CLUB NEWS: Better times ahead as Coventry promote new riders

Coventry Cycle Speedway team rounded off their Midland League senior campaign at Leicester last Sunday afternoon – and they continued to build for the future by handing 2016 debuts to two senior riders.

They went down 103 – 75 to their oldest rivals in an entertaining encounter but finished the season on a high with Steve Stewart (pictured centre, who made his debut against Wednesfield two weeks ago), Kyle Barlow (right) and Sam Hardie (left) all earning a late season call-up by team boss Lee Marsh.

The trio injected fierce passion and enthusiasm into the Coventry side which has struggled in the current Midland League season at senior level through their inability to consistently track anything like their strongest combination on a regular basis.

Stewart, robust and super fit, more than made up for his lack of experience by completing all his five rides by hard chasing his opponents in all his outings in a highly encouraging debut performance.

Barlow and Hardie have both returned to action recently after a ten year break from racing. Now both in their mid-twenties, and already mounted on new bikes to underline their new found commitment, they both were in the thick of the action on Sunday.

An ex-Motorbike Speedway rider, Barlow has progressed back to Cycle Speedway as the pedal sport continues to thrive in Coventry. Hardie, a former British junior finalist, excels at team riding and looks set to win a regular first team spot next season.

Coventry soon fell behind in the early stages at Leicester and it fell to flying Pole Dominik Ryacharski to land their first blow, with the long serving rider brilliantly winning heat 3.

British number two Myke Grimes also was in winning form, taking heats 5 and 8 as he and Rycharski mounted fierce resistance to the Leicester attack. By the half way stage, heat 9, Coventry trailed by 56-34 points.

Ollie Morris took a well ridden second place in heat 10 and the fast improving youngster, becoming more accustomed at senior level, then won heat 14 to underline his rich promise for the future.

Other than Rycharski, Grimes and Morris, Coventry struggled to beat their powerful Leicester counter-parts, although the Dan Drewett/Joe McLaughlin pairing combined well to share heat 15.

Team manager Marsh said: “There’s no denying we have been seriously handicapped this year at senior regional level by not tracking our best side. However, we have managed to plug the gaps and we have been competitive, if not winning opponents, in all our matches”.

Coventry points scorers:

Dominik Rycharski 16, Myke Grimes 16, Kyle Barlow 10, Steve Stewart 9, Dan Drewett 8, Ollie Morris 8, Sam Hardie 4 and Joe McLaughlin 4.

Coventry maintained their Midland League division two challenge by winning 81-69 at Leicester, again underlining their emerging prominence at second team and junior level.

Coventry points scorers:

Josh Marsh 18, Ben Wells 18, Cameron Gill 16, Sammi Marsh 14, Ollie Morris 10 and Heather Smith 4.

A young Coventry side also won the Midland League division three encounter by 42-38, with the flying Ben Wells returning a 16-point maximum score.

Coventry point scorers:

Ben Wells 16, Lewis Fry 12, James Morris 8 and Jude Willcockson 6.

To complete a successful weekend for the Coventry juniors, they travelled to the big East Park track in Wolverhampton last Saturday for an under 16s challenge, and returned home with a 103-76 success.

Both James Bridge-Wilkinson and Jacob Clifford made their Coventry debuts. They both won at least one race each in yet another sign of Coventry`s justification of their relentless recruitment and youth policy.

Coventry's junior team v East Park.

Coventry’s junior team v East Park.

Coventry point scorers:

Wyatt Jacobs 16, James Bridge-Wilkinson 15, Harry Hibbert 14, Jack Reynolds 14, Jacob Slezak 12, Jacob Clifford 10, James Morris 9 and Lewis Fry 7.

The next local Cycle Speedway action is on Sunday 16th October 2016, when the Coventry club promote the annual Chris Allen Memorial Trophy at Hearsall Common, commencing at 1pm.