MATCH REPORT: Wednesfield supreme in inaugural CS Cup Playoff Final

Wednesfield Aces delivered a cool, calmed and collected performance in the inaugural CS Cup Play Off Grand Final, in a hugely successful day at Coventry in front of a healthy crowd.

Heavy rain gave the host club plenty to do prior to the meeting, but their hard work paid off as they delivered a super fast track and the racing certainly did not disappoint.

It was Newport’s B-team who flew out of the traps to take an early lead after the first 4 races, but Wednesfield’s A-team hit back in the next block of 4, making little mistake off their grid 1s, taking three wins and second to take a slender lead that they would not surrender for the remainder of the match.

Another three wins for Wednesfield’s B-team, again off grid 1s, saw them stretch their one-point lead to 4 as Newport and Ipswich took points off each other behind the Aces race winners.

Newport, who had begun to slip out of contention after heat 12, hauled themselves back into the running by the break, as their A team slammed in three wins from their grid 1s. Only Jacob Soper unable to match the other A-team riders after clashing with Wednesfield’s Carl Parfitt and slipping off on the turn 4 exit.

A good crowd watched the action throughout. Photos by Andy Whitehouse.

The drama continued in heat 15 with the best lap and a half of the day, which concluded in a heavy fall between Brandon Whetton and Astley’s Ciaran Collins coming out of bend 2, with all four riders bunched up at high speed after positions changed multiple times.

Whetton dusted himself down and managed to take second in the rerun behind Newport’s impressive number 10, Sean Bennett, after Ipswich’s Matt Hill came down heavily challenging the Newport youngster.

It was damage limitation for Wednesfield, after getting their two blocks of grid 4s out of the way without conceding a last place. They lead at the break with 48 points, Ipswich and Newport tied on 43, with A&T battling hard and being in the mix throughout but lacking depth on 25.

PHOTOS: See Andy Whitehouse’s photos here

In the second half Wednesfield did not put a wheel wrong. Of the remaining 18 heats, they took first or second on 13 occasions, only finishing at the back once in the final race.

Newport hit a purple patch between heats 21 and 28, winning 6 of the 8 races, but with Wednesfield being super consistent behind them, the Aces’ lead was quickly becoming unassailable.

In the same period Ipswich began to fade, including a nasty crash for Charlie Rumbold, who hit the deck face first at speed when diving under Sean Bennett. The accident was waved away as a racing incident by referee, Bob Prince, which disgruntled the travelling Eagles contingent, meanwhile Wednesfield’s Chris Jewkes sailed through from third for a heat win for the Aces and secure a 15 point haul for the Aces talisman.

Mark Grantham comes to grief battling with Leon Mower and Chris Jewkes. Photo by Andy Whitehouse.

The Eagles A-team finished strong with 3 grid 1 race wins, but their challenge for second was severely hindered by the previous block of 8 heats. Newport’s efforts from their final block of difficult grid 4 races were largely fruitless. Victory for the Aces was confirmed in heat 30, after Jack Harrold’s late dive on Carl Parfitt saw him hit the deck and out of the re-run.

Consistency and cool heads won the day for Wednesfield in a supreme performance lead by Team GB captain, Paul Heard, who looked top class all day. It was very much a team performance though, with all riders securing important points throughout the match, remarkably only conceding the one last place after the match was already won.

It was a “what could have been” sort of day for Newport, costly mistakes and a few tangles put paid to their challenge and often Wednesfield were the beneficiaries of the many Newport and Ipswich battles. Ben Mould lead the Welsh challenge with Mark Carmichael scoring freely in the B team. The Bennett cousins were always in the thick of the action and provided some crowd pleasing all-action rides.

Ipswich looked strong early on but just lacked on fire power against older and wiser opponents, however, many lessons will be learned for the Eagles, which can only put them in good stead for the future. On reflection, Matt Hill’s heat 15 clash with Sean Bennett saw them begin to lose touch with Wednesfield ahead of half time.

Newport’s Mark Carmichael scored well in the Newport B Team. Photo by Andy Whitehouse.

Astley and Tyldesley’s riders delivered much entertainment throughout the day and many deserved more for their efforts. Stand out rides from Pollitt, Holland and Collins gave onlookers and their travelling support plenty to shout about, but it was a hard day for the Manchester side who just lacked a bit on the day at the top end.

The day belonged to Wednesfield though and a thoroughly deserved victory sees the trophy head back to Ashmore Park once again.

The racing was fast and furious with some big incidents for the good sized crowd, which included many first timers expressing their positive impressions post-match. It was certainly a great day for Cycle Speedway.

2017 CS Cup Playoff Grand Final winners, Wednesfield Aces. Photo by Andy Whitehouse.


Wednesfield 97
Paul Heard 14, Brandon Whetton 11, Lee Kemp 12, Carl Parfitt 11, Harrie Everiss 9, Chris Jewkes 15, Haydn Rowley 13, Mark Griffiths 12

Newport 87
Ben Mould 14, Jacob Soper 9, Jack Harrold 9, Chris Davies 6, Dale Clark 5, Dan Bock 8, Adam Bennett 11, Mark Carmichael 14, Callum Goward DNR, Sean Bennett 11

Ipswich 81
Ben Clarke 7, Richard Fellgett 12, Matt Hill 11, Ashley Hill 12, Fraser Harris 7, Charlie Rumbold 11, Reece Johnson 2, Leon Mower 15, Alex Harvey 4

Astley & Tyldelsey 52
Ciaran Collins 6, Paul Graham 5, Reece Pollitt 11, Max Evans 5, Emily Burgess 4, Mick Knowles 7, Mark Grantham 4, Kyle Holland 10