MATCH REPORT: Whetton claims fifth British title in U19s

Newport hosted the British under 19 final today and on a overcast day with a decent looking track we were set for what looked like it was going to be a very entertaining meeting.

The Morton brothers (Eden & Niall) from Sheffield and Reece Pollitt from Astley were non arrivals leaving just 13 competitors to take to the track. The Morton family sadly having a break down and were subsequently towed back to Sheffield.

Colin Simmons was referee for the day and Dan Winchester provided his usual top class entertainment over the microphone for the crowd.

Adam Watson led from pillar to post in heat 1 and with Dan Knights passing Daniel Drewett for the all important second place. Heat 2 saw Newport’s Adam Bennett with a tapes to flag victory, Richard Felgett took second with Jacob Soper getting the better of Hellingly’s Jesse Moore, who had battled to try and recover a poor start.

Brandon Whetton took heat 3 in front of team mate Lee Kemp. A two rider heat 4 saw Wednesfield’s Carl Parfitt take the chequered flag in front of Ipswich’s Ben Harvey who kept him honest for the whole race.

Three riders who had all secured race wins in their first outings arrive at the tapes for heat 5, Adam Watson used the vacant grid 1 to his advantage and took the victory ahead of Brandon Whetton, with Adam Bennett, who had been left at the start finishing third.

Heat 6 was a match race between eventual winner Jesse Moore who outgated Alex Harvey from grid 4.

Heat 7 which had to be restarted due to a tapes malfunction ended up producing one of the races of the day, Carl Parfitt & Lee Kemp were battling on the inside and the clever Felgett, who had seen this, took advantage of a clash on the second lap between the Wednesfield pair in a move that looked like giving the Ipswich rider, who had gate 1’s in his next 2 races a major chance of taking the title.

Heat 8 also had to be restarted, with Ben Harvey taking a heavy fall on the 2nd lap whilst battling for second with Jacob Soper. Referee Colin Simmons had words with both riders before announcing that all 4 riders would restart the heat, a further restart was required when Ben Harvey was forced over the inside line. Ben Harvey used gate 1 to his advantage and led Dan Knights for just over 3 laps before he succumbed to his Ipswich team mate.

Jesse Moore won heat 9 after outgating Ben Harvey with Lee Kemp chasing him home, Adam Watson finishing in third and dropping his first points of the afternoon. Adam Bennett was jet propelled from gate 2, Carl Parfitt followed him round whilst Charles Barnett was hemmed in on the inside of the track.

After a short interval in which a light shower had arrived, Brandon Whetton was away and gone with Jacob Soper passing Daniel Drewett (who had ended up on the floor in the first staging of the heat), Soper then using the defending line to keep him at bay.

Felgett took heat 12 in a 3-rider-all-Ipswich affair with Dan Knights and Alex Harvey taking the minor positions. With 12 heats of the meeting completed, Richard and Brandon led the field with 11 points, with a host of riders, Adam Watson, Daniel Knights, Adam Bennett and Carl Parfitt all just 1 point behind.

Richard Felgett, who was having his second gate one in consecutive races put himself in the driving seat for the jersey by winning heat 13 in front of Watson and Barnett.

Lee Kemp gained his first victory of the afternoon by getting over Jacob Soper and pulling away for a comfortable win. Adam Bennett pulled off a fine ride after missing the gate in heat 15 and passing Alex Harvey and Daniel Drewett before lining up and passing Ben Harvey entering bend 1 lap 2.

Jesse Moore was excluded in the re-run for what was felt by some to be a harsh decision for a tapes infringement in what was to be an all important heat 16, in the first running a clash on bends 3 and 4 between Knights, Parfitt and Moore had seen a spare front wheel required on Jesse’s bike.

Dan Knights held off the challenge from Brandon Whetton after the duo had both passed fast gating Carl Parfitt.

With 4 heats and 1 ride remaining each it was still all to play for with Felgett leading by a point over Knights, Bennett and Whetton. Carl Parfitt was excluded at the start of 17 for movement at the tapes, Adam Watson returned to winning ways and put himself in the mix by finishing the meeting on 17 points with a great ride from gate 4.

Three riders in heat 18, including leader Richard Felgett and the pre meeting favourite Brandon Whetton, with the vacant gate 1 Whetton took full advantage and led from the start closely followed by Felgett who knew a race victory would secure the title, unfortunately for the Ipswich rider it wasn’t to be and a very costly slip at the end of lap 3 whilst in second position allowed Ben Harvey to take the all important second place that now left Whetton clear on 18 points.

Jesse Moore took heat 19 which left Dan Knights (gate 1) and Adam Bennett (gate 4) who were both on 14 points needing a win for a run off, Brandon was hoping team mate Lee Kemp from gate 2 could do him a favour, Dan Knights powered away from gate 1 closely followed by Adam Bennett, the home rider, failed in his attempts to pass Knights and with Kemp passing him in the latter stages of the race he also missed out on a run off for third.

With two riders on 18 and two on 17, the crowd were looking forward to two entertaining run off but were to be disappointed, the run off for third saw the disheartened Richard Felgett twitch at the start, leaving Adam Watson to complete just 1 lap to the cheers of the travelling Sheffield contingent.

The tired looking Dan Knights won the toss of the coin and took the inside gate. Unfortunately this wasn’t to be enough as Whetton outgated him and Knights had nothing to give.