MATCH REPORT: Aussie men level it up in Newport whilst GB ladies take series

Australia clinched a one-point victory in the 2nd Ashes test match at Newport, in what was a tense tactical race meeting on Wednesday evening. The series is now level at 1-1 leading into the final test match at Coventry.

There were only two points separating the teams for most of the match, but Australia maintained a lead throughout after they had capitalised on a grid 1 tape exclusion for Lee Aris in the third heat. The GB rider protested that the Australian rider, to his right, had ‘twitched’ first but to no avail as he was sent back to the pits.

Both teams rode with discipline as the match remained very cagey, but Australia took advantage of some crucial mistakes by British riders, to clinch a number of minor places, and defended their lead resolutely.

Local star Mark Carmichael failed to beat an opponent in his first 3 rides, yet he still contributed by chasing down his Aussie opponents to take pressure his race winning team mates. However it was heat wins that Team GB needed to claw back the deficit.

Whilst Carmichael had a better second half, it was Josh Brooke who then allowed points slip away. After a bright start which included a great last bend pass on Ryan Edson, the Ipswich rider managed just one point from his last two rides.

The Chadwick brothers, Cody and Joel, were most impressive for Australia, whilst young Shane Bentley played a big role in this Aussie victory with some mature team riding. Weinert and Sellick also made improved contributions whilst Edson remained a threat along with Bobby McMllan

Chris Parish was solid at reserve for Team GB riding to team orders and beating his opponent in all of his rides, whilst Adam Peck gave a similar performance and was close to capping his night with a heat 15 victory over Joel Chadwick before his was passed by the smooth riding Aussie in what proved to be a crucial result.

Ben Mould successfully held off several challenges from the Aussie heat-leaders as he amassed 16 unbeaten points from his first four rides. His heat 18 tape exclusion came at a time when he needed to pull-out an extraordinary effort to gate around Joel Chadwick, to prevent an Aussie victory.

Team GB captain Paul Heard was courageous in trying to conjure up some inspiration to help his team secure the necessary heat advantage and he was unfortunate to not achieve a much needed maximum result in heat 9. Heard was seemingly on his way around team mate Nick Evans on the back straight when Evans was caught off-guard by an Edson inside dive which pushed Evans into Heard and saw the British captain out of the contest.

Despite his one moment of misjudgement, Nick Evans was inspirational in taking the challenge to the Aussie’s and his unbeaten 16 points, from a reserve berth, demonstrated the level of progress this popular Welshman has achieved over the past 12 months.

A disappointed Lee Aris recovered from his bad start to take a couple of heat wins and, as team manager Dave Murphy was keen to point out, he remains an integral part of Team GB’s quest to clinch the series at Coventry.

Shane Bentley 12+2, Bobby McMillan 14+1, Joel Chadwick 15, Shane Weinert 9+2, Ryan Edson 9, Cody Chadwick 18, Rob Sellick 8+1 (3 rides), Cameron Crisp 3.(3 rides)

Mark Carmichael 8, Ben Mould 16, Paul Heard 11+1, Josh Brooke 9+1, Lee Aris 12, Adam Peck 9+1 (4 rides) Nick Evans 16 (4 rides)  Chris Parish 6+2 (3 rides).


Heat   3: L. Aris (GB) – Tapes

Heat 12: J. Brooke (GB) – Tapes

Heat 18: B. Mould (GB) – Tapes

Heat 18: J.Chadwick (AUS) – Excessive force

It was another successful night for the Great Britain ladies, as they sealed the series with another convincing victory, maintaining their impressive form from Horspath on Monday.

Charlie Jane Herbert went through her rides unbeaten and received ample support from the rest of her team mates. Letitia Collins and Lucy Millikin again offered resistance for the Aussies, but like Monday the depth and team spirit of the Great Britain team was too big a mountain to climb, although they did reduce the gap between them this time round.

Team boss Geoff Gamage will be pleased with how the series has panned out so far and although missing the Kinross sisters, the Aussies aren’t as strong as previously, it’s fantastic for Women’s Cycle Speedway to have the Australian’s able to bring a team over for the first time.

Moving on to Coventry, Australia’s Kayleigh Clarke experienced the fast circuit a few weeks back at the M6 GP, so she will have valuable tips on how to ride the Hearsall Common bowl for her team mates. Collins and Millikin will lead the Aussie front line and hopefully continue to reduce the deficit further.

Jess Snowden 9+1, Letitia Collins 15+2, Letisha Bevear 5, Kayleigh Clarke 10, Lucy Millikin 14+1, Ebony Clarke 5

Michelle Whitehead 15+2, Rebecca Kate Davies 11+1, Danielle Riley 11+1, Charlie Jane Herbert 11+1, Laura Watson 16+3, Vicky Brown 13+2, Lauren Hookway 14