MATCH REPORT: England seniors take Home International crown
Better late than never, we’ve had a report in from the senior Home International from Hull last weekend.
England retained the home international trophy, winning from Wales by 8 points, although the meeting was a lot closer than the score line suggests.
Chris Timms and Josh Brooke took good wins for England, before Andy Angell was excluded in heat 4 for taking the Welsh rider, Mark Carmichael, to the extreme of the track. Charlie Rumbold won the re run, putting Ireland in front after the returning Adam Stephenson also won his first heat.
Chris Timms was then excluded in heat 6 for use of the leg, Charlie Rumbold again winning to increase Ireland’s lead further. Mark Carmichael took heat 7 before Brooke took heat 8 on the second time of asking after a messy first run to move England back into the lead.
Heat 9 and Scotland’s Jamie ball received his marching orders for taking Andy Angell to the outside kerb and leaving him in a heap on the floor, the England captain winning the re run to leave England 2 points ahead of Wales at the half way stage with Ireland 1 point further back.
Mark Carmichael took heat 10 relegating Timms to 4th in the process to edge Wales ahead for the first time. Jack Harrold, struggling with the unique shape of the track at times, took heat 11 to increase the lead.
Heat 12 saw Mikey Hewitson excluded for ramming,after flying in at full speed under Brooke and Davis, completely wiping out the Newport man. Brooke won the re run, passing club mate Rumbold and Davis on the same straight to inflict the Irish riders first defeat of the afternoon. Angell won heat 13 to wrestle back the lead from Wales.
Heat 14 and England reserve Ben Higham passed Chris Davis to take a good win from gate 4. Chris Timms took his second win of the afternoon in heat 15, before Matt Smith held off the fast charging Rumbold to all but seal the victory for England with Jacob Soper trailing a last.
Heat 17 and Mark Carmichael denied England’s Brooke a maximum, diving under on bend 1 and holding the Ipswich man off for 3 laps to leave them as top scorers for the day with 15 points a piece. England captain Angell completed the win, taking the last heat of the day, letting out a roar as he crossed the line to bring to a close a great day of racing.
In the end it was England’s strong second half performance that won them the title, winning 6 of the 9 heats, and running last only once. Wales missed the big scoring Ben Mould, while Ireland were also missing Leigh Cossey and Leon Mower. With these extra riders coming in both teams will be hoping for strong performances in the Euro champs with Carmichael and Rumbold both showing they are class operators.
Scotland lost their way a bit after exclusions, and will need to regroup and improve psychologically if they want to avoid the wooden spoon in a few weeks.
For England its a 9th straight victory in this competition and although its unclear how many of these riders will be pulling on the jersey to take on the Polish in a few weeks, every rider played their part, showing new manager Wayne Aris they deserve the chance.
Lastly a huge congratulations to the Hull club for putting on a fantastic days racing, with all 3 matches well supported.