MATCH REPORT: BYJL South-East Regional Round 1

Report and photo by Andrew Parr

The sun shone on Kesgrave for the first round of the BYJL in the South East & Eastern region on Saturday 05 June 2021.

An excellent meeting began with the U8s. Kesgrave’s Oliver Spurgeon looked the class of the field but withdrew part way through the heats. Hellingly’s Sam Ridley took full advantage and won a hard fought A Final by a couple of metres from Kesgrave’s Matthew Emmerson. Jasper Johnson of Great Blakenham and Kesgrave’s Lincoln Powling were third and fourth respectively.

The U10s produced some of the best racing of the day with Norwich’s Connor Jarrett and Demi-Blu Harris (Kesgrave) each beating the other in the heats. Connor and Demi were joined in the A final by Great Blakenham’s Coben Ashford and Kesgrave’s Isaac Powling. After some excellent dicing in the heats, all eyes were on Demi and Connor as the tapes went up. Demi was drawn on gate 1 but Connor got the better start and led into the first bend. The first time through bend 3, Demi dived underneath Connor and they were elbow to elbow down the home straight with Demi on the inside and she led the second lap. Connor was not giving up, pushing Demi hard and made his move on the last lap with an attempted pass into bend 3. Connor’s front wheel made contact with Demi’s rear wheel and sadly, Connor came to grief, eventually finishing fourth with Coben second and Isaac third. Connor was none the worse for his brush with the shale and all the riders received a huge ovation from a very appreciative and enthusiastic crowd for a highly competitive and entertaining race.

Demi-Blu Harris (Kesgrave) and Connor Jarrett (Norwich) starting their second lap in the A Final

There was great anticipation for the U12s with a host of Kesgrave talent on show. Harvey Shumake, Lily Parr and Luca Woodhouse all made the A Final but Ollie Edmunds unexpectedly only qualified for the B Final after an exclusion in the heats for causing a stoppage. Ollie’s exclusion allowed Kesgrave’s ever improving Lynton Titshall to take the remaining place in the A Final. Lily made the best start leading into the first bend and maintained her lead to the end, winning from Luca and Harvey with Lynton fourth.

Charlie Parr (Kesgrave) scored a maximum in the heats and was joined in the U14 A Final by Norwich’s Shaun Kell and Kesgrave duo Ryker Jolly and Magnus Vincent. Charlie led into the first corner from gate 3 but nearly came to grief on the drying track but held his advantage to win from Ryker, Shaun and Magnus.

The heats for the U16s, U18s and Girls all ran together with Ipswich’s Ben Clarke the class of the field but was pushed very hard by Kesgrave riders Torsten Jolly and Noah Woodhouse. Noah won the U16 A Final with Torsten Jolly (Kesgrave) a close second and Ipswich’s Kai Gowers third. Ben comfortably won the U18 A Final from Tom Blackmore (Norwich). Phoebe Hammond (Kesgrave) won an unopposed Girls A Final.

The meeting doubled as a round of the South East GP and so there were senior and veterans classes running as well. The senior A Final was won by Ipswich’s Matt Hill from Leon Mower (Great Blakenham) with Ipswich riders Ashley Hill and Fraser Harris third and fourth respectively.

A good entry of veterans saw a win for Jason Ashford (Great Blakenham) from Gary Brown (Kesgrave) with Blakenham’s Bill Rhodes third and Steve Hammond of Kesgrave fourth.

A fabulously enjoyable meeting made even more special by seeing familiar faces again after such a long layoff and we are now looking forward to the next round at Somersham on Saturday 26 June.