SWINDON Robins moved up to fourth in the SGB Premiership table thanks to a dominant home win over King’s Lynn Stars on Thursday evening.

There was to be no repeat of the Robins’ emphatic victory in the Premiership Supporters’ Cup at the Abbey Stadium a fortnight ago as the Stars made life extremely difficult for Alun Rossiter’s men, moving within four points of the hosts as late as heat 11.

But a timely 5-1 from the Australian duo of Jason Doyle and Troy Batchelor in heat 13 pushed the meeting back into the Robins’ favour and Rossiter’s men took advantage of Peterborough Panthers’ home loss to Wolverhampton Wolves to move into the table’s play-off places.

Team manager Rossiter called it an “all-round team performance” and the riders’ points tallies certainly reflected that.

Despite a last place in his first race, captain Doyle netted a perfect 12 from his next four, while Batchelor scored 10+1 from four outings.

David Bellego looked somewhere near his best as he picked up eight despite an exclusion in heat 10, while Rasmus Jensen had a mixed night for his 8+1.

Adam Ellis struggled in tricky conditions and only managed six from four rides, while Ellis Perks started off well before tailing off in his 4+1.

Debutant Claus Vissing battled hard throughout, but only collected 2+1 for his night’s work.

Events on the track got off to a slow start at the Abbey as some over-zealous watering of the surface delayed tapes-up in heat one.

When they eventually did get to racing – following a delayed start for some early movement – Bellego made a stunning start from gate two to storm to victory, while Robins captain Doyle found himself trailing at the back.

Clearly still disgruntled at the state of the Abbey surface, the Robins went behind in the second race after debutant Vissing fell off on the final bend with no one around him.

King’s Lynn’s Lewis Kerr made a clean start and remained unchallenged at the front, while Perks and Vissing both passed the struggling Simon Lambert before the debutants fall cost the Robins a shared heat.

Another shared heat followed in the third before Rossiter’s men recorded their first 5-1 of the night in heat four.

Vissing did what he would have liked to have done in his first outing as the experienced Dane made a great start before being pipped to the line by Batchelor on the final lap.

With the lead on the night safely back in the Robins’ favour, Rossiter’s side set about taking the meeting away from the Stars.

Jensen claimed the win in heat five as the home side moved further ahead before Doyle put his first heat disappointment behind him in emphatic fashion by breaking the track record on his way to a 4-2 heat advantage alongside Bellego.

Swindon claimed an easy 5-1 in heat seven before Bellego put a disappointing night at Wolves on Monday behind him to record his second win of the night in heat eight.

With the Robins’ lead at 10 points, Stars’ team manager Peter Shroek played a tactical substitute card that turned the momentum of the meeting back towards his side.

Robert Lambert partnered Craig Cook in heat nine and, after Ellis was disqualified for his second tapes infraction – replaced by Perks – the two Stars men roared to a 5-1 to cut the Robins’ lead to just six.

Jensen did temporarily squeeze into second on the final lap, but Cook dived back down the inside to steal second back off the Dane.

With the pressure perhaps beginning to tell on the home side, Bellego caused a three-man collision at the start of heat 10 between himself, Doyle and Erik Riss.

But despite the Frenchman being excluded from the re-run, the Swindon skipper got back on his feet to secure a vital heat win and deny the Stars a path back into the meeting.

Robert Lambert did cut the gap in the next, though, as the Stars picked up a 4-2 before Swindon’s Australian duo of Doyle and Batchelor wrestled momentum back towards the hosts.

Their 5-1 in heat 13 preceded a shared penultimate race, while Doyle and Bellego avoided each other in the finale to ensure the Stars headed back to Norfolk empty-handed.


SWINDON: Jason Doyle 12 (0-3-3-3-3), David Bellego 8 (3-1-3-X-1), Rasmus Jensen 8+1 (1’- 3-1-3), Adam Ellis 6 (2-1-3 ), Troy Batchelor 10+1 (3-3-2-2’), Ellis Perks 4+1 (2-2’-0-0-0), Claus Vissing 2+1 (0-2’-0-0)

KING’S LYNN: Robert Lambert 13 (2-2-3-3-1-2), Michael Palm Toft 5+2 (1’-0-1’-1-2), Erik Riss 8 (3-1-2-2-0), Thomas Jorgensen R/R, Craig Cook 5+1 (1-2-2’-0), Lewis Kerr 8+3 (3-0-0-2-1’-1’-1’), Simon Lambert 1 (1-0-0)