5 August 2012
HETHERSETT HAWKS / SWINTON & CO had five male and two female riders in the European Championships held in Suffolk over three days last weekend. Tiffany Collins was the most successful finishing 6th in the Women's Championship and her 14 points included a key last race defeat over previously unbeaten Sandra Tanborska that cost the Sheffield based Pole the title that went to home favourite Lauren Jacobs. Carly Grimes bravely continued with her painful shoulder and scored 8 points.
Their male counterparts all competed well against the best that the UK and Poland can offer but none reached the Semi-Finals. Leigh Cossey (15 pts) and Dan Chambers (12) got through Friday's qualifiers at the first attempt. Oliver Buxton (11) and Phil Adams (10) had to go into early Repechages on Saturday but both progressed without turning a wheel due to withdrawals. All four were then in the Quarter-Finals. Cossey started well with 7 points from two races but some key slips limited his tally to 12, just short of the qualifying mark. A similar fate befell Chambers - he had 12 points with one race to go but was promptly excluded for a starting infringement in windy conditions. Adams (9) and Buxton (8) both found the going tough.
Buxton was also in the Junior event along with Scott Grimes. This event appeared to be even more competitive than the Seniors but Buxton again did himself proud with 12 points in the qualifying round. Grimes showed glimpses of his best form but ended up with 9 points. So it was repechages later on Day 1 for the pair and Grimes came the closest to the qualifying mark with a rousing win in his last outing to take his tally to 13. In the same race Buxton was harshly excluded and this limited his score to 9 points, three matches in one day finally taking its toll.
Two Hawks riders did feature in the most dramatic match of the weekend - Adams and Cossey representing Ireland in the Nations Cup. The late night floodlit drama finally saw England pip Poland by a single point in an electric atmosphere with Ireland just losing their wooden spoon battle with Scotland, Cossey contributing 9 points and Adams 5.
It is back to South East League racing for the Hawks this Sunday when they entertain East London in Division 1 at 2 p/m.