British Indoor Cycle Speedway Championships
Location: Fit City, Eccles, Manchester
Event: 8-9 December 2012
Report and Images: Andrew Whitehouse
Ryan Hoyland was crowned British open individual indoor champion after a tense 20 heats that came down to a two-man run-off at Fit City in Eccles, near Manchester.
2010/2011 champion Mike Morgans decided not to go for a hat trick of titles, leaving the Championships open for a new winner. Sensible money was on Mark Boaler to ride to victory, but the Horspath rider wasn't to have the best of days leaving Hoyland to step up to the plate.
Hoyland's road to victory got off to a solid start taking the win in the first heat of the match, holding off a strong challenge from a charging Mikey Hewitson, who would make the run off for third spot later in the day.
Scott Millward took a fine victory in the following heat just holding Bury's Chris Parrish into second on the line. Not content with winning the veterans final earlier in the day the six times indoor open champion Steve Harris had his first outing of the match but crashing into the boards on the second lap would really sum up the Horspath rider's day.
A fine ride from Matt Smith in the third heat saw the Sheffield rider power away from the tapes leaving the rest of the race to scrap for the minor points, Shaun Rudman and Mark Boaler clashed leaving Rudman the wrong side of the boards on the third lap.
Mark Carmichael got his match off to the best start with two relatively easy back to back victories in heats four and five, the young Welshman looking a promising bet for the overall victory.
Heat six proved to be a heat that would end in a crash with Hoyland and Smith meeting for the first time in the match and sure enough the two ended up through the boards resulting in referee Ralph Doughty re-starting the heat.
Again it would be the two youngsters who provided the fireworks with 4 laps of close racing, Smith looking as he had the heat victory sewn up only for Hoyland to make a fine pass on lap three to take the four points and his second win of the day.
More fireworks in heat eight saw Shaun Rudman excluded, Stockport's Ben Higham took a great second spot ousting Steve Harris on the final lap to claim three points while Chris Timms rode off the front to take a classy win and his first four points of the match.
A win in heat nine for Chris Parish gave the Bury man his first taste of victory and Shaun Rudman took the match to the midway point with a fine win in heat ten. With three rides under his belt it was Hoyland who was in the driving seat with eleven points.
A fast gate by Mikey Hewitson in heat twelve saw the Edinburgh rider look like the heat could give him his first win but a slip on his pedals saw Harris and Tom Reed pounce on the stranded rider, the move giving Reed his first victory of the match but it would prove far too late to trouble the top of the leader board.
Both Carmichael and Smith faulted in the following heat finishing third and fourth respectively unable to disturb Millward and Timms taking an important win which in hindsight turned the match on its head. Wins in heats fifteen and sixteen for Hewitson and Parish left the match wide open with four heats remaining. Four riders on thirteen points, Hoyland, Timms, Parish and Millward and Hewitson just one point adrift.
A tussle between Smith and Harris in heat seventeen showed what indoor cycle speedway is about, hard, fast, exciting racing right to the last corner and although Smith fell coming out of the last bend allowing Mark Whitehead to sneak through into second it was a fine race worthy of a final.
Hoyland knew he had to win his last outing if he had any chance of taking the title and exploding out of the gate made light work of the heat to take maximum points.
The penultimate lap saw fireworks on the track. With Hewitson and Carmichael having everything to play for, Rudman was excluded for causing Hewitson to crash and in the re-run Carmichael rode a perfect race to secure maximum points and a place in the run off for third and with Hewitson crossing the line in second place he to finished the match on fifteen points and a place in the run off.
A win in the final heat would see Timms draw level with Hoyland and force a run off for the title and flying from the tapes the Birmingham rider made no mistake to take the heat and the chance of the title.
The third place run off promised to be an enthralling race with the chance of a podium spot. All three riders Hewitson, Carmichael and Parish were all capable of securing the win and as expected it would come down to re-runs.
Hewitson was excluded for crashing just in front of Carmichael, impeding the Welshman and causing the race to stop. In the re-run Parish got a flying start over Carmichael but the young Welshman fought hard to get back on terms and the two riders were wheel to wheel for most of the race and inevitably the two came together and Carmichael was excluded for causing a crash leaving Parish to take a well-deserved third spot.
As with the previous race the title run-off would prove to be just as appetizing, both Timms and Hoyland sensed victory and for three laps the two were neck and neck but it was going into the final bend that Hoyland was launched into the padding round the starting gate leaving Timms to roll across the line in first place.
