MATCH REPORT: Aces match Poole record with another British Team Cup win

Astley & Tyldesley’s Gin Pit Raceway was the venue for the 2015 British Team Knock-out Cup Finals on Sunday. Hard work by club members in the weeks leading up to the meeting saw the circuit and surrounds in top condition, aided by some Brighter Borough Funding from the Tyldesley Ward Councillors. The result was a terrific day’s racing on a warm, sunny day.

Brandon Whetton looks for team mate Mark Griffiths in the first semi final. Picture by Linda Kirkland.

Brandon Whetton looks for team mate Mark Griffiths in the first semi final. Picture by Linda Kirkland.

Defending champions Wednesfield, of Wolverhampton, made light work of an understrength Newport side, to win the first Semi-Final 102 -75. The South Wales side battled gamely, but the West Midlanders took the lead early on and gradually extended it throughout the match. Wednesfield scored solidly throughout, with reserve Carl Parfitt unbeaten in his four rides. Nicky Evans and Mark Carmichael scored well for Newport, with good support from Oli Sidwick.

British Team Knock-out Cup Semi-Final 1 result

Wednesfield 102
Carl Parfitt 16, Brandon Whetton 14+1, Paul Heard 14, Lee Aris 13+1, Lee Kemp 12+4, Ben Mould 12+2, Mark Griffiths 12+1, Chris Jewkes 9.

Newport 75
Nicky Evans 17, Mark Carmichael 15+2, Oli Sidwick 13+1, Dan Bock 9, Kevin Greaves 8, Colin Simmons 5, Jon Sidwick 5, Jack Harrold 3.

Referee – Darren Kent (Heckmondwike)


 

The second semi-final was a much closer affair. Birmingham opened up with two well worked 6-4s in the opening three heats. However, Stockport hit back with a 7-2 in heat 6 after Ricki Johnson was excluded for obstruction and held a 45-43 lead at the interval.

Birmingham's Scott Millward and Stockport's Jake Read do battle in the second semi final. Picture by Linda Kirkland.

Birmingham’s Scott Millward and Stockport’s Jake Read do battle in the second semi final. Picture by Linda Kirkland.

There was a dramatic swing in the second half as Stockport collapsed, suffering six race exclusions in the nine races. This included two in the last heat against the two Birmingham reserves, for Birmingham to qualify for the final with a convincing 95-76 win. Scott Millward and Mark Winwood top scored for the Brummies, with Chris Timms playing a real team role in going off outside grids. Jake Read lost twice for Stockport.

British Team Knock-out Cup Semi-Final 2 result

Stockport 76
Jake Read 17 (1), Terry Norman 13 (1), Mat Lush 12 (1), Dylan Radcliffe 11, Ben Higham 7 (1), Brian Eaton 6, Jack Lush 6, Chris Eaton 4 (1).

Birmingham 95
Scott Millward 17, Mark Winwood 16, Nathan Groves 13+1, Ricki Johnson 11+1, Ewan Hancox 11, Chris Timms 10+2, Matt Smith 10, Carl Winwood 7+2.

Referee – Mike Hack (Astley & Tyldesley)


 

The semi finals set up an all Midland League final, with Wednesfield taking on Birmingham. Local derby matches between the two teams are invariably keenly contested, this one even more so, with the British Team Knock-out Cup at stake.

Birmingham took a Johnson/Groves 6-4 heat win over Aris/Jewkes in the opening race, but Wednesfield immediately hit back with a 7-2 in the next race to Heard/Kemp over Winwood, after Timms was excluded for crossing the inside edge.

Matt Smith just takes it on the line against Brandon Whetton. Picture by Linda Kirkland.

Matt Smith just takes it on the line against Brandon Whetton. Picture by Linda Kirkland.

Wednesfield took two maximum heat wins in heats 5 and 6, after Smith suffered a gate exclusion in heat 6, to lead 35-23. Birmingham hit back with a 6-3 after Whetton was excluded after a clash with Groves, but Timms was excluded in the next race for blocking an opponent and Aris/Jewkes teamed up for a 7-2 win over Winwood.

Wednesfield held a commanding interval lead of 51-35. Birmingham took advantage of an exclusion to Mould for legging in heat 11, to take a 7-2 heat win to the Winwood/Timms pairing over Whetton. However, Wednesfield steadied the ship, with three 6 points and three 5 points scores in the next six races, to run out emphatic 94-78 winners, despite another exclusion to Mould in the last race.

Action from the final with Mark Winwood leading and Ricki Johnson trying to hold off the Aces challenge. Picture by Linda Kirkland.

Action from the final with Mark Winwood leading and Ricki Johnson trying to hold off the Aces challenge. Picture by Linda Kirkland.

Very few riders have ever beaten the 42 seconds barrier at Gin Pit, but Ricki Johnson clocked 41.88 seconds in heat 1 and Paul Heard recorded 41.98 seconds in heat 12.

All eight Wednesfield riders scored well in the final, putting in a typically professional display, as they equalled Poole’s all time record of 13 victories in this competition, to lift the magnificent cup for the third successive year. The awards were presented by Tyldesley Ward Councillors Joanne Marshall and Stephen Hellier, along with A&T Club Chairman, Bill Phillips. Thanks go to Kevin Greaves of Hereford Cleaning Services for supplying the winners’ sparkling drinks.

British Team Knock-out Cup Final result

Birmingham 78
Mark Winwood 15, Matt Smith 14, Ricki Johnson 13, Chris Timms 11 (1), Nathan Groves 11, Scott Millward 5, Andy James 5, Ewan Hancox 4.

Wednesfield 94
Paul Heard 17, Lee Aris 15 (2), Chris Jewkes 14 (1), Mark Griffiths 13, Lee Kemp 12 (3), Brandon Whetton 9 (2), Ben Mould 9 (1), Carl Parfitt 5 (1).

Referee – Darren Kent (Heckmondwike)