Reading Bulldogs ended their hectic schedule and profitable period in the Sky Sports Elite League with a 53-40 defeat at Swindon on Thursday evening at the Abbey Stadium, Blunsdon.

The Bulldogs have raced six meetings in the past two weeks and a series of victories home and away had seen Reading move six points clear at the top of the table, but they came out second best on this occasion against a Swindon team that is just starting to run into a bit of form.

The Bulldogs had previously held the Indian sign over the Robins this season having beaten them on the five other occasions the two teams had met this season. However, it wasn't all bad news for the Bulldogs as they did pick up the aggregate bonus point, which could prove all so crucial in the final tally up for the play-offs in around five weeks time.

Matej Zagar was top man for the Bulldogs with 11 (paid 13), Greg Hancock was next best on 11 and Travis McGowan also rode well for the second evening running with 9 (paid 10).

For the Robins, Leigh Adams was untouchable with a 14 (paid 15) maximum and Lee Richardson had one of his better nights of the season scoring 11 (paid 12).

Things got off to an even start with Adams passing Hancock to win heat 1, but Bulldogs guest Davey Watt held off Tomasz Chrzanowski, so the opening race ended honours even.

Mads Korneliussen and Chrzanowski gated on a 5-1 for the Robins in heat 2, but Sam Simota fell on the third bend whilst challenging for second place so the race had to be re-run with the Czech Republic rider excluded. In the re-start the Robins duo cruised to a 5-1 over Andy Smith, who was in his first ride back from injury.

Heat 3 was a very tight affair with Renat Gafurov eventually defeating McGowan and Watt, with the ensuing 3-3 making the progressive score 11-7.

Zagar made a great start off the outside to win a drawn heat 4 and then Richardson passed Hancock on the first lap to win heat 5. Simota defeated Gafurov for third place, so the points were shared.

Heat 6 was a 3-3 with Adams winning at a canter ahead of Smith and Zagar and then Seb Ulamek was the first to the chequered flag in heat 7, in what was a fifth successive 3-3.

Heat 8 saw the Robins increase their lead to 27-21 with Gaurov and Chrzanowski racing to a 4-2 over McGowan and Simota, and then Zagar made a blistering start to give the Bulldogs a share of the points in heat 9.

Adams and Richardson were first away in heat 10, where they then went onto race to a comfortable 5-1 over McGowan and Watt. The Robins five-pointer put them ten points up (35-25).

Bulldogs team manager Jim Lynch then played his trump card and elected for Hancock to go for double points in heat 11in a bid to reduce the arrears - and the move paid off a treat. Hancock and Zagar both made super starts and romped to an 8-1 over Korneliussen and Ulamek, which put Reading right back in the meeting trailing by just three points (36-33).

McGowan then had a big blast around the outside of Chrzanowski and Gafurov on the first two bends to win heat 12, with the 3-3 making the progressive score 39-36 with three races remaining.

Ulamek made a super start to win heat 13 and with Hancock making a mistake on the third lap, it let Adams through for second place and the Robins had themselves a 5-1 and a 44-37 lead.

Heat 14 then saw Swindon wrap up the victory on the night with a maximum from Richardson and Chrzanowski over Simota and Watt.

The Robins big two of Adams and Richardson finished off the night's proceedings with a 4-2 over Zagar and McGowan in heat 15, which made the final score 53-40 to the men from Wiltshire.

After their recent busy spell of six meetings in two weeks Reading now take a break for the next eleven days. The Bulldogs go into that break four points clear of second placed Peterborough at the top of the Elite League table.

Supporters are reminded that their won't be any speedway at Smallmead next Monday - the next Reading Bulldogs fixture will be at home to Belle Vue Aces on Monday 28th August (7.30pm).

 

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