MATCH REPORT: New Brandon Bees junior lose in last heat

Racing in their very first match, Cycle Speedway’s newest team, the Brandon Bees, came agonizingly close to a fairytale victory at Bretford Playing Fields last Tuesday evening.

Comprising members of the hugely popular `Dirt Bike Club`, which only started three weeks ago, the Brandon juniors went down 92-88 to Birmingham juniors in a thrilling last heat decider at the newly revived Brandon Road, Bretford, track.

Excitement mounted at the venue as the new team arrived prior to the match. The track was in perfect condition, the weather held fair and a sizable crowd of parents and supporters turned out to cheer on the new Brandon team.

The team were soon issued with their distinctive yellow and black race shirts and they posed for team pictures shortly before the first heat. Aged from 9 to 15 years, and from Rugby and the surrounding villages, all the Brandon team were racing in their first ever match.

There were grasps from the crowd as one of the visiting riding crashed in heat one, forcing his withdrawal from the evening with a broken wrist. He was taken to Walsgrave Hospital for treatment.

In the resulting rerun of heat 1, the honour of winning the first race of the new era went to Rugby based youngster Owen Gregory. He was followed home by the fast chasing Tom Savage for a dream start for the Bees.

The opening heats were fiercely contested and Birmingham were soon on level terms and provided the first rider home in the next 5 heats.

Brandon Bees (back row l-r)

Brandon Bees (back row l-r): Tom Savage, Lee Gregory, Owen Gregory, Alex Long, Cameron Gill, Amy Baynes. (Front row l-r) Jonathan Middleton, Lewis Middleton, Lucais Eyles.

It was not until heat 7 that the Bees provider their next heat winner, with explosive newcomer Cameron Gill underling his rich promise by winning with ease.

Jonathan Middleton gave the first glimpse of his obvious potential for the future by winning heat 8. Trailing from the tapes, the 11 year Daventry based youngster hauled in his opponent, before executing a fine pass on the third lap to loud applause from the gallery.

In heat 9, Gill again raced away for another fine win and the interval was reached with the two teams locked together on 45 points each. The new home Brandon team had already exceeded all expectations.

Brandon started the second period in fine fashion with the stylish Lucais Eyles rounding all his opponents on the first lap for a superb win and with home riders Lee Gregory and Alex Long also looking impressive, the match was still tied after heat 13 at 65 points all.

Birmingham took heat 14 by the maximum 7-3 margin to take the lead. However, Lee Gregory teamed up with the fast starting Savage in heat 16 and Brandon were back on level terms.

The visitors won heat 17 to edge ahead and they held on for a narrow win in the decisive final heat 18 to take the spoils, ahead of the ever pressing Gill.

It was a remarkable performance from the Brandon youngsters. Six of their team won at least one race each, with the dashing Gill topping their scorers with a stunning 15 points.

Both the Gregory brothers scored freely, whilst younger riders like Middleton (Jonathan) and Eyles made terrific debut track appearances. Long is a potential star for future national girls racing, whilst super keen Savage also looks a hot prospect.

Brandon Bees point scorers:

Cameron Gill 15, Tom Savage 13, Lee Gregory 13, Jonathan Middleton 12, Owen Gregory 10, Lucais Eyles 9, Alex Long 6, Amy Baynes 6 and Lewis Middleton 5.

The new Brandon Bees team will also be in action this coming Tuesday (2nd August), when they tackle East Park Wolves of Wolverhampton in a Junior Challenge at Bretford Playing Fields, commencing at 7.15pm.

Meanwhile, the `Dirt Bike Club`, held at the Brandon Bees Cycle Speedway track in Bretford Playing Fields, continues this Saturday (30th July), from 10am – 11.30am. It also races into action on Saturday 6th and 13th August.

A registered British Cycling coach supervises all the sessions of the club, which runs from 10am-11.30am. It has attracted backing from British Cycling and the Coventry, Warwickshire and Solihull Sports Partnership.

The full address of the Dirt Bike Club is: Brandon Bees Cycle Speedway club, Bretford Playing Fields, Brandon Road, Bretford, Rugby, Warwickshire. Post code is: CV23 0LA.

For more information on the Brandon Bees Cycle Speedway club and the Dirt Bike Club, please ring: 07400 993999.