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EKSTRALIGA | VACULIK UNBEATEN AS GORZOW BEAT BULLS

Slovak star Martin Vaculik raced to a 14 paid 15-point maximum for Gorzow as they saw off champions Leszno in an epic last- heat decider.

06 / 06 / 2021, 20:41

Slovak star Martin Vaculik raced to a 14 paid 15-point maximum for Gorzow as they saw off champions Leszno in an epic last-heat decider at the Edward Jancarz Stadium on Sunday.

Gorzow held on for a vital 47-43 victory over the Bulls to claim the aggregate bonus point and move second in the PGE Ekstraliga standings – level with leaders Wroclaw on 13 points.

But the men in yellow and blue were forced to do it the hard way as Leszno stayed within four points of them all night.

With the scores level at 36-36 after Vaculik won heat 12 ahead of the visitors’ Janusz Kolodziej, world champion Bartosz Zmarzlik stormed clear in race 13, with partner Rafal Karczmarz snatching third spot from World Under-21 champion Jaimon Lidsey to claim a Gorzow 4-2.

Leszno looked set to take a lead into the last-heat decider when Kolodziej and Piotr Pawlicki hit the front in race 14. But Pawlicki was ushered to the back by dogged rides from Danish champion Anders Thomsen and Szymon Wozniak to square the race for Gorzow.

The home side just needed a 3-3 to seal the win in heat 15 and Vaculik roared to the front. Zmarzlik temporarily found himself at the back behind Leszno pair Jason Doyle and Emil Sayfutdinov.

But the double world champion stormed past the Russian before turning up the heat on Doyle, easing the pressure on Vaculik. JD held on for second, but it was not enough to deny Gorzow victory.

Zmarzlik raced to 12 points, while Thomsen tallied nine paid 10. Kolodziej and Doyle impressed for the Bulls on 11 paid 12 each, with Sayfutdinov adding eight paid nine.

Despite the defeat, Bulls fans will have taken heart from a promising performance by junior Damian Ratajczak, who only turned 16 on May 23.

He scored six, winning the juniors’ race before joining Doyle at the front for a 5-1 over Marcus Birkemose and Wiktor Jasinski in race four, suggesting he could be the answer to Leszno’s search for points from the junior berths.

Elsewhere, Zielona Gora hauled themselves off the bottom of the PGE Ekstraliga table as Mateusz Tonder and Patryk Dudek led them to a 48-42 win at home to Torun.

Tonder continued his impressive comeback after suffering a broken arm in pre-season, recording 11, while Dudek tallied 10 paid 11. Piotr Protasiewicz notched nine, Max Fricke scored seven and Matej Zagar accrued four.

Pawel Przedpelski led the Torun charge on 14 paid 15 from six races, while Jack Holder bagged 12 paid 13 and Robert Lambert notched nine paid 10 as the visitors’ sealed the bonus point 93-87 on aggregate.

For full details of the day’s results, scorers and the latest league table, click here: http://bit.ly/2uoK8OX.

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