Hammers get off mark at Eastbourne

THE Hammers claimed two Elite League points in this hard fought draw at Eastbourne on Good Friday evening.

THE Hammers claimed two Elite League points in this hard fought draw at Eastbourne on Good Friday evening.

The meeting was very close throughout with good racing as both sides fought it out in an effort to claim their first league points of the season.

An early Eagles 5-1 in the opening race was lost when Simon Gustafsson came down on the second lap when under pressure from Krzysztof Kasprazak, leaving the Pole to make the most of the his second chance with the first of his four race wins in the re-run.

Jonas Davidsson was passed by Cam Woodward on the exit of the first lap in heat three after a quick start, but Woodward suffered his own problems throughout the meeting with apparent fuel problems in heat twelve when on a rider replacement outing.

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The home side had a reserve pairing in sparkling form with Ricky Kling eager to put on a show against his former club and an apparently under-the-weather Dawid Lampart, who was in excellent form with two race wins.

The majestic Kasprzak aside, Adam Shields worked very hard all evening and was instrumental in the 4-2 advantage that the Hammers took in heat thirteen when he passed former team mate Joonas Kylmakorpi on the third lap.

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Four points up going into the penultimate heat, the Hammers looked firm favourites to take the match with the powerhouse Kasprzak in supreme form, unbeaten after four rides.

The Eagles duo of Woodward and Kling got the drop on Jonas Davidsson and Paul Hurry - who rode very well for his paid eight points - in heat fourteen and never looked back, bringing the home side right back into the match and drawing level on 42 points a piece.

With anticipation rife, the tapes rose to another quick Eagles start, with Matej Zagar joining Woodward in the race to the first turn. Kasprzak dived inside the Eagles skipper on the third turn to split the home pairing and was quickly joined by partner Shields, who closed out the race behind Zagar to ensure both sides went home with a draw - and the Hammers with two Elite League points.

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