WEEKEND PREVIEW: British Over 40s Club and Regional racing this weekend

There is a modest amount of Regional racing taking place, with all four regions having at least one fixture this weekend. But to start off, it’s the British Over 40’s Club Championship at Kesgrave tomorrow.

British Over 40’s Club Championship

Leicester have won the title for the last three years and will go into the meeting hoping to earn themselves a fourth title. They will have strong opposition from Midland rivals Birmingham, now with Mark Winwood riding the vets circuit, along with half of the Birmingham first team, they will have their eyes on the prize. Come back man and ex-world finalist Jason Burke could make an appearance for Sheffield to boost their attack, with all clubs needing to hold off the challenge from the South East locals, Ipswich, Kesgrave and Norwich. It’s a difficult one to call and should be an open meeting. Good luck to all teams involved!

S&SW Youth & Junior League 5 – Underwood

In a similar format to the British Youth and Junior League, Underwood host a continuation competition for the junior riders, with another round at Swindon in August and a final at Southampton in October.

Midland League

Leicester v Birmingham
After the vets do battle in Kesgrave the previous day, league leaders Birmingham travel to Leicester in an all Monarchs clash. Birmingham have only dropped points with a draw away at Wednesfield Aces earlier in the season and will be much fancied to take the spoils at Slater Street. Leicester haven’t seen an awful lot of racing so far this year. The East Midland Monarchs have had some success with wins against the Wednesfield Dragons and Coventry but perhaps are missing the speed and class of World Women’s Champion Lauren Davies who retired after the Australian tour. However, Michelle Whitehead is stepping up to the plate with some fine performances so far this season, added in with Kev Burns and Craig Marchant providing some solid performances, Leicester will certainly try and spoil the Birmingham party.

Northern League

Astley & Tyldesley v Northumbria
Northumbria travel to Astley and Tyldesley needing a victory to stay in touch with those above them. Although the Vikings have one match in hand over A&T, a loss would see them sitting six points adrift from the Manchester side, likewise if Edinburgh beat Bury, who also have a match in hand over the Vikings. Gavin Parr has been resting all week after five big crashes for England and Sheffield in the Elite League last week, he’s hoping to be fit for the trip, the Vikings definitely need their “Mr Consistent” if they are going to come away with any points. A&T on the other hand pipped Heckmondwike by two points last time out and will be eyeing up the points on their home turf.

Edinburgh v Bury
The Falcons had a punishing set of matches two weeks ago, firstly beating Heckmondwike away, before travelling over to league leaders Stockport, who trust their authority on them. Bury demolished Hull at home scoring 115 points and will travel north to Edinburgh, high on confidence of taking some points away. Falcons Captain Mikey Hewitson will no doubt have something to say about that. He’s been on great form this season and rode a great match against Wednesfield in his first Elite League match of the season for Sheffield last weekend. This should be a close match between two teams close together in the table.

South East League

Norwich v East London
East London travel to Norwich fresh after their first win of the season against a depleted Great Blakenham side. Norwich need to get a home win on the board, with their only two wins of the season coming away from home. One of those wins was a massive 58-114 victory away at Sunday’s opponents East London, which could give them the mental upper hand against their capital city opponents.

South and South Wales League

Exeter v Poole
Both sides met at Poole last Saturday in a rearranged fixture. Poole with big guns Greg Gluchowski and Arek Szymanksi in their team, were too strong for Exeter, taking a 97-79 victory. Exeter will be looking for revenge on their home track. They won last time out at home to Hellingly, so they will be looking to give their fans more to cheer about if they can pull some points out of the bag on Sunday.

Newport v Hellingly
These sides met in a close encounter at Hellingly two weeks ago, Newport took the victory by a slender 89-90 score. Newport found the tight and loose Hellingly track a little tough going, throwing away points from good positions, leaving Neil Hollebon and Jesse Moore dishing out a home track masterclass, with both riders scoring maximum points. Newport will make no such mistakes on their home track, so it will probably be an uphill battle for Hellingly, who will look for big performances from the Hollebons and Moore once again.

Southampton v Horspath
The final match of the day sees Southampton hosting Oxford side Horspath. The Hammers have had a mix bag this year with some good wins but also some defeats including a heavy one away at Poole. Southampton have also had a mixed bag of wins and losses, so this match should be a close one. Southampton have strength in depth with Hayden and Pete Chant, Nathan Harris, Tom Colling and Gavin Wheeler all getting some big scores this year. Horspath will need to travel well to come away with the points.