Report: 2010 European Club Championships
Event: 2nd May 2010 | Report and Images: Andy Whitehouse | Full Results (Updated 07/05/2010)
Above: Images from the Finals (Andy Whitehouse)
Wednesfield Aces came close to claiming the accolade of best team in Europe on Sunday 2nd May at the European Club Championships held at Bury's Goshen Sports centre track. The Midlands side lost out to pre-tournament favourites, Poland's Zielona Gora, in a thrilling final that also saw Horspath and a second Polish team Leszno battle it out for the honours. Three full days of racing saw sixteen of the best cycle speedway teams in Europe compete for the champions crown, giving the large crowds some fine battles on the shale.
The Final started well for both English clubs with Horspath taking the first two heats and Wednesfield taking second spot. With a determined Lee Aris (Wednesfield) taking the win in heat three it looked like the title would be an English one. Heat four saw Horspath's Lewis Osbourne secure their third heat win of the final and with Wednesfield's Chris Jewkes trailing in fourth the Oxford side had pulled a four point advantage over the competition. With racing at this level one foot wrong and the advantage can swing the other way and with Horspath's substitute Mike Morgans being excluded in heat five for a tape violation, Wednesfield pulled Horspath's advantage back to one point with a hard-fought second place from Terry Norman after passing Leszno's Pietr Jamrocyk.
Heat seven saw Leszno's Partik Jakubczak excluded for causing a stoppage after crashing with Horspath's Mark Boaler who went on to claim second place behind Zielona Gora's Radak Handke.The Polish team had slowly crawled their way to one point adrift of second placed Wednesfield. With a fine win from Zielona Gora's Marcin Szymanski in the last heat of the first half, the Polish favourites had gone into the break on twenty one points, level-pegging with the two English clubs.
Above: Images from the Semis (Andy Whitehouse)
Just to show his win could be repeated Szymanski took another fine win in heat nine and put the Polish side into the lead for the first time. Not to be outdone by his team mate Gora's Radak Handke took the win in heat ten and the strength of the Polish favourites was beginning to show. Leszno sent out their fifth rider, Kamil Naskret, in heat eleven and after a hard-fought battle with Lee Aris the Pole secured Leszno's second win of the final.
Heat thirteen saw Leszno waste a race when Marcin Skowronek exceeded the allowed time to take his grid position and referee John Whiting had no hesitation in sending the rider back to the pits and effectively ending any chance of the Polish team securing anything but fourth place. Wednesfield's young Matt Beharrel put in a gritty ride to take the win in heat fourteen which kept the Midlands club within reach of the title but with the Zielona Gora holding their own in the final heats it wasn't to be and the trophy was heading back to Poland.
Result | Full Results
Zielona Gora 46
Marciek Ganczarek 14, Radek Handkel 13, Marcin Symanski 12, Marcin Pawlowski 7
Lee Aris 12, Terry Norman 12, Matt Beharrell 10, Chris Jewkes 9
Mark Boaler 14, Steve Harris 11, Mark Carmichael 7, Lewis Osborne 7, Mike Morgans 2
Mateus Szymczak 9, Pitor Jamroszczyk 7, Patryk Jakubczak 4, Kamil Naskret 4, Marcin Skowronek 2