OXFORD Cheetahs claimed a comfortable victory over Plymouth Gladiators to stay top of the Jubilee League southern section.

The hosts won 56-34 against their weakened opponents, who were hampered by the late withdrawal of Ben Barker.

The 34-year-old collected 17+1 when the teams drew 45-45 the previous night and Plymouth felt his absence at Sandy Lane.

Cheetahs are now one point clear at the summit, although second-place Poole Pirates – who have contested two fewer meetings - are right behind them after beating Birmingham Brummies, also 56-34.

Plymouth had already lost Barker when Alfie Bowtell suffered a knee injury crashing out of the first heat, which Scott Nicholls won on his way to a maximum.

Cheetahs never looked back, going 13-5 ahead after three races and keeping the hammer down to extend the lead.

They soon moved out of sight as Cameron Heeps continued his great form with a paid maximum, while Nicholls bagged 12 points and Aaron Summers collected 11+2.

Josh Pickering claimed half of Plymouth's points, with just four visiting riders completing the meeting.

Cheetahs host Poole in their penultimate southern section clash next Tuesday.


OXFORD 56: Cameron Heeps 13+2, Scott Nicholls 12, Aaron Summers 11+2, Paul Starke 9+2, Troy Batchelor 9+1, Nathan Stoneman 2+2, Jack Thomas r/r.

PLYMOUTH 34: Josh Pickering 17, James Wright 8, Jake Mulford 6, Ben Morley 2+1, Alfie Bowtell 0, Ben Barker DNR, Edward Kennett r/r.

Jubilee League points: Oxford 3, Plymouth 0