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Leicester triumph in Midlands battle
Sandwell v Leicester
British Team Championship - Quarter-final
Event: 10th July 2011
It seems that Sandwell meet Leicester almost every year in the British Team Championship, and maybe it should become an annual event, but on a nice sunny afternoon with some good racing, worries about cup draws are put to back of the mind.
This was a match of two teams and a referee. Leicester with their all powerful, very experienced side against a Sandwell side of youth, and promise, and a referee who made some odd decisions in the last few heats of the match. So all in all it was a normal afternoon's cycle speedway.
Eventually it would be Leicester who cruised to a well worked cup quarter final victory over West Midlands rivals Sandwell by 101 points to 79. Top visitor was Adam Peck who took full advantage of his inside grids to notch maximum points and he received excellent back up from his team mates.
Despite the score line there were several interesting races, particularly when Sandwell's Smith brothers and Scott Millward were on track. Examples being Phil Howells making a good pass on Millward to take heat three and Matt Smith similarly relegating Craig Marchant in heat eight.
The penultimate heat was probably the pick, Lee Smith showing all his track craft to hold off a hard charging Carl Jarvis for three laps until the Leicester rider had a close encounter with the safety fence, referee Mike Legge deciding that it was a racing incident and inviting all four back to the start.
Sandwell gained their only heat advantage in the final heat, Marchant was excluded for a tapes offence and Millward and Matt Smith rode a superb race to relegate the lone Monarch, Phil Howells to third place.
The match did throw up one most unusual incident - a yellow card directed at the announcer for making public criticism of the referee!
Sandwell 77: L Smith 18, S Millward 16+1, M Smith 15, S Brooks 9, D Ball 6, R Johnston 6, J Rowley 4, L Brooks 3.
Leicester 101: A Peck 20, P Howells 16+1, L Yelland 15, C Jarvis 14+1, J Ashford 12+1, C Marchant 10, K Burns 8, M Skinner 6+1.