MATCH REPORT: World Pairs drama from start to finish

It was drama from the get go on Saturday evening, as Exeter hosted a thrilling encounter in the World Pairs final, between England, Poland, Wales, Australia, Scotland and Ireland.

In what will go down as one of the most entertaining fixtures in recent times, the precedent for rider commitment was set in the first heat. Ireland’s Ben Donohue picked up an exclusion on the first lap, after totally wiping out Scotland’s Craig Newsome, in what will go down as the “stove” of the tour.

It was Poland and England who would pull away from the pack though, not without the entertainment contributed by the other nations though. Australia’s Bobby McMillan and Chris Timms had a Battle Royale in heat 5, ending up with McMillan going down on the last bend and almost taking Timms with him, allowing Australia’s Jay Walters to sneak past to reduce the deficit from a 7-3 to a 6-4.

Then controversy in heat 10, as Aris was judged to have moved at the tapes by referee Adam Smola, Aris protesting his innocence that there was a noise by the first bend, was then allowed back in after ICSF secretary, Dave Murphy entered the track to back up the Wednesfield Aces talisman’s case, disgruntling the other nations riders and management in the pits. England duly converted the heat into a 7-3 heat advantage over Scotland.

Poland didn’t concede a heat all evening, notching up four 6-4s in a row, followed by a last heat 7-3, where Ireland’s Charlie Rumbold almost got between World Champion Marcin Szymanski and Junior Champion Bartek Grabowski, earning himself plenty of plaudits in the process.

In the end, it came down to a run off for the title, with England and Poland both level on 31 points. The run off, with a scoring system of 4, 3, 2, 0, was perfectly set for a super climax to a brilliant meeting. Szymanski and Grabowski won the toss and took the inside grids. After a couple of restarts we got underway, Szymanski raced clear, leaving Aris in second, ahead of Grabowski who held Boaler off grid four from the gate. A titanic battle ensued, with Aris doing his best to stay involved in the battle behind him. The Polish superstar used all of his craft and speed and was able to keep Boaler behind to take a 6-3 and the World Pairs title.

Wales held off the Australian challenge to finish in third place, with Scotland and Ireland earning 20 and 17 points respectively, but were always in the mix.

It was certainly a cracking advert for Cycle Speedway, with no end to the drama from start to finish.

Final Scores:

Poland 31
England 31
Wales 25
Australia 24
Scotland 20
Ireland 17