MATCH REPORT: Hawks win friendly encounter

Hethersett Hawks / Swinton & Co had a local derby against Norwich at Harford Park and if a reasonable crowd were expecting a feisty and controversial afternoon in hot weather they were sorely disappointed.

With many opponents being former team-mates and friends, all three matches were like a reunion and there were few incidents and no exclusions. What did transpire were three matches that all went to the wire with last-heat deciders and some excellent racing.

In Division 1 Hethersett conceded 15 penalty points but achieved five consecutive heat wins in the first half – including a 7-3 from the two Ollies, Riley and Buxton – so the overall deficit was reduced to 1 point by the interval. From then on it was safety first but finally taking the lead with a Nick Myhill / Leigh Cossey 6-4 win in heat 13. The same pair sealed the victory with a similar win in the final heat, Myhill completing a five-ride maximum. Olly Riley was also in top form as the tactically astute Hawks prevented the home side from getting a single race victory.

The Combination Division match came alive in heat 4 with a brilliant ride by Mason Parkins to set up a Norwich 7-3. Hethersett had trump cards in Olly Buxton and Dan Butler, both unbeaten until the last race, and a 6-4 from them in the final heat sealed the win. Special mention is due to 10-year-old Giles Awbery who was a late replacement and almost held on to a third place in heat 11 and his points were invaluable to the final score.

Hethersett led the Youth League match until two races from the end but two 7-3 wins, both featuring unbeaten Parkins, snatched a late victory. Three of this season’s recruits continue to improve in the Hawks team and the highlight was a superb pass by Beth Allen in heat 4.

Division 1 – NORWICH 95 HETHERSETT 100
( O.Riley 21 N.Myhill 20 L.Grange 16 L.Cossey 15 O.Buxton 14 D.Butler 11 D.Riley 3)
Combination Division – NORWICH 89 HETHERSETT 95
(O.Buxton 20 D.Butler 18 D.Riley 10 R.Carter 9 K.Adams 7 G.Awbery 4 + 27 penalty points)
Youth Division – NORWICH 63 HETHERSETT 58
(K.Adams 15 B.Allen 12 G.Awbery 10 T.Dunne 9 J.Wengrow 6 D.Wengrow 6)

Roger Carter travelled to Somersham to compete in the South East Grand Prix and rode strongly to finish in second place in the Veterans category. Eight Hawks competed in a Norfolk Intermediate League match at Eaton Park.

Next action for the Hawks is at Kesgrave on Sunday 22nd.