MATCH REPORT: Lions almost score double success
Hellingly Lions welcomed the Ipswich Cycle Speedway club to the Lower Dicker recreation ground in a double header league one fixture, and almost pulled off a big double win, but for last heat decider going against them in the second match.
The near 100 strong crowd were treated to some great racing as the Lions took on the Whirlwinds, followed by the Eagles in both division two and division one fixtures.
Hellingly opened the day against the Whirlwinds with three heat victories and with Jim Cox and Tristan Bassett both filling third places, they found themselves 4 points up.
Ipswich’s Dan Pike and Ben Harvey were having none of that and duly responded with a 7-3 to level the scores at 20-20.
A heat advantage in heat 6 had given the home club a slender 2 point lead. Heat 7 saw the impressive Ben Harvey excluded for forcing Jim Cox over the inside line on the home straight, which gave Hellingly the lead by 5.
With Hellingly gaining one heat advantage in the next three, the club now led by 7 going into heat 11. A 7-3 maximum heat win for the Lions courtesy of Neil Hollebon and Steven Archer put the home side 11 points in front at 60-49, the Whirlwinds bounced straight back with 6-4 and 7-3 advantages, leaving Hellingly just 5 clear.
Steven Archer and Jesse Moore secured the match win with their own 7-3 in heat 14, and with two heats to go and a 9 point lead overall, the win was secured.
Hellingly Lions 82 Ipswich Whirlwinds 77 was the final score after 16 heats, a great result for the club over last years league champions and the current league leaders.
With the home side having to race two matches, the main body of the side sat out while the youngsters took their turn in the division 2 fixture.
Although they battled right to the end, the Eagles strength showed as they overcame there hosts by a 96-61 scoreline. Credit has to go to all the Eagles who took to the different Hellingly surface with relevant ease.
The main team were then back in action, with Etienne Patel replacing the unavailable Tristan Bassett in the side.
The Eagles team took to the track well and secured 4 of the first 6 heat wins, but with good second and third places and an exclusion for Fraser Harris for movement at the tapes in heat 4, found themselves just 1 point ahead of the hosts at 30-29.
Jim Cox and club captain, Jesse Moore, raced to a maximum heat win in heat 7 to give the Lions the lead for the first time since the opening heat.
Unfortunately for the home side, three heat reverses in the races either side of the interval, meant that the Eagles had taken a 5 point lead after 10 heats.
The next 4 heats were then shared with the Eagles team filling second and third in all, meaning the home club found themselves 5 points down with just two heats to go.
The drama was all but over though. Hellingly, having the inside gates powered to the front, Dan Knights tried his hardest to take the all important second place, but the referee adjudged him to have rammed and excluded him, meaning that a 7-2 was recorded and the scores were now all level going into the final heat.
Hellingly’s Jesse Moore and the unfortunate Neil Hollebon were the riders selected to contest the nominated heat.
The first running saw Neil come down and tear his gloves, so a new pair was found only for the same result in the rerun. Dan Knights took victory and current British under 19 champion, Charlie Rumbold, became the Eagles heroes, as the 6-4 advantage was enough for them to take the overall match victory, and the 2 league points back to Ipswich. The final score finishing a close Hellingly Lions 78 – 80 Ipswich Eagles.
Cover photo by Michelle Rideout.