Location: Leicester Cycle Speedway, Leicester
Event: 6 August 2011
Report: Ivan Pike
The inaugural One 2 Call British Veterans' Team Championships took place at Leicester with the Midlands taking the crown.
It was always going to be tough for the East and with a tape exclusion for British Veterans' Champion Jason Ashford in his opening ride this was the case. The meeting had started with a 5-5 from Mark Griffiths with his Midlands teammate John Whetton at the back with Dennis Hubble and Steve Woodrough for the East.
A fine ride by Kevin Smith for the East split Rob Haywood and Colin Simmons in heat 2. Apart from the Ashford exclusion which gifted Norman Venson and Dave Frith partnership a 7-2 the Midlands could only muster drawn heats. The South and South Wales took a massive 7-3 with Steve Harris and Dave Murphy over Paul Timms and Bob Prince (Mids) in the last race before the interval.
The Midlands started to apply pressure at the start of the second half with Frith and Venson getting the better of Woodrough and Phil Davies (Eastern). Things got even tighter when the Frith/Venson duo slammed in another 7-3 this time over the South and South Wales pairing of Colin Wheeler and Pete Chant. A 7-2 advantage for Prince and Timms brought the scores level at 71 apiece for Midlands, and South and South Wales with the Eastern team back on 55.
The turning point came in heat 20 when Colin Simmons was waiting for the referee to blow his whistle for what he thought was a tape infringement. The whistle never came and Prince and Timms picked up another 7-3. Frith and Venson finished of their afternoon with another heat advantage 6-4 over Haywood and Simmons. A last chance for the South and South Wales came in the penultimate heat but a tape exclusion for Wheeler and the title was heading back to the Midlands. Harris and Murphy gained some pride in the last race (6-4) .
Winning Team Manager Roger Ellis said: "It was a great win for the Midlands veterans team at Leicester today from a very competitive South & South Wales side. It was a shame that the Eastern team weren't more competitive finishing in third place, there was some great races and my lads have done me proud, it was a great win for them.
Midlands 98: M Griffiths 23, N Venson 19+2, P Timms 19, D Frith 17+3, B Prince 16+4, J Whetton 6.
South & South Wales 92: (D Murphy 20, S Harris 18, R Haywood 17+1, C Wheeler 14+1, P Chant 13+2, C Simmons 10.
Eastern 76: J Ashford 21, D Hibble 21, S Woodroof 14+1, K Smith 11+1, P Davies 9.