MATCH REPORT: Great Blakenham struggle as Hellingly Lions take victory

Hellingly Lions emerged victorious on Sunday after a tight tactical battle with Great Blakenham round the tricky Sussex track.

The visitors were short on numbers due to a number of issues but the top 3 of Cody Chadwick, Richard Williamson (both visiting for the first time) and Lewis Osbourne started strongly taking the chequered flag in the first five heats.

Heat 2 looked like an advantage to the home side until Lewis passed Hellingly captain Jesse Moore early in the race and took the victory, with the first 3 heats being shared. A mix up between Hellingly riders Jamie Cox and Steven Archer allowed Steve Johnson the all important third place and the visitors were 2 points ahead.

Heat 6 saw the first advantage for the home side when Jim Cox claimed third ahead of Terry Ashford. A further shared heat left the scores all square at 35-35 with one heat before the interval. Neil Hollebon and Eddie Ridley scored a 6-4 advantage in heat 8 meaning the Lions were just a couple of points in front at the break.

Steven Archer and Jesse Moore gave the home side the first maximum heat advantage in the first heat after the break taking the Lions 6 points in front.

The 6 point lead remained through two shared heats and was extended in heat 12 through the Moore/Hollebon (Martyn) duo. Williamson split the pair so with 4 heats remaining the home side had an 8 point advantage to defend.

Cody and Connor Wright set about reducing the lead in heat 13 and with Cody Chadwick getting the better of Eddie Ridley and Connor Wright getting through for 3rd, a 6-4 to Blakenham meant the lead had dropped to 6.

Jesse Moore looked like taking the win in heat 14 until the ever trying Lewis Osbourne made a great pass on the last bend meaning the lead remained at 6.

Heat 15 saw Steven Archer making a move on Richard Williamson on lap 3 and with Williamson a little tentative on the tricky second bend, Martyn Hollebon followed him through to secure the only maximum advantage of the day.

With a 10 point lead the match was all but over with Hellingly assured of the points available on the day.

The nominated heat 16 was just what it should be, both sides sent out strong pairings with Neil Hollebon and Jesse Moore from the inside gates facing Cody Chadwick and Lewis Osbourne. As the tapes went up 2 races in 1 developed, Lewis set out to chase Neil and Cody and Jesse battled for 3rd and 4th. As hard as he tried, Lewis just couldn’t catch Neil and with Cody eventually getting the better of Jesse a shared heat gave the final score of Hellingly 85 Great Blakenham 75.

After the match, Club Chairman Barry Carpenter said “Today the whole team rode well, we knew we were facing a good top order from Great Blakenham and they had certainly done there homework on our tight circuit. Lewis Osbourne has been here before and obviously had passed on information to his team mates, not many teams come here and win the first few races and they won the first 5. Without missing a few riders the score would have been a lot closer, top marks to all the riders today for some very enjoyable racing.”

Division 1

Hellingly Lions 85

Neil Hollebon 20+1, Jesse Moore 18+1, Steven Archer 14+1, Martyn Hollebon 12+3, Eddie Ridley 11+1, Jim Cox 10+2.

Great Blakenham 75

Lewis Osbourne 22, Cody Chadwick 21+1, Richard Williamson 13, Steve Johnson 7+1, Connor Wright 6, Gavin Whitehouse 4, Terry Ashford 2.