Hackney Hawks hammer Stoke

Hawks pick up first league win since return to speedway

The newly re-launched Hackney Hawks opened their home programme at Lakeside on Good Friday, collecting a maximum three match points to add to the point already gained from their first fixture at King’s Lynn.

Three 5-1 advantages in the first four races put the Hawks in early control at 17-7, while a third in heat 12 finally wrapped things up at 45-29. British under-21 Finalist Shane Hazelden featured in all three of those maximum results, and finished the day with a tremendous 12+1 tally that made him joint-top scorer alongside fellow U-21 Finalist Marc Owen and captain David Mason, who produced the pass of the match in getting past both Tony Atkin and Gareth Isherwood on the very last bend of Heat 3. There was back-up from the rest of the team too, with all the remaining Hackney riders paid for at least one race win.

Joint-team manager John Sampford was delighted with the result. “This was potentially a tricky meeting in the sense that we followed on from the earlier Lakeside-Eastbourne match on a sundrenched circuit,” he said.

“As things materialised, we quickly grabbed a 10-point lead and never let go. We could even have won by a few more had Ben Hopwood not snapped a throttle cable on the start line in Heat 14.

“It was great to see Shane (Hazelden) rack up his big score and Marc (Owen) too. We were also delighted to see David Mason back to his best around one of his former stamping grounds. All in all, this was just the result we needed to take us into another tough-looking match against Belle Vue.”

That fixture against the highly rated Colts is the next Hawks’ home meeting, but will be staged at their other home circuit of Rye House on Saturday.

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