MATCH REPORT: Lions score away success at Norwich

Hellingly Lions made the 350 mile round trip for their longest South East League journey of the season to Norwich and returned home roaring after taking the points with an 82-76 victory.

Hellingly’s top 3 of captain Jesse Moore and the Hollebon brothers are always a strong trio to lead the troops and this was the case yet again, with 11 heat wins out of the 16 coming from them.

Steven Archer also chipped in with a couple in the second half of the meeting meaning that 13 of 16 heats were won by the Sussex side and only the best team riding from their Norfolk counterparts kept the score as close as it was.

The meeting started with a heat advantage to Norwich, Jamie Morley was excluded from the rerun after a fall, Jesse raced to the chequered flag on his way to a 6 ride paid maximum to limit the damage to just a point.

Neil Hollebon and Steven Archer then raced to a 6-4 advantage giving the lions the slender 1 point lead. The score stayed like this until heat 6, when Martyn Hollebon and Ed Ridley fell to a 6-4 reverse meaning the 1 point lead had yet again swung back to the Norwich Stars.

With four shared heats and an interval passing, the scores had moved on to Norwich 50 Hellingly 49, when the Archer/Hollebon partnership took to the track. Hellingly looked like racing to a 7-3 advantage, however Neil looking for his teammate, Steven, slipped coming out of bend 2 and the unfortunate Chris Cullum, at the tender age of 61, got caught up in the pile up.

Unfortunately for Norwich, the referee didn’t feel the need to exclude Neil and a 6-4 advantage was gained, that 1 point overall lead was not to last for long, the very next heat saw the partnership of Martyn and Ed succumb to Norwich’s Lee Grange and the ever smiling Paddy Wenn.

After 12 heats and with just a point in it at 60-59 it was time for a big heat and that is just what the Lions got, club captain, Jesse Moore and the now refreshed Steven Archer secured a 7-2 advantage after a rerun.

The first staging had seen Steven being kept at bay by Craig Norton until he caused him to fall on the pit bend of the third lap, referee Shaun Dyball had no other decision than to exclude Craig leaving the path clear for the two Hellingly riders to race clear of the persevering Chris Cullum.

With a shared heat in 14 and a 6-4 reverse in 15, the lions found themselves just 2 points in front with the final heat to come.

It was time for a big race and that is what was duly delivered. Jesse 1st and Neil 2nd raced away from the gate and with Jesse using all his strength to go round the outside, Neil raced round the inside and off to a 7-3 advantage.

Norwich 76
Alan Parkins 15+2, Lee Grange 15, Paddy Wenn 13+2, Chris Cullum 11, Craig Norton 10+2, Gary Colby 7+2, Mason Parkins 3.

Hellingly 82
Jesse Moore 23+1, Neil Hollebon 21+1, Martyn Hollebon 17, Steven Archer 12, Ed Ridley 5, Jamie Morley 4.

After the drama of the first team meeting, the second team meeting then followed and due to Hellingly having to give the Stars a 30 point head start due to the riders gradings, it was always going to be an uphill struggle for them.

This proved the case, as although the Lions secured the win the margin was not big enough as they only managed to finish 15 points in front.

The meeting was very memorable for two of the clubs riders, Ethan Page at just 12 years old was having his first away meeting for the club and only his 3rd overall and George Morley at 13 was having his club debut.


Hellingly’s Ethan Page and George Morely.

Ethan scored 11+1 points in his 6 rides, a great return for a rider his age, and George scored a very impressive 16+1 from his 6 rides. This was made all the better as the pair raced to a 7-3 victory in the nominated heat.

Considering this is their first full season and George has been on a Cycle Speedway bike for less than 5 weeks, these maybe a couple of names to keep your eye on.

Club nights are on Thursday starting at 6.15pm and the club would welcome anybody who would like to have a try of Cycle Speedway, the track is located at Lower Dicker recreation ground.

All equipment is supplied free of charge just bring something to cover your arms and legs up. The club are next in action on 3rd July when they entertain East London with tapes up at 2.00pm.

Cover photo by Michelle Rideout.