ALUN Rossiter was a happy man after his Swindon Robins side surged into the Elite League play-off places last night, as a well-rounded team performance saw them comfortably dispose of Lakeside 55-37.
Peter Kildemand (10+1), Dakota North (10+1) and Nick Morris (11+1) were all paid for double figures while reserve duo Steve Worrall and Nathan Greaves combined for paid 17, with Greaves recording his best figures since joining the Robins with 6+2.
In reply, Lakeside’s only resistance came from Davey Watt as the skipper managed 11, with no other rider scoring more than five points, meaning the hosts were able to cope with skipper Troy Batchelor only scoring 5+1 as he continues to recover from illness.
The win leaves the Robins a point ahead of Eastbourne who have slipped to fifth, three behind the Hammers who currently hold third, much to the pleasure of team boss Rossiter after the previous night’s disappointment at Poole.
“I’m really happy because everyone contributed and the boys dug so deep and produced,” he said.
“Troy didn’t have the best of nights but was still paid for six, so when we have two paid for 11 and one for 12 we can cope with that.
“Nick needs the confidence and is a little low but that will really help him, being at heat leader at 20 is tough and he’s still learning, so this will be really good for him.
“Nathan had a good night but is still learning and it’s all very positive.
“I’m still sure we’ll make the play-offs, people like to be down about it but I’m still really confident we will make it in.”
Watt made the gate in the opener as the first race of the night was shared, before the Robins duo landed the first blow as Greaves jumped from the tapes and rode four calm, assured, laps to take the victory ahead of his partner Worrall.
Heat three was shared, with Simon Gustafsson winning and Batchelor retiring, as was heat four as Lawson held off the advances of Morris for first and Greaves beat Paul Starke on the run to the line to secure third.
Kildemand and Batchelor’s maximum in heat six was immediately wiped out as Watt and Mikkel Bech struck back against a worryingly slow Morris and Gustafsson, with the Swede retiring, meaning the Robins’ lead was only four after the first six heats.
After looking vulnerable briefly the Robins took a hold as North and Worrall jumped from the gate and secured an important 5-1, before Gustafsson and Morris made things even more comfortable with a second successive maximum which saw the home lead stretched to 12 points.
That advantage was soon 16, as mechanical issues for Starke allowed Greaves through to back up Worrall for a third five-one on the spin, meaning Bech was able to emerge in black and white in heat 10.
The Dane’s task became a little easier after North was harshly excluded for slipping off alone in turn one, but he could only finish third as Kildemand produced a sublime move to pass Lewis Bridger for the win to limit the damage.
With the Hammers still well adrift, Watt took the second tactical in the final heat of eligibility, but the Aussie’s attempt was no more successful than Bech’s as he too finished third.
Hammers guest Kyle Newman won the race ahead of Batchelor, giving the visitors a 5-2 heat advantage which barely took a dent out of the home lead.
Heat 12 was shared as North won following a good first corner move, with Greaves sliding out while chasing Lawson for third, before Kildemand’s sublime ride in heat 13 ensured the meeting was won.
With the Robins in search of maximum points, Morris won heat 14 at a canter before leading North round for a 5-1 in heat 15 which put the gloss on a superb evening.
Next up for the Robins are home and away meetings with Eastbourne next week, with Monday’s trip to Arlington followed by the reverse fixture at Blunsdon next Thursday.
DON'T FORGET TAPES-UP IN MONDAY'S SWINDON ADVERTISER