MATCH REPORT: Powerful Australia take match one in test series

Australia powered to a convincing victory in the first match of the three test series against Great Britain at Findon, Adelaide, on Tuesday evening. The encounter was explosive team racing at it’s best, in front of a loud and vocal crowd to match the intense rivalry on track.

It started well for Team GB, with Myke Grimes racing to victory in heat one, while Zac Payne came home third for a 6-4. They surrendered the lead in the following heat, as Joel Chadwick and Shane Bentley set the scene for the night with a 7-3 against Timms and Heard, which saw the hosts take a lead they would not give up.

Josh Brooke and Lewis Osborne hit back with a 6-4 in the third, but the Aussies answered back again, taking two 6-4s from the next four heats, with Mould and Brooke steadying the GB ship with races wins in the other two.

Disaster struck in heat 8, as GB conceded their first 7-3 after the impressive Joel Chadwick passed Zac Payne before hunting down Myke Grimes on the final corner, the British champion unaware that Chadwick had made up the substantial gap that had appeared earlier in the race while trying to find a way past Bentley, Chadwick catching him out to take the maximum points for the home side.

GB countered with their own 7-3 courtesy of Mould and Heard in heat 9, which meant Australia were leading by 4 points at the half way stage.

Australia came out fighting in the next three heats, taking two 6-4s and a 7-2 to pile the pressure on Lee Aris’ men. Josh Brooke moving at the gates in heat 11 saw Australia start to pull away. Grimes and Payne replied with a 7-3 over Cody Chadwick and Ty Geertsen to give GB a glimmer of hope.

PHOTOS: Seniors and Juniors By Phil Clarke

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However, two more 6-4s effectively ended GB’s chances of revival, Timms and Grimes took advantage of Geertsen and Robb both spinning out of the gates to race off to a maximum score, while Heard and Mould took another 6-4, but it was too little, too late.

Joel Chadwick capped off a dominating night taking his 5th maximum heat advantage with brother Cody in heat 18 over Brooke and Payne to end the match and win by 95-84.

Great Britain did have answers to the Australian challenge, scoring 6 advantages to Australia’s 10, but the visitors made far too many mistakes to a side who wanted it more and took a deserved win. A much more hungry and believing Great Britain need to arrive at Murray Bridge on Sunday if they are to rescue the series.

Ross Priest 8, Daniel Robb 11+2, Joel Chadwick 17+3, Shane Bentley 19, Ty Geertsen 9, Cody Chadwick 14+1, Bobby McMillan 7, Ryan Edson 10

Myke Grimes 16, Zac Payne 9+1, Paul Heard 12+1, Chris Timms 10+1, Josh Brooke 11, Lewis Osborne 6, Jack Harrold 4, Ben Mould 16

Junior Test Match

The Great Britain juniors dominated from the outset against a battling Australia side before the senior match.

The young Lions registered 5 heat advantages in a supremely exciting first half, with passes galore from both sides. Australia gave resistance with 2 of their own heat wins in the open 9 heats.

The second half was a a bit closer as Great Britain didn’t take any risks, but still managed to take 4 heat advantages to Australia’s 2, to finish the match 80-98 to Great Britain.

Sheffield’s cool and collected Ed Morton top scored for the Young Lions, dropping just one point, along with Will Jeffery, but all riders chipped in with important passes and crucial points scores.

Jack Norman and Matty Snowden impressed for the home side and manager Bobby McMillan will look to them to lead their team’s challenge against a strong Great Britain squad at Murray Bridge.

DJ Thompson 11, Brodie Wohlschlager 8, Matty Snowden 16, Todd Clarke 7+1, Aussie Jones 11+1, Jack Norman 17+1, Michael Ratcliff 7, Blade Blatchford 3

Ewan Hancox 11+1, Brandon Whetton 14+3, Carl Parfitt 6+1, Ed Morton 19, Adam Watson 12+1, Haydn Rowley 16+1, Will Jefferys 11, Fraser Garnett 9+1

Other Racing

Monday saw the opening night of action at Salisbury, with England, Australia and Wales progressing to the World Cup Final with seeded champions Poland on Saturday. Ireland were the team to lose out by 7 points.

This evening (Wednesday), saw the opening round of qualifiers for the world invidivual finals. Star Polish rider Przemek Binkowski has a nervous wait to see if he faces a run off for the final two places, depending on tomorrow’s results. Aside from the Torun rider, there were no other surprises. See our Facebook page for the results (and the updates as they happen).