MATCH REPORT: Team GB Juniors overcome stern test to take series 2-0
Great Britain Cycle Speedway’s junior team came through an intense encounter to take the test match series after the second of three rounds. A rejuvenated Australia pushed the tourists all the way, but in the end just fell short of squaring off the match scores.
It was first blood to GB in heat two after the first heat was shared, when Ewan Hancox and Brandon Whetton conjured up a 6-4 advantage, but they were on the receiving end of a 7-3 against in the following heat, masterminded by Australia hot shot Jack Norman with team mate Michael Ratcliff.
The two teams traded 6-4s again from their inside grids before Norman and Ratcliff inflicted another 7-3 on to the visitors to lead by 4 after 7 races. Great Britain levelled off the match at half time with a crucial 7-3 of their own by Carl Parfitt and Adam Watson over DJ Thompson and Thomas Jansen.
The first four heats after half time were a level, except for heat 11, when Brandon Whetton and Ewan Hancox scored a 6-4 to take the lead of the match from outside grids. Two more shared heats followed until Ewan Hancox was excluded by referee Bob Prince for making a pass over the inside line, the rerun resulted in a 7-2 to Australia and GB’s lead cut down to a 3 point deficit.
The Great Britain response was just what team bosses Steve Mullinder and Norman Venson would have asked for, with three 6-4s on the bounce, putting Great Britain three points up going into the last heat, meaning nothing but a 7-3 or better would do for the home nation.
Brandon Whetton rode off from grid one with Norman in hot pursuit for the entire race, but the Australian could not get close enough to the 2016 European Junior Champion to attempt a pass. Whetton took the win to share the heat and give Great Britain a finely executed series victory after two rounds.
7 heat wins in the last 9 races aided GB’s cause, displaying solid top end fire power, but the Australian’s tactical nouse stood them in good stead throughout the match and should be applauded for their efforts. The final test takes place at Le Fevre on Thursday evening.
GREAT BRITAIN 91
Will Jeffery 12, Ed Morton 14+1, Brandon Whetton 18, Ewan Hancox 9, Adam Watson 11+1, Haydn Rowley 13+1, Carl Parfitt 10, Fraser Garnett 4
Matty Snowden 11, Todd Clarke 14+1, Darnell Thompson 12, Brodie Wohlschlager 8+1, Jack Norman 15+3, Michael Ratliff 15, Thomas Jansen 2, Aussie Jones 11+2