Reading Bulldogs put in one of their best performances of the season on Monday night at Smallmead Stadium, with a 57-35 demolition of local rivals Swindon Robins.

Things were fairly tight early on with Reading leading by just eight points after seven races, but a succession of 5-1's throughout the remainder of the meeting saw the Bulldogs run out emphatic winners.

Reading team manager Jim Lynch was delighted with the win, he said: "It was a great team performance against a very good Swindon team. All the lads played their part once again, but special praise must go to Charlie (Gjedde), who bounced back from last week's injury in style."

Matej Zagar topped the Bulldogs scorechart with a superb 15 (paid 17), but the Slovenian had some great support from Charlie Gjedde, who had one of his best performances in Reading colours with 13 (paid 14) against his former club.

For Swindon Leigh Adams was top man with 12, with Lee Richardson next best with 9.

Heat 1 saw Adams and Seb Alden jump out of the gate for Swindon in first and second place, but Travis McGowan passed Alden on the first lap and Greg Hancock then got past him on lap three which gave the Bulldogs a share of the points.

Alden again made a good start in heat 2, but Sam Simota and Andy Smith both passed the Swede on the opening lap, with the ensuing 5-1 putting Reading into an early 8-4 lead.

Zagar won a drawn heat 3, and Hancock repeated the feat in heat 4 over Richardson and Mads Korneliussen, after Simota had fell whilst in third place.

Heat 5 saw Gjedde and Zagar fly from the gate where they raced to an excellent 5-1 over Adams and Korneliussen, which increased Reading's lead to 19-11.

Richardson then won a shared heat 6 ahead of McGowan and Hancock.

Ulamek made the start in heat 7 ahead of Gjedde and Gafurov, but Gjedde chased the Pole hard and eventually passed him around the outside on the third lap with the in-from Dane going onto take the chequered flag.

Simota and McGowan increased Bulldogs advantage to 30-18 with a 5-1 in heat 8, and then Gjedde and Zagar provided more of the same in heat 9 where they beat Richardson into third place.

McGowan and Hancock then made it three-in-row with another maximum in heat 10 over Ulamek and Gafurov, which saw Reading open up a twenty-point lead (40-20).

Adams (tactical ride) led heat 11 ahead of Zagar and Smith, but Ulamek fell whilst in fourth place and was excluded from the re-run. In the re-start Zagar took full-advantage of a second chance to defeat Adams, with Smith in third for Reading. The resultant 4-4 drawn heat maintained Bulldogs twenty-point advantage at 44-24.

Reading's lead became 48-26 with Gjedde and Simota picking up a 4-2 in heat 12, but Adams and Richardson replied with a Robins 4-2 in heat 13, which made the progressive score 50-30 with two heats remaining.

Ulamek led heat 14 ahead of Zagar and Smith, but Zagar pulled off a wonderful pass of Ulamek on the third lap to pick up his third race win of the night.

In the final race Adams and Richardson were first and second into the first corner, but Zagar and Gjedde both passed Richardson on the opening lap so the meeting finished with a drawn heat.

The 57-35 victory sees Reading remain in second place in the Elite League table just one point behind leaders Belle Vue.

The Bulldogs continue their busy period of Elite League local derby action this week. On Wednesday night they travel to Oxford to take on the Cheetahs at Cowley, and they the following evening they journey down the M4 to face the Swindon Robins at Blunsdon.

 

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