Report: Wales v England U18 International
Event: 3rd April 2010, Newport Cycle Speedway | Source: Andy Whitehouse
Torrential rain greeted the riders last Saturday (3rd April) at East Newport's Larch Grove track. The rain became so heavy there was a possibility the meeting would have to be called off. However, a late track inspection by referee Richard Hughes gave the green light for the match to go ahead even though the first bend seemed to be holding the water. A decision totally justified that gave the crowd some fine racing from the young riders.
Welsh U16 champion Ben Mould started his day in heat two with a win after out gating England's Carl Jarvis in the third rerun of the heat because of waterlogged tapes. The rain was taking its toll and heat three saw another restart after a first bend collision and then a tape exclusion for Aaron Morgan gave Wales the chance of a 1-2 but England's Paul Heard was never going to be an easy push over after being run wide by Louis Harvey and Heard used his experience to secure the second place.
Heat five saw another three re-runs after the referee had asked the riders back to the grid for not racing! Then a second re-run saw another crash on the waterlogged first bend with Welsh rider Ryan Lewis hitting the deck after a dive over the handlebars. England's Dan Osbourne and Leon Wild took the first two places in the third run. The first 7-2 of the day came in heat seven after Wales' Jack Harrold slid off and failed to remount before the remaining riders had lapped him allowing England's Aaron Morgan and Paul Heard to take first and second place respectively.
The teams went into the interval with England eight points to the good at 48-40 and with everything to ride for in the second half. With the rain easing off it looked like there was going to be a hard fought battle for the match honours.
England captain Paul Heard took his first win of the day in heat eleven with a powerful display riding from the gate to take the win from Birmingham team mate Ben Mould.Welsh captain Mark Carmichael came into heat twelve as a substitute rider to take his second win of the day and give the Welsh youngster second highest points tally of the day and help keep the Welsh deficit to ten points.
With a 7-3 win in heat 13 England looked like they had secured the match win with a fourteen point advantage but Wales came out fighting in heat fourteen and with a fine win from Ryan Evans from the gate and the best pass of the day from Mark Carmichael the Welsh youngsters took their first 7-3 of the day and kept the match wide open going into the final four heats. However, the experience of the England side proved a step too far for the ever-improving Welsh riders and even though there was an outside chance of a match draw a 7-3 in heat 16 after a re-run and a Dan Chambers win the match was England's 98 points to 80 points, a result that probably didn't reflect how well Ian Sizer's Welsh team rode.
WALES 80: Ben Mould 18, Mark Carmichael 17, Louis Harvey 14, Dan Bock 9, Ryan Lewis 8, Ryan Evans 8, Jack Harrold 3, Josh Davis 3
ENGLAND 98: Matt Beharell 16, Dan Chambers 14, Leon Wild 14, Aaron Morgan 14, Paul Heard 13, Carl Jarvis 11, Dan Osborne 10, Aaron Herbet 6