MATCH REPORT: Grange star man for Norwich

On a warm sunny afternoon, East London were the visitors to Eaton Park for South East League Division 1 and 2 Cycle Speedway action.

Once again, Lee Grange led the Norwich attack with a 22 point haul, being beaten only by London’s Nicky Gunkel.

On a fast track that Lee has taken under his wing again as track manager, Ireland team coach Gary Colby, who was racing with a leg injury scored 16+2 from 5, looking solid throughout his afternoon efforts.

Alex Dyball scoring 12+1 and Rohan Ewbank with 11+1, both put in great performance. Alex earned a well deserved race win, while Rohan supported Craig Norton for a 7-3 in heat 7 and secured a win of his own in heat 15.

Chris Cullum, the Norfolk legend, scored 13 with a tapes exclusion. Craig Norton rode a steady meeting, unbeaten by an opponent in 4 rides, but saw red mist with a incident with Neil Lester, where both riders were excluded for different reasons.

Ciaran Wenn had a nasty fall in his first ride from reserve, but thankfully for him, his good looks were not tarnished as his head and face hit the shale at some pace.

For East London Nicky Gunkel and Richard Austen made great account for themselves in the heat leader role, scoring 15 and 17 respectively. Always troubling the home side was Neil Lester, bringing in 8 from 3 after missing his first ride and a exclusion. His points were not a  true reflection of his efforts. The East London rider is still a quick gater, there is still plenty there to see from his Thurrock days in the 90s with more track time and match fitness.

Dave Hughes’ 5 points equally didn’t justify his efforts, he was always on the pace. Max Renna brought in 9+2 and Sid Stanley 8, both rode with credibility.

Final score: Norwich 89 – 62 East London.

Norwich scorers: Lee Grange 22 (6), Alex Dyball 12+1(5), Rohan Ewbank 11+1 (4),
Craig Norton 14+2 (4), Gary Colby 16+2 (5), Chris Cullum 13, Ciaran Wenn.

With East London having the bare 6 and Norwich with a shortage of riders than usual, the Stars reused Cullum, Ewbank, Dyball and Wenn, supported by Scott Colby and Shaun Dyball.

The division 2 match was always going to be exciting, Rohan Ewbank was captain for the day and he rode his best match ever in a Norwich shirt. Now turned 18, mean and lean and on a Marcin Szymanski Speed-Rower bike, he looked the quickest of any Norfolk rider that has ridden this season, only Richard Austen clipped his wings in heat 1, but Rohan swept through the rest of the card with 19 points.

The dyball father and son pairing, Shaun and Alex, had good meetings. Alex scored 13+1 and had a good day at the office, once again noticeably in heat 12, a 7-3 with Chris Cullum turned a 3 point deficit into a one point lead with one race to spare.

Credit to Shaun, racing in the ride one-miss one twice berth, and in baked heat, his 6 points were a major contribution to the team. Scott Colby, at 12 our young gun, had a credible victory over Neil Lester and worked hard for his 5 points, especially as his opponents were much older.

Chris Cullum, racing with a smile on his face, helped the team out with a 15+1 performance, hitting the deck in one race. For a 61 year old, he races like a 16 year old! Ciaran Wenn backed Chris up for 7 points, the East London boys made a great match of it and a shared nominated heat, but it was enough for a Stars victory.

Credit to Ciaran Wenn, with a work shift pending at McDonald’s, Ciaran got changed after his third ride to leave to arrive in time. With no reserve and the match level pegging, he was about to leave, but he chucked on his Stars shirt and raced in his jeans to a third place. Those 2 points were vital in the one point victory later in the meeting, well done Ciaran!

Final score: Norwich 65 – 64 East London

Norwich scorers: Rohan Ewbank 19 (5), Scott Colby 5 (4), Ciaran Wenn 7, Chris Cullum 15+1 (5), Shaun Dyball 6 (4), Alex Dyball 13+1 (4)