MATCH REPORT: Great Blakenham back to their best

Norwich hosted Suffolk opponents Great Blakenham in front of a healthy crowd at a sunny Eaton Park on Sunday.

With the quiet but clinical Lewis Osbourne and Aussie favourite Cody Chadwick for Blakenham and a solid top six for Norwich, it was always going to be a tight affair, but
Blakenham’s trump card was Richard Williamson, winning all five heats and looking the best he has in years.

Jonjo Slaughter picked up vital thirds in four of his completed rides, making up for the heat 1 exclusion for legging Stars’ Craig Norton to the floor.  Norwich, with the strength in-depth just couldn’t manage any race wins and were made to look ordinary against the fire power of Osbourne and Chadwick.

Ten shared heats and five 6-4s for the Suffolk side was enough to seal victory. Lee Grange  was the stand out rider for the Stars, only coming close to taking a victory. Alan Parkins once again put in a good shift, Colby and Wenn chased hard, with Wenn slipping off in heat 11. Norton and Cullum both had bad days at the office, reserves, Jamie Medler and Alex Dyball, rode in the nominated for Norwich and took a 6-4 heat advantage against ever improving Sam Broom and Vlad Simmons.

Action from Norwich v Great Blakenham. Photos by Andrew Davison.

Action from Norwich v Great Blakenham. Photos by Andrew Davison.

Final score: Norwich Stars 76 – 83 Great Blakenham

Norwich scorers: Paddy Wenn 11(2), Craig Norton 13(2), Chris Cullum 5, Alan Parkins 14(1), Gary Colby 10(3), Lee Grange 15, Jamie Medler 6(1), Alex Dyball 2

In the Division 2 match that followed, the racing was a lot more entertaining than the first. Mason Parkins showed class and lived up to his family name, racing to a faultless 20 point maximum, impressively passing Jonjo Slaughter in heat 1, whilst wearing him down partnered with Jamie Medler, who was also unbeaten.

Alex Dyball, now used to his new bike, rode superbly for 13+2 points from four. Rohan Ewbank and Cieran Wenn backed up the team well in the middle. Michael Jones is vastly improving on track, taking a well earned third place in heat 16.

Super subs, 12 year old Scott Colby showing his love for speed on the big Eaton Park track and Shaun Dyball raced with a smile, especially against rival and fellow referee Terry Ashford!

For Blakenham, little Owen Johnson, son of first team rider Steve, has a great future ahead of him. Vlad Simmons and Sam Broom both rode well, with Sam earning 14 points  from four rides.

Reserves Terry Ashford and Gavin Whitehouse rode twice a piece, they will be happy with their club’s performances in both matches and it was pleasing to see Great Blakenham as a club back to the level they were once renowned for.

Final score: Norwich Stars 89 – 71 Great Blakenham

Norwich scorers: Mason Parkins 20, Jamie Medler 17(3), Ceiran Wenn 6, Rohan Ewbank 16, Michael Jones 5, Alex Dyball 13(2), Scott Colby 6(1), Shaun Dyball 6

For Norwich Stars, as a club it was encouraging that 14 separate riders were available, all looking lovely in there new 33/18 designs race jerseys.

Norwich 2016. Photo by Andrew Davison.

Norwich 2016. Photo by Andrew Davison.

The dynamic duo of Dale Colby and Glenn Grange on the announcement desk calling the match to the healthy crowd and Veronica Medler doing a great job in the refreshment kiosk.

Finally we are lucky to have a Aussie Cody Chadwick his good lady and their beautiful dog settled in East Anglia, not only a world class rider, on and off the track he is just as friendly, giving his time and help with words of encouragement. He along side Hellingly CSC’s inclusion has put a spark back in to the South East Cycle Speedway region.