MATCH REPORT: Aces too much for battling Leicester
Defending Midland League Champions, Wednesfield Aces, had a comfortable win against the Leicester Monarchs, around the sunny but cold Ashmore Park track.
The score does not reflect the effort that Leicester put into this very competitive match, the East Midlanders pushed the Aces all the way with a team that was a mixture of youth and experience, which included former British and World champion Dave Hemsley.
The match started off in the Aces favour with two 7-3s and a 6-4 in the first three heats. In heat 4, Hemsley rolled back the years as he held Heard at bay and in the process got his partner Dave Frith through for a Monarchs 7-3.
Race 5 dealt a tapes exclusion to Scott Doherty, which resulted in another heat win to Leicester, but it was Lee Kemp who took the race win over Mark Whitehead and Craig Marchant.
The Aces got back to winning ways in heats 6 and 7, with two 7-3s from Whetton/Smith and Heard/Kemp. Heat 8 saw a fine race between Marchant and Aris, as the Aces rider tried every way he could to get past the Leicester rider, but the World Vets champion kept Aris in his sights and took the race win. The first half finished with a 5-5, bringing the interval score to 51-38 in the Aces favour.
Wednesfield came shooting out of the blocks in the second half with three 6-4s and a 7-3 in the first 4 heats. Notably, a good race in race 10 between Scott Doherty and Leicester’s young polish rider Damian Pelacykz, who swapped positions two or three times, but it was Doherty who came out on top to claim third place.
Leicester steadied the ship in heat 14 with a 5-5, but the Aces hit back in the next with a 6-3, but not without a incident, as Mike Baldock and Doherty clashed and the Leicester rider met his fate by impacting the floor at pace and hitting his head, but after a few minutes with the first aider, he was back on his feet and thankfully walked back to the pits.
Heat 16 was won by Brandon Whetton after his partner Kemp was excluded for movement at the tapes. Heat 17 was a Heard and Griffiths 7-3, with the final race being won by Matt Smith with Matt Harshorne in 2nd place, but the battle was going on at the back with Aris v Marchant round 2 unfolding. Marchant held the Aces rider at the back until lap 2, when looking for his rival to come on the outside, only for Aris to conduct a fine pass on the inside to round off a great match between these two Midland sides.
Leicester came fully equipped with good experienced and young riders, and if they can field that kind of team week in and week out then they will surprise a few teams in this league.
P. Heard 17, L. Kemp 12+1, L. Aris 14+1, Griffiths 15+1, B. Whetton 18+2,
M. Smith 18, C. Parfitt 4, S. Doherty 6+1
D. Frith 9+1, C. Marchant 13+1, N Venson 10+1, D Pelacykz 7, M Harshorne 11, M Baldock 5, D Hemsley 9+1, M Whitehead 9+1
The combination fixture turned out to be a fine match, as it ended up 69-69.
Leicester gave 9 points with the use of Mark Whitehead. All 13 races were very competitive and it was good to see the Whitehead girls backed up by Elizabeth Rigley out in force and Wednesfield with a good youthful side.
H. Rowley 17, K. Ryan 7+1, A. Aris 8, T. Bould 12+2, A. Tipton 3, C. Dyke 11, T. Rowley 2
E. Rigley 8+1, Ma. Whitehead 17+1, Mi. Whitehead 14+1, C. Whitehead 11, L. Whitehead 9+1, J. Whitehead 10