MATCH REPORT: Team GB Vets win first test in Le Fevre

Team GB’s Veterans team won the inaugural Veterans test match against Australia on another chilly evening at Le Fevre.

After a scorching start to the tour, colder weather has hit Adelaide the past three days and the cold chill at “Le Freezer” was felt among spectators for the third night running. They were rewarded for putting up with the cold by a highly entertaining encounter on the track.

Brad Hoppo raced to victory for Australia to share the first heat, before Mark Winwood and Mark Whitehead secured a 6-4 in heat 2. The all-out encounter, which featured many passes, saw GB unable to increase their lead with two more shared heats, before taking control with two 7s and a 6-4 in the next 4 heats.

Australia managed to secure their own heat advantage before the break after Mark Winwood suffered a tapes exclusion. Steve Mullinder used all his experience to pass and keep Simon Harley behind from the unflavoured grid 4 to reduce the deficit to a 6-3.

GB had a 9 point lead at half time and the next three heats were all shared until Martyn Hollebon and Craig Marchant took a maximum points core in heat 13. A 5-4 to Australia followed after Mick Knowles was excluded for GB, but two 7-3s followed as the tourists started to turn the screw.

Winwood suffered another exclusion in heat 17, giving the powerful Aussie duo of Paul White and Brad Hoppo a 7-2 over Paddy Wenn. The match concluded with a fourth win of the day for Norman Venson, capping off an excellent performance, and a 6-4 for GB with Marchant taking third.

The match finished 80-97, with White and Hoppo delivering stand-out performances for the Aussies. Venson, Whitehead and Hollebon all scored freely for GB.