British Team Championships: Swindon v Leicester
Event: 16 June 2013
Location: Swindon Cycle Speedway
Report: Tim Jarvis
A slender two point deficit saw Swindon exit the British Team Championships at the hands of visitors Leicester Monarchs on Sunday.
Leicester made the journey south knowing that the Wiltshire outfit would be hard work around their own track and the Swindon boys certainly didn’t disappoint. The match was ridden in pretty much constant rain but that didn’t stop the riders giving it their all, no more than two points separating the teams at any point.
Heat one pointed the way for the rest of the afternoon, Jarvis spinning at the gate and going nowhere, he and his partner Davies having to work their way through traffic to follow home race leader Hunt to share the spoils.
Ashford and Skinner notched a 6-4 in the third but Hunt and Dan Rayson returned the compliment in the next, and that’s pretty much the story of the first half, Swindon going into the break two to the good.
The highly impressive Whitehead boys took a good 7-3 in the twelfth but things were level again thanks to a Rayson/Bailey 6-4 in the fourteenth. The penultimate race was the turning point, Nick Whitehead and Ashford taking a vital 6-4 to leave a last heat decider, but importantly a two point advantage to their team.
The Monarchs plan in the final heat was clear – make sure they fill the minor places and keep their advantage. The Swindon riders were well aware of this of course and would do all they could to scupper the plan. Twice the riders couldn’t get past the first turn but at the third time of asking the visitors finally got their way, Jarvis clamping his man on the line allowing Venson round into second, leaving Hill out in front to complete his deserved maximum.
Leicester’s eight bonus points to Swindon’s three probably explains the difference in the teams, experience and team tactics finally putting paid to a valiant challenge. The home youngsters can be proud of their all out efforts though and their time will come, and with Danny Harper and Rob Hunt doing all they can for the club the future looks bright at the Oasis.
Swindon 89 (Andy Hill 20, Danny Harper 17+1, Rob Hunt 13+1, Jake Neighbour 11, Matt Rayson 11, James Bailey 9+1, Dan Rayson 5, Simon Brown 2)
Leicester 91 (Jason Ashford 16, Mark Whitehead 15+2, Nick Whitehead 15+2, Carl Jarvis 13+2, Norm Venson 12+2, Liam Davies 10, Mick Skinner 7, Ash Doughty 3)
Full Results from the weekend's British Team Championships Knockout Rounds
Bury 66 Ipswich 103
Exeter 73 Horspath 103
Hethersett 79 Sheffield 97
Hull 75 Poole 103
Newport 116 Norwich 59
Southampton 75 Wednesfield 103
Stockport 103 East Park 72
Swindon 89 Leicester 91
Draw for the Quarter Finals are as follows
Exeter or Horspath v Ipswich
Leicester v Poole
Newport v Stockport
Sheffield v Wednesfield
Matches to take place on Sunday 14th July 2013 with a 2pm start