Tom Reed added the big prize to his growing collection of championship victories today in a seniors final some were saying sits amongst one of the best speedway matches of recent times.
Reed, riding in the green & white of Exeter, rode a near perfect match to take the coveted trophy from some of the best riders in the UK. Wednesfield's Lee Aris, himself no stranger to the big event rode superbly to take the second step of the podium beating Chris Timms into third from a run off.
The opening heat saw a tight race between Mark Carmichael and Paul Heard, Carmichael flying out of the gate with Heard close on his wheel but unable to make a pass that counted, the Welshman holding the lead to the flag to claim full points.
Tom Reed opened his account with a fine win in heat two, Lee Aris and Mark Boaler unable to make inroads on Reed's strength took second and third respectively. Heat three saw Mark Griffiths receive medical attention after a three man crash on the second bend which also had reigning champion Andy Angell doubled up on the centre green in obvious pain.
Deemed a racing incident referee Bob Prince called a re-run for all four riders and it was Chris Timms who took the win from a chasing Angell who rode the opening laps from the back of the race, Griffiths could not get around Jack Harrold and had to be content with fourth and a single point. Ricki Johnson's campaign came to a stutter before it got going, getting excluded after a clash with Steve Harris in the following heat, Ben Mould made sure of four points taking the win from the re-start.
Johnson kept his chances on track in heat five, with Carmichael crashing out on the first lap the race was between Johnson, Reed and Griffiths with places swapping throughout the race the three crossed the line almost together, Johnson squeezing his front wheel in front of Reed to take the four points. Heat six wasn't to be a lap Mark Boaler would want to remember, crashing on the second lap only to get back in the race for his rear tyre to shred and get lapped by the rest of the field, Mould secured the win after a great race between himself and Timms.
Every heat win at this level is important and Angell knew his win in heat seven would keep him in the running for the overall, punching the air as he crossed the line, Aris took second after holding off a strong challenge by both Harris and Hollebon. Paul Heard took a straight forward win in heat eight and with all riders having ridden two heats it was Ben Mould who lead the field with eight points, a single point to the good of four chasers including the current champion.
Mark Boaler took the win in heat nine but it was overshadowed by the exclusion of Angell for moving at the tapes, knowing his reign at the top was in effective now over the Hull rider quietly left the track, head bowed. With his second win of the match in heat ten, the name on everyone’s lips for the title was Tom Reed and going into the interval the Exeter lad knew the title was going to be his to lose.
Neil Hollobon took a flying win in heat eleven, the break obviously suiting the Hellingly rider, no one could come close to catching him, Mould had to be content with second. Lee Aris was at his best in heat twelve taking the win from Timms and Johnson who rode the four laps elbow to elbow. Paul Heard's campaign was in effective finished for the day after he crashed on the second lap. With all riders completing three rides it was still Mould on top with eleven points but Reed had moved up to equal Mould's tally, Aris and Timms were both on ten points and sitting safe in second.
The following lap would see the fortunes and misfortunes of two riders chasing the overall, Aris again riding a perfect heat to take the win and the valuable four points and Mould crashing out and only able to take a single point. Heat fourteen saw Angell dust himself down to take the win after a great pass on Johnson and keep himself in with a chance of a podium finish.
Tom Reed had the sights of the overall in his mind and a fine win in heat fifteen saw the title getting closer, Timms to knew his second place in the heat was all important and rode well to keep Hollobon in third, Aaron Morgan didn't seem to be riding 100% and had to be content with last place. Paul Heard took his second win of the match in heat sixteen and an outside chance of a podium holding off Boaler into second. With four rides each completed Tom Reed was out alone with fifteen points, Lee Aris one point adrift and Chris Timms sitting in third on thirteen.
A win in heat seventeen by Timms ensured the Birmingham rider a place in the top three after a storming ride from the gate, holding off a chasing Mark Carmicheal. Coming off gate four in heat eighteen Aris had all the work to do, looking unsettled on the grid the Wednesfield rider powered round Griffiths and Morgan to get into second spot but was unable to get the better of heat winner Adam Stephenson and had to settle for a match total of seventeen points.
A win by Mark Boaler on the penultimate lap wasn't enough to trouble the leaders and it was left to the final heat of the day to decide the 2013 champion, Reed only having to finish in second to take the title kept his nerve and let Paul Heard take the win to finish just one point off the podium on sixteen points. Reed rolled across the line to much applause and ahead of the outgoing Andy Angell to claim the champion’s stripes and shield. Lee Aris secured runner up spot after taking the win in the runoff against Chris Timms.
Tom Reed: “I never won the under 19 championships, that one is missing but today really tops it all off. This title has been my target for many years but the last couple of years didn't really go my way, I just didn't have it, I don't think I trained hard enough to be honest but I knew I could do it if I put the effort in.
“I had a hard draw for today but I knew I just had to work at it and see how the day went. The track was just amazing to race on, it’s my type of track, decent banks, fast but you still have to use your head in the race. My parents have wanted this for many years, they have put so much effort into what I do I got to dedicate today to them.”
