MATCH REPORT: Hammers claim win over Monarchs

This weekend, the Horspath Hammers welcomed the Leicester Monarchs to their track, for their home Charity Shield fixture. With many of the Monarchs arriving the night before for a pre meeting camping party and diet cokes and celery sticks on the menu, and with home riders joining them, the pre evening saw rounders and football taking place on the adjoining play area. There’s no truth in the rumour they played on the childrens swings either!

So after a hearty cooked breakfast in the morning and a ten mile run for all, they all passed the alcohol test with flying colours and took to the track to give the supporters an afternoon of Cycle Speedway entertainment.

The meeting started with Craig Marchant leaping form the start to show he’s well and truly over the injury, but with Jack Ellis tucked in behind and Jake Neighbour doing the blocking role, Damien Pelacyck couldn’t find his way through. Race two brought together a strong home pairing of Lukas Nowacki and Will Jeffery up against Kev Burns and Dave Frith. Will made the start from the inside grid and looking for Lukas on the first corner only saw the two Monarchs who used all their experience to keep the ex World Champion frustratingly probing away, but no room to come through so another drawn heat. Heat three saw the first heat advantage after a rerun where Zac Payne and Norman Venson decided they wanted the exact same piece of track, with Norman coming off best! Racing incident was the call, and rightly so as we all wanted to see four riders going at each other on track, and not watching from the pits.In the rerun Zac made the gate and set off like a hurt Cheetah, and this time it was Norms partner Mark Whitehead who took up the challenge, but he couldn’t reel Zac in but kept the ever lively George Horsley behind him to restrict the damage. The next two races brought on track the reserve riders for the day and in the first Wayne “Chicken wing” Hutt showed his recent fitness regime has massively paid off as he looked pacey out front , but again the experienced Marchant shepherded home Steff Whitehead to keep young Ellis at the back. Neighbour and Dave Liebermann then executed another heat advantage over Pelacyck and Luke Whitehead to increase the Hammers lead to 8 points. With some classic racing and team work from both sides the meeting continued to be very entertaining for the healthy crowd. The second half of the meeting brought about much of the same , but the Monarchs couldn’t get those all important heat advantages despite using all their experience to continually keep the home riders on their toes, but with Payne remaining unbeaten all day, but beaten up by Norm!, the Hammers finsihed in style with a Payne/Jeffery 7-3 over Mark Whitehead and Craig Marchant to run out 100-79 winners.

The result doesn’t really reflect the closeness of the meeting, but this is why the Hammers wanted to enter this crossover competition as racing sides full of class and experience like the Monarchs showed, will only benefit the youthful Hammers in their racing careers. Great night, great days racing, safe to say the Hammers and Monarchs enjoyed the weekend.Good luck in Poland all those riders racing, bring it home!

Scorers:- Zac Payne 19+1,Lukas Nowacki 15,Jake Neighbour 14+2,Will Jeffery 12+2,Jack Ellis 12+1,George Horsley 10,Wayne Hutt 10,Dave Liebermann 8

Monarchs:-Mark Whitehead 16,Craig Marchant 13+1,Dave Frith 11,Kev Burns 10+2,Damien Pelacyck 9,Luke Whitehead 9,Norman Venson 8+2,Steff Whitehead 3