspath drew the last race before substituting Boaler and Nowacki for their reserves wih Aces taking the last 7-3 via Matt Smith and Chris Jewkes.

The match race saw Chris Timms – substituting for holder Bartosz Grabowski – take the flag after some very close encounters with Paul Heard. Referee Terry Ashford kept good order throughout this entertaining fixture that drew a big crowd despite the weather, Hammers will be happy to get a win with what is likely to be their most under strength squad of the season whilst Wednesfield will feel that it was a chance missed.

Horspath 90: Chris Timms 17+1, Ryan Taylor 10, Lukasz Nowacki 15, Lewis Osborne 9+2, Zac Payne 11+4, Mark Boaler 12+1,  Wayne Hutt 9+1, Ollie Riley 7.

Wednesfield 86: Ben Mould 16+1, Chris Jewkes 10+2, Ricki Johnson 4, Paul Heard 20, Mark Griffiths 7, Lee Aris 7, Marcus Wadhams 8, Matt Smith 14+2.

Combination fixture

Horspath 54: scorers Jordan Richardson 7, Danni Riley 9, Ollie Riley 14, Lee Clarke 1, George Horsley 7 Andy Johnson 13+1, Owen Johnson 3.

Wednesfield 83:  Mark Winwood 15, Lee Kemp 10+3, Roger Cox 14+1, Harrie Everiss 11+1, Mick Aris 6+3, Jordan Holdcroft 12, Connor Dyke 7+2.

Report by Horspath