MATCH REPORT: First look at the girls and senior open repechages

Astley & Tyldesley hosted three matches at Gin Pit on Day 2 of the British Finals Weekend.

18 riders contested the Women’s and u-16 Girls Pre-qualifier, after Danielle Riley was ruled out due to not making it in time to register. 15 races were held, with Katie Greaves and Alice Unwin the two riders who will line-up as reserves in the final at Bury. The other 16 riders all qualified to take their places in the Final. The referee was Mike Hack.

Next up was the 1st Open Repechage match and this turned out to be a very hard fought affair. Ben Scranage won his first four races, so only needed to finish his last race to qualify. This he did, but only after a very hard fought race, which saw him awarded 2nd place after being unceremoniously dumped in the fence on the last bend. Four riders tied for 2nd place, on 17 points apiece, so a run-off was held to determine the final three qualifying places. Lewis Roberts and Chris Parish raced away from gates 1 and 2 to take 1st and 2nd place respectively. All the action was going on behind them, as Steve Harris pulled off a clever switch from grid 4 to pass Richard Fellgett up the inside on the back straight. Harris then had to call on all his experience to hold off three and a half laps of intense pressure from Fellgett to secure yet another British Final place, 28 years after he first qualified for one in 1986. Mark Winwood recorded the fastest time of the day, 43.23 seconds, when winning heat 5.

British Open Repechage 1 result
Ben Scranage (Bury) 19, Lewis Roberts (Ipswich) 17, Chris Parish (Bury) 17, Steve Harris (Swindon) 17, Richard Fellgett (Ipswich) 17, Leon Mower (Ipswich) 15, Kristian Ramsden (Bury) 14, Richard Hudson (Sheffield) 14, Mark Winwood (Birmingham) 13, Kyle Holland (Sheffield) 10, Josh Hill (East Park) 10, Harrie Everise (Wednesfield) 9.
Referee – Graham Lush (Stockport).

With just four places up for grabs in the Final, the 2nd Open Repechage match was another closely contested affair. Mark Boaler made his first return to the track where he won the British title in 2010 and raced to a 20 points maximum score. Mark Carmichael was another comfortable qualifier, after losing to Boaler and Ben Higham in his opening two races. Three Stockport riders were in contention throughout for the remaining two places. This was effectively decided when Jake Read suffered a gate exclusion in heat 14, off a grid 1 when lining up against Terry Norman and Boaler. Higham and Norman duly picked up the second places they needed last time out to book their places in the final. In a run-off for reserve place, Aaron Herbert led for three laps before falling after clashing with Zac Payne on exiting the pits bend. Payne was excluded for ramming, leaving Herbert to secure the 2nd reserve place in the Final.

British Open Repechage 2 result
Mark Boaler (Horspath) 20, Mark Carmichael (Newport) 18, Ben Higham (Stockport) 17, Terry Norman (Stockport) 16, Aaron Herbert (Exeter) 15, Zac Payne (Horspath) 15, Jake Read (Stockport) 13, Matt Hill (Ipswich) 12, Ashley Hill (Ipswich) 12, Will Owens (Bury) 11, Craig Nethercott (Exeter) 11, Lee Kemp (East Park) 10.
Referee – Mike Hack (Astley & Tyldesley).

Thanks to Mike Hack for the report.