RESULT: BRITISH U21 FINAL
Twice the bridesmaid and finally the glowing bride Team GB international Robert Lambert overcame the disappointment of twice previously having lost out in the final after unbeaten routes to win the British U21 title.
Lambert was in a class of his own as wasted little time in posting a full house over the 20 heats, a process that took a while to complete after a heat two incident involving Danyon Hume and Josh Bailey. Both were forced to withdraw from the meeting, Hume because he was taken to hospital with a suspected broken arm - a journey in which the paramedic had to accompany him resulting in a long delay - and Bailey withdrawing after attempting to ride on through the pain barrier.
Current Pirate James Shanes was arguably the entertainer of the meeting producing the ride of the night in heat 11 to come from the back to pick up a third consecutive second place. The stadium erupted in derision though when he was next out after a first bend tussle resulted in the harshest of decisions to disqualify him, the primary cause, in the eyes of the referee, of Greaves falling.
Shanes himself couldn't believe the verdict and with his final ride up against Lambert and the promising Dan Bewley the semi-finals were just beyond him.
Indeed Lambert's biggest threat appeared early on to come from Dan Bewley as he charged to back to back victories, ending the run of four successive gate four wins to triumph off gate one in heat 5, but third time out attempting to chase down Ellis Perks he had too much speed on and crashed out at the third turn.
It was to prove an area of the track that was to jinx Bewley as in the semi-final he and Perks collided in the first running with Perks' night ended through disqualification and then in the re-run Bewley failed to negotiate the turn again. Referee Barbara Horley initially declared a two-man re-run - defending champion Josh Bates , who claimed a last gasp heat 20 win to make the top 6, and Nathan Greaves - but with the lateness of the hour she awarded the heat.
2016 bronze medallist Adam Ellis had dropped just one point on his way to the final but with Lambert in the form he was in the best the former Poole rider could achieve was silver this time around.
1 Robert Lambert 3, 3, 3, 3, 3 = 15+3
2 Adam Ellis 3, 2, 3, 3, 3 = 14+2
3 Josh Bates 2, 3, 1, 1, 3 = 10+3+1
4 Nathan Greaves 2, 1, 2, 3, 1 = 9+2+0
5 Ellis Perks 3, 1, 3, 3, 2 = 12+0
6 Dan Bewley 3, 3, 0, 2, 2 = 10+0
7 Liam Carr 2, 3, 1, 2, 1 = 9
8 Zach Wajtknecht 0, 2, 0, 2, 3 = 7
9 James Shanes 2, 2, 2, 0, 1 = 7
10 Max Clegg Fx, 2, 2, 0, 2 = 6
11 Connor Mountain 1, 1, 1, 1, 2 = 6
12 Jack Smith 1, 0, 3, 1, 0 = 5
13 Danny Phillips 1, 1, 2, 0, 0 = 4
14 Luke Harris 0, 0, 1, 2, 0 = 3
15 Josh Bailey 1, 0, NS, NS, NS = 1
16 Danyon Hume Fx, NS, NS, NS, NS = 0
Ht.1 Ellis Perks, James Shanes, Danny Phillips, Max Clegg (fell exc) 61.19
Ht.2 Adam Ellis, Liam Carr, Josh Bailey, Danyon Hume (fell exc) 62.25
Ht.3 Robert Lambert, Nathan Greaves, Jack Smith, Zach Wajtknecht 61.90
Ht.4 Dan Bewley, Josh Bates, Connor Mountain, Luke Harris 62.44
Ht.5 Dan Bewley, Zach Wajtknecht, Danny Phillips, Josh Bailey 61.34
Ht.6 Josh Bates, Max Clegg, Nathan Greaves, Danno Verge 61.91
Ht.7 Liam Carr, James Shanes, Connor Mountain, Jack Smith 63.53
Ht.8 Robert Lambert, Adam Ellis, Ellis Perks, Luke Harris 60.94
Ht.9 Jack Smith, Danny Phillips, Luke Harris, Alfie Bowtell 63.50
Ht.10 Robert Lambert, Max Clegg, Connor Mountain, Danno Verge 61.43
Ht.11 Adam Ellis, James Shanes, Josh Bates, Zach Wajtknecht 61.07
Ht.12 Ellis Perks, Nathan Greaves, Liam Carr, Dan Bewley (fell exc) AWD
Ht.13 Robert Lambert, Liam Carr, Josh Bates, Danny Phillips 60.94
Ht.14 Adam Ellis, Dan Bewley, Jack Smith, Max Clegg (rtd) 61.53
Ht.15 Nathan Greaves, Luke Harris, Alfie Bowtell, James Shanes (exc) 63.50
Ht.16 Ellis Perks, Zach Wajtknecht, Connor Mountain, Danno Verge 62.38
Ht.17 Adam Ellis, Connor Mountain, Nathan Greaves, Danny Phillips 62.82
Ht.18 Zach Wajtknecht, Max Clegg, Liam Carr, Luke Harris 62.56
Ht.19 Robert Lambert, Dan Bewley, James Shanes, Alfie Bowtell 61.47
Ht.20 Josh Bates, Ellis Perks, Danno Verge, Jack Smith 62.47
(Semi Final) Josh Bates, Nathan Greaves, Dan Bewley (fell exc), Ellis Perks (fell exc) AWD
(Final) Robert Lambert, Adam Ellis, Josh Bates, Nathan Greaves 61.94
Referee: Barbara Horley
Season Starts March 2018 (for 2017 table click here)