Great Britain’s Dan Bewley led Wroclaw to an eleventh successive victory in the PGE Ekstraliga as they were convincing 51-39 winners at Czestochowa on Sunday.
Image courtesy of Steve Hone Photography
The league leaders still have aspirations of going through the entire league campaign unbeaten, and this was expected to be one of their toughest tests.
But Bewley was involved in the first 5-1 of the meeting with Maciej Janowski in Heat 3, at the expense of Mikkel Michelsen, and that was quickly backed up by Tai Woffinden who was involved in 5-1s in successive races to give Wroclaw total control and a 22-8 lead.
Bewley dropped just two points throughout the meeting, one to Maksym Drabik in Heat 8, and one to Leon Madsen in Heat 15 when he passed Michelsen on the second lap and then got close to the other Danish star – but by then, the match was already in the bag.
Bewley scored 13 points from five rides with Woffinden adding 5+3 from four, whilst Artem Laguta and Janowski were also in double figures and Piotr Pawlicki produced one of the rides of the day to get the better of Madsen and Michelsen in Heat 11.
Wroclaw now have a maximum 26 points after 11 matches, which is seven clear of Lublin who picked up a 52-38 home win over fourth placed Gorzow.
Bartosz Zmarzlik scored a 15-point maximum against his former club to lead the way with Fredrik Lindgren on 10+3, and the best performance for the visitors came from Martin Vaculik on 14+1.
The home side were also boosted by the return from injury of Dominik Kubera, whilst Szymon Wozniak crashed out for Gorzow but avoided serious injury.
Meanwhile Robert Lambert was in good form for Torun, who collected a key 53-37 win over Leszno to pull clear in the scrap at the bottom.
Lambert won his first three races and finished with eleven points from five rides, whilst Emil Sayfutdinov was another to score a full 15 against his old side.
The British star was involved in plenty of good racing, including a last-bend pass on Bartosz Smektala in Heat 9, and he split Jaimon Lidsey and Smektala in Heat 11 before running a last in Heat 15.
The only encouragement for Leszno was a successful return from injury for Janusz Kolodziej with 10+1, but they remarkably now find themselves in a fight for survival, just two points off the bottom of the table.
That bottom place is occupied by Krosno, who were beaten 51-38 at Grudziadz in a result which should go a long way towards securing the home side’s Esktraliga future.
They are now on to nine points, five clear of Krosno with just three matches remaining, after a solid display led by Vadim Tarasenko (10+2) and Fredrik Jakobsen (10) whilst Andzejs Lebedevs (13+1) and Jason Doyle (12+1) had little support for the visitors.
The re-arranged Division One meetings saw Ostrow move off the bottom of the table with a 51-38 home win over Bydgoszcz, and they threatened a shock the next day when they travelled to Zielona Gora and held the lead at the halfway stage.
But the leaders responded with a series of 5-1s in the closing stages to win 54-36, and Ostrow’s Grzegorz Zengota was red-carded out of the meeting after aiming a punch at team-mate Jakub Krawczyk.
Meanwhile there was an important 51-39 win for Gdansk at home to Lodz as they went fifth in the table whilst the visitors are left bottom and facing the prospect of relegation with three matches remaining.
In Division Two there were some big shocks, including the margin of the 60-30 win recorded by Gniezno over Opole, taking over at the top of the table in the process. Adam Ellis top-scored for the visitors with eight points from six rides.
Pila recorded a surprise 47-43 win at local rivals Rawicz in a meeting halted after Heat 13 due to heavy rain. Dan Gilkes put in a great display for the visitors with 9+1 from five rides, whilst Drew Kemp scored 3+1 for the hosts.
And there was also an away win for Tarnow, who were 41-37 winners at Daugavpils in a meeting curtailed after Heat 13 during rain. Steve Worrall scored one point from three rides for the Latvian outfit.