Bournemouth Buccaneers had three unbeaten riders as late as heat 10 as they hit the Dudley Heathens hard from the off in their National Development league, but the Heathens recovered well and claimed a valuable league point that moved them to joint top of the league and left Bournemouth still perilously poised in 4th place, 5 points ahead of Rye House who have 4 matches in hand.
Lee Smart, himself beaten when on a tactical ride by Mark Baseby was the first Heathens to upset James Brundle unbeaten run with a vital heat 11 victory and then he inflicted the same agony on Jerran Hart, who was returning to the Bournemouth fold and had three hugely impressive race wins to his name, when the pair met in heat 13.
One heat later Mark Baseby’s unbeaten sequence was broken when tactical rider Jake Anderson claimed a race win that putshed the Heathens into grappling distance of the consolation away point – leaving the visitors needing a 5-1 to do so, a mission that Anderson and Smart accomplished with style.
Speaking about the fightback of the Heathens, the Buccaneers team manager Garry May said “I am not that surprised to be honest. I have been watching their results and they are renowned for being strong finishers. I have to say that I really feared our 100% home record was going to be lost tonight but the new guys came in and all did their bit. James (Sarjeant) scored well and being against his old club will have pleased him no end, that’s for sure. Danny (Stoneman) gained that valuable paid win to start with and Jerran did what we knew he was capable of. That said, I would like to stress the point that making the changes was no easy task and we really didn’t want to break up the team that we started with but we want to defend that league title and we just fel that they we needed a little more impetus at this stage of the season. We still have a lot of work today, especially as we dropped a point tonight, but like I said it could have been worse. Dudley are a good side and deserved something for their efforts. It just means that our meeting at Plymouth on Friday becomes even more crucial for us to try and come away with a point from their. That will be tough though.”
Scorers: Bournemouth 50 M.Baseby 12 (3,3,3,2,1); J.Hart 11 (3,3,3,2,0); J.Brundle 9+1 (3,3,2,1′); J.Sarjeant 8+3 (3,2′,1,1′,1′); K.Howarth 6+2 (2′,0,2′,2); D.Stoneman 2+1 (2′,0,0); A.Baseby 2 (0,1,0,1)
Dudley 45 L.Smart 14+1; J.Anderson 14; A.Morris 8+1; M.Dyer 6+1; B.Evans 2; T.Perry 1+1; R.Franklin 0
League Points awarded: Bournemouth 2 Dudley 1