NEWS: Coventry pip Leicester in classic encounter

Coventry Cycle Speedway team raced to a highly entertaining 92-87 home Midland League victory over arch rivals Leicester at sun soaked Hearsall Common last Sunday in a classic local derby encounter.

The two teams served-up the best match of the season in front of a sizable crowd. Coventry paraded a youthful side, whilst Leicester sprung a late shock by including three times world champion, and former Coventry star, Dave Hemsley in their line-up.

Coventry`s emphasis on promoting youth was made abundantly clear in the opening two heats, when dashing teenagers Mason Phillips and Dan Drewett scotched to victory as they raced into an early 8 point lead.

In heat 4, Coventry once again took maximum points with Australian ace Bobby McMillan superbly team riding by bringing Tom Sensicall home as Coventry made all the early running.

The visitors then took heat 6 and they continued to steady the ship by drawing the final three heats of the first half, as Coventry took a 49-41 interval advantage amid some spectacular racing and bone-jarring crashes.


In form Dave Frith leads the way from Mark Whitehead and the impressive Michael Baldock with Coventry debutant Matt Hambidge chasing the pack. Photo by Paul Devine.

Leicester registered their own 7-3 maximum heat success in heat 11, as the visitors closed to within four points of the Hearsall Common men. When both Great Britain star Myke Grimes and Sensicall both took heavy falls, Coventry`s early dominance was under severe threat.

However, the potent McMillan/Phillips pairing won heat 12 and with big guns McMillan and Grimes taking four wins late in the match, Coventry closed out the remaining heats in a succession of drawn races to take the Midland League points.

McMillan warmed-up for the third and final Great Britain V Australia Test match at Hearsall Common on Thursday 6th August by recording `bonus` maximum return by being unbeaten by a Leicester rival.

Coventry point scorers:

Bobby McMillan 17, Mason Phillips 15, Myke Grimes 15, Dave Frith 12, Dan Drewett 11, Tom Sensicall 11, Matt Hambidge 6 and Steve Ingram 4.

Coventry were also successful in the Midland League division 2 fixture between the sides, scoring a 60-50 success over their Leicester counter-parts.

Coventry point scorers:

Spencer Sawbridge 16, Jake Slatter 14, Charlie Barnett 13, Shaun Reynolds 7, Sammi Marsh 6 and Ollie Morris 4.

The Hearsall Common based side completed a hat-trick of wins by also defeating Leicester in the final match of a busy day by winning 66-62 in the Midland Junior League.

Coventry point scorers:

Ben Wells 18, Jimmy Wassall 16, Bailie Phillips 11, Jack Reynolds 7, Wyatt Jacob 6, Sam Slatter 3, Ronnie Wassall 2 and James Morris 1.

Coventry provided two podium finishes in the highly successful BMS Ltd `Junior Classic` staged at Hearsall Common last Friday evening in front of the biggest crowd of the season. Almost 30 juniors riders took part and spectators enjoyed a barbeque as they watched an entertaining meeting.

BMS Ltd Junior Classic Podium - 2015

Will Jeffery (centre), Sammi Marsh (left), Ollie Morris (right)

Will Jeffrey of Hosrpath (Oxford) took the champions medal with a 20 point maximum but home riders Sammi Marsh and Ollie Morris took silver and bronze.