Location: Leicester Cycle Speedway, Leicester
Event: 6 August 2011
Report: Ivan Pike
With this the final round robin of the One2Call at Leicester, eyes were on the South & South Wales vs Eastern tie as the winner of this contest would join the Midlands in the final.
The Midlands wanted to go through the card against an improving North & Scotland and with their top three all back in the line up they were not going to make it easy.
In the top billing match first advantage went to Eastern with a 7-3 from the Danielle Riley/Tiffany Collins partnership their first of three maximum scores. Collins made a good pass on Livvy Horsley and got her team partner through with Caris Glover in fourth. Horsley made amends in heat 7 lowering the colours of Lauren Jacobs with a fine pass, this being the first time Jacobs has been beaten in the league, and a 6-4 to S& SW to narrow the gap to two points.
Great team riding from Laura Dale helped shepherd Gemma Hill home for a 5-5 with Lauren Hookway taking the win with Christina Mines trying all she could to get past the Eastern pair followed by a another 7-3 from Collins/Riley this time over Hookway and Charlie Jane Herbert. South & South Wales pair Rebbeca Davies and Patrycja Borak knew they had a job to do in heat 21 with only one point between the teams but they unable to stop the Collins/Riley pairing get their third maximum of the afternoon and put them ever closer to the grand final. Dale went out and won a classy final race to book Eastern a place in their first ever grand final.
In the second match, Midlands opened with a 6-4, a repeat score in the next race from reserve rider Lauren Davies and Charlie Ellitts over Polish sensation Sandra Tomborska and Billie Owen respectively helped to extend their lead. Two drawn heats with a fine win for World Champion Laura Watson kept scores close but the Midlands turned it up a gear with consecutive 7-3's from Coutney Aris and Ellitts then from Amy Herbert and Davies a 6-4.
Niamh Morton came in for Katie Unwins after a nasty looking crash but Katie got her breath back and had a great battle with Whetton in heat 20. Alice Unwins came in to replace her sister but tried as she did was not able to trouble Natalie Timms as the Midlands went onto win 70-49.
In the One2Call Grand Prix series Livvy Horsley made another improvement after third in round one and second in round two, taking top spot in this meeting and increasing her lead over Lauren Hookway with 63 points to Hookway's 50.
With Danielle Riley claiming second in the A final Danielle has now closed the gap on Christina Mines who could only manage third in the final. With one round to go Horsley just needs to ride sensibly to take the 2011 crown with a real battle between Hookway (50 pts), Mines (48pts) and Riley (45pts) it will go down to the wire for the minor rostrum places.
In the over 16's Lauren Jacobs made it three out of three to take a massive 21 points lead into the final round. With her nearest challenge having a tough draw in the qualifying heats, Vicky Brown made the win in the B final which she knows wasn't good enough on the day. With Laura Watson taking third in the A final she closes the gap on Brown to just two points so all to play for in the final round at Heckmondwike.
South & South Wales 55: R Davies 8+2, C J Herbert 8, Horsley 13, Glover 5+2, Mines 4+1, Hookway 14, Borak 3.
Eastern 60: Jacobs 15, Natalie Ward 4, Collins11+4, Riley 15, Dale 13+1, Hill 6.
North & Scotland 49: Brown 13, Sullivan 5, Owen 45, Tomborska 13,,K Unwin 1, Watson 11+1, Morton 1, A Unwin 1.
Midlands 70: Bridley 12+1, Whetton 7, Ellitts 12+1, Aris 9+2, A Herbert 9+1, Timms 6+1, L Davies 15+1.
L Horsley 25, D Riley 20, S Tomborska 18, L Hookway 16, L Davies 14, Whetton 13, Mines 12, R Davies 11, E Sullivan 9, C Glover 8, B Owen 7, P Borak 6, G Hill 4., N Morton 3, K Unwin 2 A Unwin 1.
Jacobs 25, C Ellitts 20, L Watson 18, L Dale 16, V Brown 14, N Timms 13, A Herbert 12, Collins11, N Ward 9.