Swindon Robins inflicted a second defeat in as many days on the Meridian Lifts Reading Bulldogs, when they ran out 49-44 winners on Friday evening at Smallmead Stadium.

It wasn't the ideal way to kick off the season for the Bulldogs and their poor starting saw them only pick up five heat winners all evening.

Despite the result, Reading Team Manager Jim Lynch wasn't too down-hearted after the meeting, he said: "Obviously it's always disappointing to lose, but it was only a challenge match and we must use them to test things out and blow all the winter cobwebs away.

"I must say though Swindon are a very good side and they were worthy winners in both meetings, but the serious stuff starts on Monday against Peterborough and we'll be ready for that."

Looking at the score-charts for Reading, Matej Zagar had a good night with 11 (paid 12) and Mark Lemon was next best with 10.

For the Robins Leigh Adams led the way with an 11 (paid 12) maximum and also for the second night running Seb Ulamek impressed with 9 (paid 10).

The meeting started in a similar theme to the previous night at the Abbey Stadium with the opening three races being shared, but it was the Bulldogs who got their noses in front with a 4-2 from Danny Bird and Travis McGowan in heat 4, although Lee Richardson did fall whilst leading on the third lap.

Adams and Tomasz Chrzanowski levelled it up with a 4-2 in heat 6, and McGowan made a last bend surge to pass Charlie Gjedde to earn Reading a share of the points in heat 7.

Chrzanowski and Mads Korneliussen put Swindon in front for the first time with a 4-2 over Bird and Sam Simota in heat 8, and then Zagar won a drawn heat 9.

However, things started to go wrong for Reading when Ulamek and Gjedde romped to a shock 5-1 over Greg Hancock in heat 10 and, Adams and Chrzanowski increased the Swindon lead to 37-29 with a 4-2 in heat 11.

Zagar was first to the chequered flag in a shared heat 12, but Swindon raced into a 45-33 lead with a 5-1 from Richardson and Adams in heat 13.

Lemon (tactical ride) and Janusz Kolodziej did reduce the arrears with an 8-1 in heat 14 over Gjedde and Andrew Moore, but it was too little too late as the match was over for the Bulldogs as they trailed 46-41 with just one heat remaining.

Ulamek raced to a good win in the final race ahead of Zagar and Hancock and, the resulting 3-3 made the final score 49-44 in the Robins favour.

Next up for the Bulldogs is the visit of Peterborough Panthers to Smallmead Stadium, when last season's play-off finalists race the first Elite League match of the season in front of the Sky Sports cameras (7.30pm).

 

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