MATCH REPORT: Harvey leads Whirlwinds to the title

Hethersett Hawks/Swinton & Co failed in their bid to capture the South-East League title for the first time as they lost two matches in Ipswich.

It was a big hurdle to jump but they put up a strong fight. Their first match was against holders Ipswich Whirlwinds and started well with Dan Butler and Leigh Cossey scoring a 7-3 win. For the rest of the first half the Hawks saw ipswich take control although they felt they were not helped by referee decisions that went against them.

However, at the interval they were just seven points down and still in with a chance .An Ipswich 7-3 immediately after the break stretched the lead and the fast track started to take its toll on the Hawks, especially as a couple of riders were lacking in recent match practice and another had to be substituted with back problems.

Ipswich Whirlwinds eased to victory to retain their title with young Ben Harvey (pictured) looking impressive with an unbeaten score. Leigh Cossey and Lee Grange did their best to stem the tide.

Ipswich Whirlwinds 97
Ben Harvey 23+1, Jamie Chittock 18+2, Leon Mower 17+1, Piecre Bacon 17, Lauren Jacobs 13, Phil Clarke 9+1

Hethersett Hawks 80
Lee Grange 17, Leigh Cossey 16+1, Josh Herring 14, Olly Buxton 11+4, Harley Hamill 10+1, Dan Butler 8, Roger Carter 4+1

Later in the day the Hawks faced Ipswich Eagles for a match that would then decide runners-up position in the League. Receiving 12 penalty points from Ipswich due to the number of restricted riders being used, the Hawks set about retaining their advantage. Their hopes lasted only eight heats when a 7-3 win by Ipswich’s top pairing put them two points clear overall.

It was race winners that Hethersett lacked – Lee Grange held on to win heat nine and Leigh Cossey was instrumental in helping Olly Buxton to win the final heat but that was it. For Ipswich Richie Fellgett and Matt Hill were unbeaten as they ran out easy winners in the end.

(L.Grange 18 O.Buxton 15 D.Butler 11 L.Cossey 10 H.Hamill 8 J.Herring 7 R.Carter 5 O.Wells 2)

Ipswich fully deserved their 1-2 in the League and Hethersett were given a lesson what they need to do in terms of fitness and regular racing commitments to be able to mount a serious challenge in 2016.

Hethersett were pleased to be able to field a “B” team without any full first-team riders for the second consecutive match and they learned a lot from the experience at the track of the Division 2 champions. Most encouraging signs were some determined rides from Owen Wells that won him two heats and the continued progress of new recruit Alfie Holmes who beat the first opponent of his short career.

(O.Wells 14 R.Carter 8 N.Longlands 6 A.Holmes 6 K.Adams 5 D.Longlands 5 D.Butler 2)

The Hawks bring down the curtain on their 2015 season by staging the East Anglian Championships on Saturday 24th from 11 a.m.