The Plymouth Devils maintained their 100% record despite missing three riders at Swindon on Thursday night securing a 46-44 deserved win. Having already secured their place in the National trophy Final the Devils went into this clash in a relaxed mode despite being without No. 1 Steve Boxall, Henry Atkins and Rob Parker.
Stoke’s Luke Priest came in for Boxall and did his job against a strong Swindon side whilst rider-replacement for Atkins produced paid 9 and 16 year old William O’ Keefe battled hard at reserve with his heat 2 third place in the end being vital.
Callum Walker was in superb form with a win and two paid wins in his magnificent paid 14 haul from the No. 7 berth in what was his best performance to date in Devils colours. He combined with Richard Andrews for a vital heat 8 maximum 5-1 heat win that levelled the scores having also combined with skipper Benji Compton in heat 7 for a 5-1 that brought his side back into the meeting with Swindon 22-14 ahead at that stage. Then Compton and Walker put the Devils in the driving seat for victory with their second 5-1 together in the penultimate heat 14 to put the Devils ahead by 4 at 40-44, the first time they had been in the lead in the meeting!
Adam Roynon and Walker went into heat 15 knowing that they needed at least two points to secure victory. Roynon led the unbeaten Zach Wajtjnecht before the home man surged through to secure his 15 point maximum with Roynon giving everyone, including himself, a mini scare when picking up drive going into the pits bend but thankfully controlling it and riding on for second place to secure victory for his side.
Team boss Laurence Rogers had a wide smile after the win, “ Seemingly we were being written off as being beaten even before a wheel was turned but the boys knuckled down and did a great job. We were under no pressure as we are already through to the final so we went in relaxed and I told the boys to go out and enjoy it and earn some money. They did just that with Callum superb. The lad has ridden for me now for three years and this was the best I have ever seen him ride. I bumped into him at the services just before the track and said to him to go and enjoy himself and believe in himself –and he did just that. Credit to all the boys for their efforts and proudly we have finished the mini-league at the top and with a 100% record home and away….roll on the Final. The fans should be proud of each of them.”
SWINDON 44: Zach Wajtknecht 15, Dan Greenwood 8+1, Layne Cupittr 8+1, David Mason 7, Taylor Hampshire 4, Lewis Whitmore 2+1, David Wallinger r/r
PLYMOUTH 46: Callum Walker 12+2, Adam Roynon 12, Benji Compton 10+1, Luke Priest 7+1, Richard Andrews 4+2, William O’Keefe 1+1, Henry Atkins r/r