MATCH REPORT: Men’s Battle of Britain Final Round

Report by Mike Hack

The final round of the Men’s Battle of Britain series took place at East Park, Wolverhampton, on Saturday. Disappointingly, the South East & Eastern team withdrew the day before, followed by Kris Ramsden and Mike Baldock pulling out of the North & Scotland team on the morning of the match. With only four riders present, any chance of the North & Scotland team repeating their victory in Round 3 at Ipswich were dashed.

The South & South Wales team fell behind early on, when conceding two successive 7-3 heat wins, after riders fell. However, they pulled it back and looked to be winning comfortably, before Ben Mould was twice subbed for reserve riders and Will Jeffery suffered his second fall of the match in heat 26. This meant that the match went to a last heat decider, with the Midlands team needing a 7-2 to level the scores with the South & South Wales team. Paul Heard took the race win, but Pawel Idziorek kept out Craig Guy, to ensure that the South & South Wales team won by a single point. This clinched the Men’s series win for the South & South Wales team.

It was a most competitive match, ridden in a good spirit throughout, on a cool, blustery day. For the Midlands, Paul Heard lost only to World Champion Ben Mould and Will Jeffery. Steve Beesley top scored on 19, whilst Mould raced unbeaten for the South & South Wales team, with Jeffery unbeaten in four rides and falling in the other two. The North & Scotland team were left ruing the twelve points lost through not fielding a rider in twelve races, finishing fourteen points behind the winning team. All four North & Scotland riders rode superbly. Lewis Foxley top scored, with 22 points, Reece Pollitt (despite a knee injury) and Pawel Idziorek, both scored 21. Steve Harris rode as a reserve and he teamed up with partners to take heat wins in five of their six races together.

Men’s Battle of Britain Round 4 result

South & South Wales 91 Midlands 90 North & Scotland 77

South & South Wales: Steve Beesley 19, Will Jeffery 16 (2), Ben Mould 15 (1), Adam Bennett 12 (1), Owen Johnson 10 (1), Jack Ellis 7 (2), Lee Galley 7 (2), Morgan Porter 5.

Midlands: Paul Heard 21 (1), Chris Jewkes 16 (2), Brandon Sidebotham 13 (1), Nathan Groves 12 (1), Connor Steel 10 (1), Craig Guy 9, Craig Whitehead 9.

North & Scotland: Lewis Foxley 22, Reece Pollitt 21, Pawel Idziorek 21, Steve Harris 13 (2).

Referee – Dave Dart.

Men’s Battle of Britain series final standings

South & South Wales 14 (293), North & Scotland 9 (211), South East & Eastern 8 (197), Midlands 5 (155).

The final Elite Grand Prix round was cancelled after only three riders entered.

Men’s Elite Grand Prix series final standings

Chris Timms (Birmingham) 56, Ben Clarke (Ipswich) 54, Ben Mould (Horspath) 50.