MATCH REPORT: Cycle Speedway the winner in explosive opening matches at Leicester

Cycle Speedway’s newest competition Supertrax Battle of Britain got underway in fine style at Leicester’s Slater Street track this afternoon, with two closely contested matches between the Midlands and the South & South East, which ended in one win a piece.

The Junior match began with a run of five 5-5 heats, before the deadlock was broken in heat 6 following an unfortunate incident when Jimmy Wassall caught his foot in his wheel which lead to his withdrawal from the meeting and a later revealed broken foot.

The lead had extended to nine points after Adam Cooper and Ben Harvey took a 7-3 over Damian Pelaczyk and Carl Parfitt in heat 9, but heat 10 proved to be a turning point with the otherwise unbeaten Pierce Bacon being excluded for running his opponent off the track. Ollie Morris and Brandon Whetton capitalised coming home for a 7-2 which gave the Midlands team renewed hope at 47-51.

After another shared heat the all Wednesfield pairing of Brandon Whetton and Carl Parfitt took a heat 12 7-3 to bring the scores back all square.

In the first of the nominated heats Pierce Bacon took his fourth win but the Midlands took second and third to mean it was tied going into the final race.

Brandon Whetton took the win to record a maximum and, although Harrison Bacon was second, Carl Parfitt’s third place was enough to seal a 70-68 victory for the Midlands.

It was a fine win for the Midlands, who had rescued a match which seemed to be slipping away from them but, whilst the South & South East team will have been disappointed to have not come away with the win, they should be pleased with their efforts.

Midlands 70
Haydn Rowley 10+2 (4), Jimmy Wassall 3 (2), Damien Pelaczyk 5 (3), Carl Parfitt 14 (5), Ben Wells 2 (2), Brandon Whetton 18+2 (5), Ewan Hancox 13+2 (5), Ollie Morris 5 (2)

SE&E 68
Pierce Bacon 16(5), Keanu Bowers 4 (3), Tyler Brinkhoff 9+1 (5), Harrison Bacon 16+1 (5), Ben Harvey 11+2 (4), Reece Johnson 7+1 (4), Adam Cooper 5 (2)

Referee – Steve Hodgkinson

The senior match followed the same pattern when, with the scores at 25-25, a heat 6 7-3 for Josh Brooke and Charlie Rumbold over Lee Kemp and Paul Heard put the S&SE into a lead, and a 7-3 in heat 9 for Josh Brooke and Dan Chambers made it 49-41 going into the interval.

Wins for Lewis Osborne and Matt Hill countered heat wins for Myke Grimes and Paul Heard, before an eventful heat 14 which saw first Leon Mower be excluded for movement on the start and then Matt Hartshorn for crossing the inside white line in a fierce battle with Richard Fellgett.

Wins for Brandon Whetton and Myke Grimes kept Midlands hopes alive, which were further boosted after a fine ride by Paul Heard and David Hemsley seemed to be heading for a 7-3 in heat 18, which would have put them into the lead, but Ashley Hill just managed to snatch second place on the line and keep a one point advantage going into the nominated heats.

The victory was sealed in heat 19 with Brandon Whetton, in his eleventh ride of the afternoon and despite a fine team performance was left at the tapes as Matt Hill and Lewis Osborne took the heat 7-3.

Myke Grimes took his fifth win of the afternoon in the final heat but it was the S&SE who finished victors by 100-97.

The SE&E team, based around last year’s Ipswich team, had a more cohesive feel to them, but the Midlands team can take heart from their performance as there were some top riders missing who hopefully will feature in later matches.

Midlands 97
Myke Grimes 23 (6), Brandon Whetton 15+1 (6), Dave Hemsley 11+1 (5), Matt Smith 13 (6), Lee Kemp 8+2 (5), Paul Heard 18+1 (6), Matt Hartshorn 1 (2), Craig Marchant 8 (4)

S&SE 100
Lewis Osborne 21+1 (6), Ashley Hill 13 (6), Josh Brooke 19 (6), Charlie Rumbold 11 (5), Leon Mower 4 (4), Matt Hill 19 (6), Dan Chambers 7+2 (4), Richard Fellgett 6+1 (3)

Referee – Ralph Doughty

The biggest winner on the day was Cycle Speedway.

The new competition plan has not been without it’s minority of detractors, but the reaction of those riders who were present was very positive and the healthy crowd were treated to two highly entertaining and close matches.

Even though they were beaten today, the Midlands riders were already looking forward to the next round but, before then, next Saturday is the first round of the new individual Grand Prix series at East Park.

Thanks to Ross Mee for the report.