READING Racers rounded off their Southern Development League home matches with a ruthless 28-6 win against Weymouth Wildcats.

In the first heat, Racers’ Luke Harris and 15-year-old Dan Gilkes got away in front of their rivals, but then appeared to head for the same piece of track in the third bend, resulting in Gilkes coming down.

Close behind him Kenny Bowdery also fell, and while many felt this was as a result of the faller in front of him, referee Paul Carrington judged it to be two separate incidents and excluded both stricken riders from the rerun. At the second attempt Harris sped from the tapes and defeated Luke Whitehead to give Reading a 3-2 lead.

Stephen Whitehouse also made a jet-propelled start in heat two to lead Jamie Sealey, William O’Keefe and James Chattin. O’Keefe found his way past Sealey and settled in behind his team mate for a 5-1 heat win to extend Reading’s lead.

Harris and Gilkes were much more aware of each other as they hit the front again in the third race and took another maximum heat advantage to give the Racers a 13-4 lead at the half-way point.

Weymouth suffered more misfortune in heat four, firstly when Bowdery took the lead ahead of Whitehouse and O’Keefe only to go into the first bend too fast on the second lap and end up crashing into the air fence in an awkward looking fall.

With Bowdery excluded from the rerun, his team-mate Whitehead then fell, leaving the Racers pair to complete a 5-0 heat win at the third attempt.

Whitehouse, having by far his best match of the season to date, followed Gilkes home for another 5-1 over Whitehead and Chattin in the fifth race to make the score 23-5 with one to go.

With Bowdery feeling worse for wear after his crashes, and O’Keefe asking to stand down from heat six due to fatigue after a busy night in which he also rode for Eastbourne in their National League match, they were replaced by Whitehead and Whitehouse respectively.

With both Reading riders unbeaten, the odds were stacked in their favour, and when Sealey slipped off it left the Racers pair to complete another maximum over Whitehead.

With a final score of 28-6, Reading are now second in the league to Kent only on points difference with a match in hand.

They now head into a series of away matches, against Plymouth, Kent and Weymouth, which will decide whether they take the spoils in their first season in the league.

Reading Racers: Luke Harris 9, Dan Gilkes 5+1 bonus, William O’keefe 5+1, Stephen Whitehouse 9+3.

Weymouth Wildcats: Kenny Bowdery 0, Luke Whitehead 4, Jamie Sealey 2, James Chattin 0.

Match Details: Heat One: Harris, Whitehead, Bowdery/Gilkes (fell,excluded (f,ex) Heat Two: Whitehouse, O’Keefe, Sealey, Chattin Heat Three: Harris, Gilkes, Sealey, Chattin Heat Four: O’Keefe, Whitehouse, Bowdery (f,ex,) Whitehead (f,ex) Heat Five: Gilkes, Whitehouse, Whitehead, Chattin Heat Six: Harris, Whitehouse, Whitehead, Sealey (f)