KENT and Glasgow racer Jack Thomas won the second British Under-21 semi-final at Birmingham on Wednesday.
Thomas scored 14 points from five rides and his triumph on the night was set up by a terrific pass on the previously unbeaten Nathan Greaves in Heat 13.
Greaves and Jack Smith both scored 13 to complete the top three whilst Joe Lawlor, Alfie Bowtell, Taylor Hampshire and Kyle Bickley also qualified for the Final at Berwick on May 1.
Thomas said: “My record in previous Under-21 meetings hasn't been the best at all to be honest.
“So I was travelling up thinking what I could do this year and I'm chuffed to bits to win it.
“I know I haven't done too many meetings yet, but having the two team spots is helping me massively and it's already pushing me in the right direction.”
SWINDON launched their Premiership title defence with a stunning 52-38 win at rivals Poole on Wednesday.
The Robins were victorious twice at Wimborne Road last year and made it a hat-trick with a fast-starting display, opening the meeting with three 5-1s in the first five races.
Two of them came from the Nick Morris/David Bellego combination, and Morris went on to top score with 14 points from five rides.
His only defeat came at the hands of Peter Kildemand in Heat 11, as the Dane headed the Pirates’ scores with 14 from six outings but lacked meaningful support.
Swindon riders won eleven of the fifteen races, with Morris backed up by Troy Batchelor on 12.
Robins boss Alun Rossiter said: “It’s a very good result, and I don’t think too many people saw that one coming!
“We hit them hard from the start, and although we had a spell where we got pegged back slightly we managed to kick-on again towards the end for all four points.
“It was a great effort from the team with a lot of good performances. It’s never easy to go down to Poole and win so we’re delighted to come away with that result.”
SOMERSET fought back from an early eight-point deficit to defeat Leicester 47-43 in the opening meeting at the Oaktree Arena.
The Rebels found themselves 5-13 down after two early Lions 5-1s but fought back strongly to take their first win of the campaign.
The scores were level with four heats to go, before back-to-back Somerset maximums in Heats 12 and 13 effectively secured the result in their favour.
However, there was a sting in the tail from Krystian Pieszczek and Hans Andersen who secured a 5-1 in Heat 15 over Jason Doyle to give the Lions a league point – which takes them top of the early Premiership table.
Doyle and Richard Lawson both scored 9+1 for the Rebels, whilst impressive newcomer Pieszczek racked up 12+2 for the visitors, with reserve Kyle Newman adding 11+1 from seven rides.
Somerset boss Garry May said: “After going those eight points down early doors things could have got really difficult for us, but the boys dug deep to not only claw their way back into the match, but to also go on and take victory on the night with a heat to spare.
“There were many positives to take from tonight’s match as well as some things we need to build and improve upon, not least of which is our gating, but it is still very early days and there is plenty more to come from the boys over the coming weeks.”
Andersen said: “Personally I made a few errors, touching the tapes being the main one but the team did really well overall.
“When we look at it tomorrow, we will be pretty happy with a point but now it feels a little bit disappointing because we could have won.”
GREAT Britain star Robert Lambert surged to a 15-point maximum to lead King’s Lynn to a 53-37 win over Belle Vue at the Adrian Flux Arena.
Skipper Lambert made a perfect start to the Stars’ season with five successive wins in a meeting which saw the home side pull clear in the latter stages.
The scores were level after eight races but three 5-1s and King’s Lynn 4-2s in the next six heats transformed the contest.
Reserve Lewis Kerr was also a key man in the Stars’ win as he piled up 12+1 from six rides, whilst Aces youngster Dan Bewley virtually matched that with a 12-point haul of his own.
But the visitors lost ground in a disastrous Heat 11 when tactical substitute Max Fricke suffered mechanical failure whilst Craig Cook fell to put the Stars ten points to the good.
Kerr said: “I am very happy with tonight, I scored 12+1 in the end, and I can’t ask for any better than that really.
“It was a busy night for me because I had six races. There were some good, close races and I am really pleased with how I performed.
“The racing wasn’t easy tonight because all the boys were on it. It doesn’t matter whether you are racing in the Premiership or Championship, all the riders want to win and I am glad that I managed to get a couple of wins to help the team.”
Belle Vue boss Mark Lemon said: “It was very much a meeting of two halves for us. We managed to keep the Stars in check early doors but then later on they found some form and powered away.
“Nights like these are frustrating because it’s hard to pinpoint where we went wrong. A few of the boys struggled, then Max blowing an engine and Craig sliding off in Heat 11 was quite bizarre.”
FRIDAY APRIL 20:
CHAMPIONSHIP: Lakeside v Redcar 8pm
CHAMPIONSHIP SHIELD: Edinburgh v Glasgow 7.30, Scunthorpe v Sheffield 7.30
NATIONAL LEAGUE KO CUP 1st round 1st leg: Belle Vue v Buxton 7.30
SATURDAY APRIL 21:
CHAMPIONSHIP SHIELD: Ipswich v Lakeside 7.30
NATIONAL LEAGUE KO CUP 1st round 1st leg: Eastbourne v Isle of Wight 7.30
NATIONAL TROPHY: Stoke v Birmingham 7pm
TYNE/TWEED TROPHY 1st leg: Berwick v Newcastle 7pm
SUNDAY APRIL 22:
CHAMPIONSHIP SHIELD: Newcastle v Redcar 6.30, Glasgow v Edinburgh 3pm
NATIONAL LEAGUE KO CUP 1st round 2nd leg: Buxton v Belle Vue 3pm
JON ARMSTRONG TESTIMONIAL: Mildenhall 2pm
Results Thursday April 19, 2018;
Swindon 48 (Nick Morris 11+2)
King’s Lynn 42 (Robert Lambert 10)
Premiership points: Swindon 3 King’s Lynn 1
Redcar 58 (Tobias Busch 13+1)
Newcastle 32 (Kevin Doolan 9)
Championship Shield points: Redcar 3 Newcastle 0
Sheffield 52 (Charles Wright 14+1)
Scunthorpe 38 (Richard Lawson 8+2)
Championship Shield points: Sheffield 3 Scunthorpe 0
Isle of Wight 43 (Ben Morley 13)
Plymouth 47 (Adam Roynon 14)
National Trophy points: Isle of Wight 0 Plymouth 3