But after a seemingly lengthy discussion between the referee and the assistant referee, Timms was excluded for not allowing the other rider room to race and so the 2012 Indoor Open Championship went the Ryan Hoyland.
Under-19 Indoor Championship
Mark Carmichael rode a near faultless match to claim the 2012 indoor Under 19's title. The young Horspath rider pulled on the hooped jersey after only dropping one point in heat fifteen to a flying Matt Smith.
Carmichael's assault on the title started with a relatively straight forward win on his first outing in heat two shrugging off the challenge from Stockport's Jack Lush. Ben Mould's day started well with an easy win in heat four leaving the three chasers in his wake, Mould's challenge for the title faltered in the second half of the match with a fourth and an exclusion in the final heat, leaving the Wednesfield Ace rider wondering what could have been.
Carmichael took his second win in heat five passing Ash Hill on the third lap. Dylan Radcliffe had to wait for his second ride of the day in heat eight to claim his first four points of the match, flying off the tapes the Stockport rider made light work of the heat leaving his three chasers to race for the minor points.
Carmichael took his third win of the match in heat ten and going into the midway point of the race was sitting pretty unbeaten on twelve points with Scott Millward two points adrift.
Heat eleven saw mould secure his third win of the match after a fine tussle between himself and Matt Smith who fell allowing Radcliffe to ride through for second spot. Tom Reed kept his title hopes alive in the following heat taking a simple win from Stockport's Jack Lush but a poor final two heats saw the Poole rider's title hopes fade.
Dylan Radcliffe took an important win in the fourteenth taking full points and with Millward securing second after Ben Higham had taken the boards out the top three were started to look obvious. Smith took his first win of the day in heat fifteen, out riding Carmichael into second the Sheffield rider looked impressive on the shiny floor but with without a win in his first three outing it would be too little too late for the title.
With the final four heats remaining the title was still wide open, Carmichael was sitting on fifteen points but had to finish at least second to claim victory. four riders, Radcliffe, Reed, Millward and Mould were all in with a shout of the 2012 title.
With a second in heat seventeen, Radcliffe took his tally to sixteen points but had to wait till the final heat to see if he had made the run-off. A tense Mould moved at the tapes in heat twenty to end his campaign with an exclusion so it would be down to Carmichael and Millward to fight it out, a fast gate by Millward left Carmichael having to chase but on the second lap he made a fine pass on the Birmingham rider to take the win and the 2012 Under 19 championships.
In the run-off for second and third Millward held his nerve to claim second spot just holding on to the line from an closing Radcliffe.
Veterans Indoor Championship
Steve Harris claimed his fourth Indoor veterans’ title today at the Eccles sports centre. The Horspath rider made light work of the competition in a reduced field of only nine riders.
Only Terry Norman really made any impression on Harris in the match taking three wins from four only dropping a point in heat seven, the only race the two riders met. Paul Timms claimed third overall one point adrift of Norman, the Birmingham rider is no stranger to the veteran's podium and rode well for his third place.
Indoor Junior Team Championship
For the third year running the British Junior Indoor Championships came down to a final heat decider between Stockport and Poole with Poole again claiming the title after a thrilling sixteen heats, a run off and a hospital visit.
A strong start from Wednesfield saw Ben Mould fly from the gate to score his only win of the final, holding his line for the four laps to keep Stockport's Dylan Radcliffe chasing his wheel.
A poor opening two heats for the current Champions Poole saw Leyton Glover excluded in heat two and in the re-run Wednesfield again scored maximum points with Ricky Johnson taking an easy win. Poole's Tom Reed steadied the Poole ship in heat three securing his first win of four, Matt Haddock rode to a fine second place keeping Stockport's Jack Lush into third. Johnson again came up with the goods for Wednesfield in heat four leaving the rest of the field behind and after the first four heats the Midlands side were in a commanding position only dropping one point in the opening quarter.
Tom Reed, by his own admission, was revelling in the team competition, taking another win in heat five after a wheel to wheel battle with Stockport's Ben Higham. With an exclusion in heat six for Haddock it was Stockport's Dylan Radcliffe who jumped at the opportunity to take the lead, holding off Poole's Wil Bristow into second.
