Former Glasgow Tigers star Richard Lawson, now with Somerset and Lakeside, won the second British Semi-Final at Leicester, writes the British Speedway press office.
Lawson totalled 13 points from his five rides to edge out former champion Chris Harris (Glasgow Tigers) on count-back, with seven times winner Scott Nicholls third on the night with 12.
Lawson dropped his only points to home captain Danny King in Heat 4 and then Nicholls in Heat 10, but he did beat Harris when they met in Heat 7 which proved decisive with both riders ending with three wins and two second places.
Nicholls, meanwhile, recovered from a third place in Heat 1 to win his next three outings before missing out to his Rye House team-mate Harris in what effectively became a match-race for second overall in Heat 18, with the two enjoying a good tussle.
Lawson said: “It’s always nice to win this kind of event and it was one of those nights when it all came together. I made some decent starts so I really enjoyed it.
“I think it’s twice now that I’ve missed out on the Final (in the British Final) because I’ve messed up the semi, so now I need to get that off my back and get into that Final, and then anything can happen.”
Amongst the other qualifiers, Lewis Kerr (Glasgow Tigers) was also consistent throughout on his way to 12 points and a place in the Final at Belle Vue on June 11, whilst Richie Worrall (Glasgow Tigers) also made it through despite a heavy crash in Heat 16.
Worrall was the only unbeaten rider after three outings but came to grief in his fourth when race leader Adam Ellis suddenly locked up in front of him on the third bend.
With Ellis disqualified, Worrall was forced to change bikes for the re-run where he finished second to confirm his place in the Final and he was then timed out of his final ride.
King, too, got his job done in four rides as he went through the pain barrier to collect nine points before withdrawing due to his arm injury, whilst the last two places went down to a Heat 20 shootout.
All four of the riders could have made it through but in the event Ben Barker produced his best ride of the meeting to win whilst Ellis, who had put himself under pressure with the Heat 16 incident, came through in second to eliminate David Howe (Berwick Bandits) and Kyle Newman.
Howe finished on six points, the same total as Ashley Morris who put himself in the qualification picture by winning Heat 15, but his hopes ended when he found himself at the back of Heat 17 and fell on the last bend.
Matt Williamson (Edinburgh Monarchs) finished with one point.
RESULT: Richard Lawson 13, Chris Harris 13, Scott Nicholls 12, Lewis Kerr 12, Richie Worrall 11, Danny King 9, Ben Barker 8, Adam Ellis 8 (all qualify for British Final), Ashley Morris 6, David Howe 6, James Sarjeant 5, Kyle Newman 5, Ben Morley 4, Simon Lambert 3, James Shanes 3, Matt Williamson 1, Tom Woolley (res) 1.