MATCH REPORT: Horspath edge home in Spring Cup opener
Despite the awful recent weather, Horspath Hammers produced a track that turned out to be very raceable and the three teams of Horspath,Newport and Poole put on a great display of Cycle Speedway racing that was a credit to all of the riders.
Poole and Newport took to the track in the first race with World Under 16 Boys number 3 Fraser Garnett joining Dean Hook for an opening 7-3 win over Newport’s Chris Davies and Callum Goward, with all four riders battling hard in the heavy conditions.
The sides on paper looked on paper to be very even,with arguably all missing their top rider. However with plenty of young talent on show too,including Poole’s Under 16 Girls World Champion Macie Schmidt, the scores remained very tight at the interval with only two points separating all three teams.
The strong home pairings of Zac Payne with Dave Liebermann and World Under 16 Boys number 4 Will Jeffery combining with evergreen Andy Johnson, didn’t concede any heat advantage to either teams so just about held the upper hand. Newport’s top rider on the day, Mark Carmichael, showed glimpses of the returning form following his horror car crash last season and looks to be back on the pace early.
The scores remained very tight throughout the early part of the second half of the meeting with an awkward looking fall from Newport’s Callum Goward, following a collision with Poole’s Jay Briggs,bringing the end to Callums afternoon. Up front top Polish racer Dawid Bas picked up his third race win of the day to keep Poole very much in the meeting.
Despite trailing by four points going in to the last two races, Horspath held the upper hand as they were in both heats,so steady racing was the order of the day. In the penultimate heat Will Jeffery and Andy Johnson lined up against former Hammer Mark Carmichael and Joe Lewis.
With Jeffery off gate one he launched from the tapes and was met at the first corner by a very determined Carmichael. With elbows exchanged in the fight for track position Jeffery held on to a very popular race win for the home team, with Carmichael and Lewis sitting in second and third.
This set up the last heat decider between Horspath’s Payne and Liebermann against Ben Tinsdale and Macie Schmidt. Payne shot from the tapes from the outside grids and claimed the win with Tinsdale and Schmidt slotting in behind for a share of the spoils. Liebermann settled for the point knowing that would get the job done,with the Hammers winning the opening Spring Cup round by one point from Poole.
Local ref and ex rider, Wayne Hutt, had the riders on their toes throughout the meeting with no fewer than six exclusions for moving at the tapes,whilst under starters orders.
Will Jeffery 21+1, Zac Payne 20+3, Jake Neighbour 16+1, Dave Liebermann 15, Andy Johnson 10, J Ellis 9, Ross Loveridge 1
Ben Tinsdale 18+1, Fraser Garnett 17+2, Dean Hook 17+2, Dawid Bas 17+1, Macie Schmidt 12+4, Jay Briggs 10
Mark Carmichael 16+1, Adam Bennett 15+1, Chris Davies 14, Sean Bennett 11+1, Callum Goward 9+1, Joe Lewis 5+1, James Collier 5, Dan Bock 2