A young Sheffield side were finding the going tough and offered no real opposition to the three stronger teams. It was Stockport who seemed to grab the match in the following heat with a flying win from Matt Lush, not to be outdone, Jack Lush took his only win of the final in heat eight holding off Poole's Leyton Glover into second. Three wins on the trot from Poole brought the scores closer together and by heat eleven Poole were just two points shy of Stockpot with thirty three. Wednesfield were all but out of the title chase some eight points behind Poole and barring any upsets the title wouldn't be going to the Midlands. Sheffield were not offering any answers to the three other teams but looked like they could compete with a few more years under their belts.
Heat twelve saw Ben Higham take the win riding from the tapes to secure the four points, the Stockport rider deserved his first win of the final. Matt Haddock stole an excellent third spot to keep Wednesfield in with an outside chance and with a win in the following heat and with team mate Ricky Johnson also winning in heat fourteen the midland side must have thought they could actually go away with at least second place.
Sheffield brought Matt Smith on in heat fifteen and rode a superb race to take the win holding off Mould till the last lap, with Poole's Bristow taking third and Stockport's Higham only claiming a point it would be down to the final heat, with Stockport one point to the good it would be down to Tom Reed to take the win to at best secure a run off or Stockport's Dylan Radcliffe to claim the four points to secure a win. There was no stopping Tom Reed from the tapes, riding an excellent four laps on the front to take his fourth win of the final and Radcliffe held onto second to ensure a run off between the two sides for the second time in three years.
The run-off could only really be fought out by Reed and Radcliffe and at the first attempt both riders only managed the first bend before taking each other through the boards and off the track, with referee Mike Hack calling a re-run the two riders didn't get as far as the first bend with Radcliffe falling and causing a race stoppage, the race was awarded to Tom Reed and Poole. While the Dorset team were celebrating Radcliffe looked to be in some discomfort after his fall and remained on the floor for a while before been stretchered off to hospital with a badly dislocated knee.
Indoor Senior Team Championship
Again Horspath showed why they are, arguably, the best cycle speedway team in the UK. rounding off an emotional year for the Oxford club by taking their fourth successive indoor title but they certainly didn't have an easy ride with Sheffield pushing them to the final heat.
Fresh from their junior final it was the young Stockport side that opened up the final match of the day with a fine win from Ben Higham, out smarting the more experienced Mark Boaler of Horspath to take the four points. A pretty full on weekend of racing for Steve Harris probably started to show in the second heat with the veteran crashing out on the second lap allowing Sheffield's Ashley Birk to ride away to secure the win.
Heat three would prove to be a race befitting an indoors final, with all four riders competing in the previous final it was Tom Reed who had come into his own during the afternoon, flying off the tapes, the Poole rider was unstoppable leaving Matt Smith and Mark Carmichael to scrap for second, Carmichael passing Smith on the final bend to take a hard earned three points and a disgruntled Smith having to pick himself out of the boards.
Ryan Hoyland looked impressive in the following heat taking the win from the tapes, Wil Bristowe kept his head to take second spot and his team the lead after the first quarter with twelve points, Sheffield were sitting in second on ten points and Horspath and Stockport shard nine point each. Steve Harris made no mistake in heat five, taking an easy win from Sheffield's Andy Angell who looked a bit nervous on the shiny surface.
Shaun Rudman and Matt Smith fought out a tough race in heat seven, Rudman just holding on to the line to give the Horspath rider his first win of the day. With both Poole and Stockport feeling the effects of their junior final, the match would be fought out between the fresher legs of Horspath and Sheffield and with Carmichael pushing Hoyland into second spot on heat eight the oxford side headed up the match on twenty three, one point to the good of Sheffield.
The third quarter of the match saw Horspath up their game with wins from Carmichael, Rudman and Boaler finding his form in heat eleven making a superb pass on Jack Lush on the third lap to take his first win of the final. Heat twelve saw Tom Reed add another win to his tally and although Poole were out of the running for the top step the youngster was on course for his third maximum of the day. With four heats remaining and four points separating Horspath and Sheffield the final could go either way and it was up to either team to lose it.
Heat thirteen gave Reed another win to secure his maximum but it was Sheffield who upped their game with wins in the final three heats from Birks, Smith and Hoyland who, in the last heat made a flying start and rode away from the rest of the field, Boaler had to finish at least third to ensure the title went to Horspath but couldn't find a way past Stockport's Matt Lush until his experience came through on the final lap, managing to pass Lush and take third spot behind Poole's Leyton Glover.
