MATCH REPORT: Newport overcome Birmingham in tight match
Report sent in by Lee Galley
Newport CSC have an exciting season to look forward with the new National League and an expanded South West League to compete in. With some chilly pre-season training completed it was time to take the preparations to the next level and a challenge match against fellow National League hopefuls the Birmingham Monarchs.
Following a week of heavy rain it was great to see a dry day and even some patches of blue sky above the Newport Velodrome Park, where a brisk wind had dried the racing surface nicely.
The two teams featured some serious talent with World and European Champion Ben Mould and British number three Mark Carmichael spearheading the home side while British Champion Paul Heard and the ever competitive Chris Timms, fresh from winning the Frank Knight Memorial Meeting (from Mould and Heard) the previous day heading up the Monarchs.
A tight match started the way it was to continue with Chris Timms taking a win but the home side securing a share of the points from the outside grids with Mould and Chris Davies. Followed by an exciting second heat won by Carmichael but notable for a fair old tussle between Heard and Callum Goward that eventually ended with the Newport rider hitting the deck after being out muscled by the British Champ.
Heat 3 saw a break in the pattern when Lee Galley made the gate from grid 2 to take the win while partner Adam Bennett executed a fine first lap pass to secure a heat win against Nathan Groves and Mark Winwood.
Newport took the opportunity to give some first team experience to exciting youngsters Jayden Jenkins and Louis Lewis who both were well in contention against the far more experienced visitors. Birmingham on the other hand stuck with their top six which proved hard work but kept them in contention.
A nice pass from Newport Rider / Manager Dan Bock in heat 5 and maximum scores in heats 6, 13 and 18 eventually secured the match for the home side 94 to 86. The battle of the big 4 was very tight but Mark Carmichael emerged as the only unbeaten rider on the day returning a very impressive 20 points from his five outings. Ultimately the match was decided further down the ranks though with Newport’s Goward, Galley, Bock, Davies and Bennett a little sharper than the opposition on the day.
A good match though, contested in great spirit that promises much for the season to come.
1. Ben Mould 14+2 from 5 rides
2. Chris Davies 11 from 4 rides
3. Mark Carmichael 20 from 5 rides
4. Callum Goward 14 from 5 rides
5. Lee Galley 13 from 4 rides
6. Adam Bennett 12 from 5 rides
7. Dan Bock 4 from 2 rides
8. Louis Lewis 3
9. Jayden Jenkins 3
Birmingham (all from 6 rides)
1. Chris Timms 23
2. Jake Steel 10
3. Paul Heard 21
4. Connor Steel 9 + 2
5. Nathan Groves 12
6. Mark Winwood 11