DOUBLE DELIGHT FOR THE ISLE OF WIGHT

Friday June 29, 2007
ISLE of Wight duo Chris Holder and Jason Bunyan took the 2007 Premier League Pairs Championship at Somerset’s Oak Tree Arena, with a thrilling victory in the Grand Final against Glasgow.

The Islanders pair both came from behind in the Grand Final against the Tigers duo of Shane Parker and Craig Watson, in what turned out to be a great night’s racing in front of a large Somerset crowd.

Birmingham missed out on qualifying for the semi-finals, but they did put up a gallant fight despite being without skipper Jason Lyons who’s had to fly back to Australia following the death of his father. Ulrich Ostergaard scored 12 points and Emiliano Sanchez scored 4 to total 16, but it was Workington (24) and Newcastle (21) who progressed to the sudden-death semi-final stage. Isle of Wight and Glasgow joined them from Group A.

The meeting adopted the regular pairs meeting scoring system of 4 points for a win, 3 for second, two for third and zero for last place.

The Brummies pairing didn’t get off to the best of starts conceding a maximum 7-2 to the Kings Lynn duo of Tomas Topinka and Daniel Nermark, but they did hit back in their next ride when Ostergaard and Sanchez raced to a 6-3 against Newcastle’s Josef Franc and Christian Henry.

In Birmingham’s third ride Redcar’s Gary Havelock led from tapes to chequered flag, but Ostergaard and Sanchez kept James Grieves at the back which resulted in a 5-4 to the Brummies. In Brummies final ride the in-form Workington duo of Kauko Nieminen and James Wright raced to a 6-3, with Ostergaard splitting the Comets pair.

With the group stages now complete, the event moved onto the sudden-death semi-finals.

In the first semi-final Franc took the chequered flag for Newcastle, but with Isle of Wight’s Holder and Bunyan second and third, it was the Islanders who qualified for the Grand Final with a slender 5-4 advantage. Workington’s Nieminen won the second semi-final, but with Glasgow’s Parker and Watson filling in behind the Comets rider, the 5 points were enough to see the Scottish side progress through to the final against the Isle of Wight.

Newcastle won the consolation final 6-3 against Workington to finish in third place.

In the Grand Final Parker was first away for Glasgow, with Islander Holder in hot pursuit ahead of Watson and Bunyan. On the third lap Holder fought his way past Parker to take the win, but with Watson holding third place ahead of Bunyan the Tigers still looked set for victory. However, they hadn’t accounted for Bunyan’s fighting qualities as he passed the Australian on the final lap. This wrapped up a great night for the travelling Isle of Wight supporters, as their team clinched the Premier League Pairs title in dramatic style with a last-gasp 6-3 advantage over the 2006 winners Glasgow Tigers.

Scorers
GROUP A: Isle of Wight 24(Chris Holder 16, Jason Bunyan 8), Glasgow 22 (Shane Parker 12, Craig Watson 10), Somerset 21 (Magnus Zetterstrom 13, Emil Kramer 8), Rye House 15 (Tommy Allen 5, Chris Neath 10), Sheffield 10 (Andre Compton 2, Ricky Ashworth 6),
GROUP B: Workington 24 (James Wright 9, Kauko Nieminen 15), Newcastle 21 (Christian Henry 8, Josef Franc 13), King's Lynn 17 (Daniel Nermark 9, Tomas Topinka 8), Birmingham 16 (Emiliano Sanchez 4, Ulrich Ostergaard 12), Redcar 12 (Gary Havelock 10, James Grieves 2),

Semi-Final 1: Isle of Wight beat Newcastle (5-4)
Semi Final 2: Glasgow beat Workington (5-4)
Consolation Final: Newcastle beat Workington (6-3)
Grand Final: Isle of Wight beat Glasgow (6-3)


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