Open Individual Final: Ryan Hoyland (Sheffield) 17, Chris Timms (Birmingham) 17, Chris Parish (Bury) 15, Mark Carmichael (Horspath) 15, Mikey Hewitson (Edinburgh) 15, Scott Millward (Birmingham) 14, Steve Harris (Horspath) 14, Mark Boaler (Horspath) 12, Tom Reed (Poole) 12, Ben Higham (Stockport) 12, Matt Smith (Sheffield) 10, Matt Lush (Stockport) 10, Mark Whitehead (Leicester) 9, Craig Marchant (Leicester) 8, Shaun Rudman (Horspath) 7, Lee Aris (Wednesfield) 7.
Open Semi Final A: Qualifiers: Ryan Hoyland (Sheffield) 18, Chris Parish (Bury) 18, Lee Aris (Wednesfield) 16, Mark Boaler (Horspath) 16, Craig Marchant (Leicester) 15, Ben Higham (Stockport) 14, Scott Millward (Birmingham) 13, Shaun Rudman (Horspath) 13
Non Qualifiers: Jamie Ball (East Park) 12, Chris Jewkes (Wednesfield) 11, Jake Read (Stockport) 10, Dylan Radcliffe (Stockport) 10, Ben Scranage (Bury) 9, Oli Sidwick (Ipswich) 8, Nathan Groves (Birmingham) 5, Trevor Hulton (Bury) 2, Wayne Clarke (Horspath) 2
Open Semi Final B: Qualifiers: Mark Carmichael (Horspath) 20, Chris Timms (Birmingham) 18, Steve Harris (Horspath) 17, Tom Reed (Exeter) 15, Matt Smith (Sheffield) 15, Matt Lush (Stockport) 14, Mike Hewitson (Edinburgh) 13, Mark Whitehead (Leicester) 12
Non Qualifiers: Jack Lush (Stockport) 12, Leighton Glover (Poole) 11, Joe Kemp (Leicester) 9, Nick Whitehead (Leicester) 8, Ashley Hill (Ipswich) 8, Richard Hudson (Sheffield) 7, Tom Doyle (Bury) 6, William Cartwright (East Park) 4.
Under-19 Indoor Championship: Mark Carmichael (Horspath) 19, Scott Millward (Birmingham) 16, Dylan Radcliffe (Stockport) 16,, Matt Smith (Sheffield) 14, Jack Lush (Stockport) 13, Matt Haddock (Wednesfield) 13, Tim Reed (Exeter) 13, Ben Mould (Wednesfield) 13, Will Bristowe (Poole) 13, Ben Higham (Stockport) 12, Ashley Hill (Ipswich) 10, Leyton Glover (Poole) 10, Rick Johnson (Wednesfield) 9, Jake Read (Stockport) 8, Matt Lush (Stockport) 8, Matt Haddock (Wednesfield) 3.
Veterans Indoor Championship: Steve Harris (Horspath) 16, Terry Norman (Stockport) 15, Paul Timms (Birmingham) 14, Peter Chant (Southampton) 13, Chris Turner (Sheffield) 12, Dave Meanley (Wednesfield) 11, John Murphy (Edinburgh) 10, Steve Hodgkinson (Birmingham), Ian McKinlay (Edinburgh) 6.
Indoor Junior Team Championship: Poole 47: Tom Reed 16, Will Bristowe 11, Oliver Sidwick 10, Leyton Glover 10. Stockport 47, Dylan Radcliffe 13, Matt Lush 12, Ben Higham 11, Jack Lush 11. Wednesfield 39: Ricki Johnson 13, Matt Haddock 10, Ben Mould 9, Harry Everiss 3. Sheffield 25: Richard Hudson 7, Matt Smith 6, Mary Parrott 4, Adam Watson 4, Zach Smurthwaite 4
Indoor Senior Team Championship: Horspath 46: Mark Carmichael 14, Mark Boaler 12, Shaun Rudman 10, Steve Harris 8, Lewis Bates 2. Sheffield 45: Ashley Birks 14, Ryan Hoyland 13, Matt Smith 10, Andy Angell 8. Poole 36: Tom Reed 16, Leyton Glover 10, Oliver Sidwick 6, Will Bristowe 4. Stockport 27: Ben Higham 11, Jack Lush 7, Matt Lush 7, Jake Read 2.
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