MATCH REPORT: Norfolk Under 13 and Senior Championships

Report by Mel Perkins MBE

Photos sent in by Jenny Melvin

HETHERSETT HAWKS / YELLOW BRICK MORTGAGES crowned two more Norfolk Champions in the third set of matches staged at the Memorial Playing Field on Sunday. This time it was the turn of Under-13s and Seniors and both matches were fiercely competitive.

The Under-13s had three outstanding riders – the Kell siblings Josie and Shaun from Norwich Stars and Hethersett’s Mason Martin, who only took up the sport in July. All three clashed in heat 3 and Mason held his ground on the first corner to speed home from Josie and Shaun. Reigning champion Shaun got his revenge on Mason in heat 9 but was lucky to get a restart in heat 12 after falling while recovering from a poor start.

The next two heats were vital wins for Mason, firstly over Josie and then passing Connor Jarrett, the Under-10 rider having made a determined effort to surprise his older opponent. Those two wins put Mason in an unassailable position so he took the title from Shaun and Josie. Best of the other Hethersett riders was William Clarke.

Scores – Mason Martin (Hethersett) 23, Shaun Kell (Norwich) 22, Josie Kell (Norwich) 21, Connor Jarrett (Norwich) 17, William Clarke (Hethersett) 14, Will Blackmore (Norwich) 14, Aiesha Musa (Hethersett) 12, Matthew Sidell (Hethersett) 9, Frederik Jackson (Hethersett) 9, Jamal Musa (Hethersett) 8

Under 13’s Line up
Under 13 Winners

The Senior event was held over a shortened programme of 12 races but they were packed with action despite many of the competitors having had little or no post-lockdown action. It looked as if the two riders who had shared the last five titles – Paddy Wenn and Leigh Cossey – would provide the likely winner after they both won their first two rides. When they clashed Paddy saw off a stiff challenge until Leigh slipped off and trailed in third.

The final heat turned everything upside down as Craig Norton, who had dropped his only point to Leigh in heat 3, held his nerve to keep Paddy at bay and, as the reigning champion changed his attack, Jamie Medler nipped in to relegate Paddy to third. So, having put four consistent rides together, Craig found himself as the new champion. It was fitting that a Hethersett rider should win, given that this was the 70th anniversary of the first Norfolk Final won by Ted Eaglen of the Hethersett Hornets.

A race-off was needed to determine the minor places on the podium with Leigh positioned between Paddy and Jamie on the starting grid. A fast start and a strong first corner got Leigh away with Paddy having to hold off Jamie in his wake.

Scores – Craig Norton (Hethersett) 15, Leigh Cossey (Hethersett) 14, Paddy Wenn (Norwich) 14, Jamie Medler (Norwich) 14, Ben Loombe (Hethersett) 13, Dave Martin (Hethersett) 11, Harley Hamill (Hethersett) 10, Lee Hulcoop (Hethersett) 9, Nigel Longlands (Hethersett) 8.

Senior Line up
The top 3 in the Senior event. Winner Craig Norton (centre), runner-up Leigh Cossey (Left) and 3rd placed Paddy Wenn

The Championships conclude this coming Sunday (27th) at Hethersett with the Under-16s (2 p.m.) and Veterans (4 p.m.)