Thomas Reed (Exeter) 18, Lee Aris (Wednesfield) 17, Chris Timms (Birmingham) 17, Paul Heard (Wednesfield) 16, Mark Carmichael (Newport) 14, Mark Boaler (Horspath) 13, Andy Angell (Hull) 13, Ben Mould (Wednesfield) 13, Neil Hollebon (Hellingly) 12, Adam Stephenson (Hull) 11, Aaron Morgan (Poole) 11, Jack Harrold (Newport) 10, Ricki Johnson (Wednesfield) 10, Steve Harris (Poole) 8, Zac Payne (Horspath) 7, Mark Griffiths (Wednesfield) 7.
Five straight wins ensured Lauren Davies took away the title in the women’s match. The Leicester rider powered her way round the fast Coventry track to claim the jersey riding 2012 winner Lauren Jacobs into third spot.
A great ride by Danielle Riley ensured the runner up spot, the Hethersett rider only dropping two points in the hard fought clash.
The opening heat saw a straightforward win from Laura Watson to take the four points, Ellie Sullivan kept Lauren Hookway on her wheel to take second and a valuable extra point for the under 16 title. Danielle Riley took the win in the following heat after a bar to bar tussle with Michelle Whitehead, Riley holding her lead till the line.
A quick gate by Livvi Horsley in heat three left the Horspath youngster clear to ride her own race but the action was for the second spot between Charlie Jane Herbert and Rebecca Davies,both swapping places from the tape, Herbert making a final pass on the third lap on Davies to claim three points. Arguably the matches two strongest riders had their first outing in lap four, Laurens Davies and Jacobs, both riders knowing the win this early would prove vital. A fall by Vicky Brown called for a restart and the two favourites locked together for the four laps, Davies missing her pedal on the second lap gave Jacobs a few bike lengths but Davies powered herself back into contention and passed Jacobs on the last bend to take the win.
Watson took her second win in heat five keeping a chasing Michelle Whitehead in second spot. Jacobs took a straight forward four points in heat six with Riley cruising home to take second. A tight heat seven saw Hookway, Herbert and Brown all together for four laps but Herbert found the extra pedal speed in the closing metres to claim her first win of the day.
Davies powered her way round the track to take the win in heat eight from Lucy Whitehead, a close race for the minor places saw Horsley get the better of Charlie Ellitts on the last lap to take the extra point. With all riders now completing two rides each the match was still wide open, Laura Watson and Lauren Davies equal on eight points headed the leader board but with three rider on seven points the day could go five ways.
Heat nine saw four of the matches leading riders line up on the grid but a fast start by Davies saw the favourite lead from the front and keep herself out of trouble, Riley took second but a fourth place from Watson saw her slip from the match leaders. Michelle Whitehead took her first win of the day in heat ten, all four riders hitting the fist bend together but it was Whitehead who squeezed her way through to take the lead which see retained till the flag.
Lauren Hookway took a straightforward win in heat eleven to claim four points and a chance of the under 16s title. Heat twelve and the final heat before the interval saw Ellitts come to life and take the win from Rebecca Davies. With three wins from three Lauren Davies was sitting comfortable two points to the good of Riley and Michelle Whitehead.
Heat thirteen saw a win by Jacobs chased to the line by Watson, both girls still with a podium place up for the taking. Ellie Sullivan made a great pass on Lucy Whitehead on the third lap, the Sheffield youngster dived under the Leicester rider going into the third bend and kept her adventage to the line to take the four points.
A fourth win in heat fifteen almost secured at least a podium place for Lauren Davies, the Leicester rider dominating the heat to ride the chasers into the shale, Dannielle Riley took the four points in the following heat from Vicky Brown to keep her title chances alive and with all riders now completing four rides each Davies was still two points clear of her nearest challenger, Dannielle Riley who intern was one point to the good go Lauren Jacobs.
Heat seventeen saw Vicky Brown take her first win of the day with an easy win from Lucy Whitehead. Heat eighteen and the chance that Lauren Davies could take the championship title and with arguably the least strong line up of the match the pre race favourite cruised home to take the applause and the 2013 title. A win in heat nineteen ensured Dannielle Riley took the runner up place only dropping two points and Lauren Jacobs claimed the last place on the podium with a second in the final heat, but the day belonged to Leicester's Lauren Davies who dominated the match from first to last.
Elle Sullivan took the under 16s title with Lauren Hookway in runner up spot and Poole's Chrissy Mines taking third
Lauren Davies 20, Danielle Riley (Hethersett) 18, Lauren Jacobs (Ipswich) 16, Ellie Sullivan (Sheffield) 15, Laura Watson (Leicester) 14, Michelle Whitehead (Leicester) 14, Lucy Whitehead (Leicester) 14, Charlie-Jane Herbert (Exeter)14, Vicky Brown (Sheffield) 12, Lauren Hookway (Exeter) 12, Livvi Horsley (Horspath) 12, Kristina Mines (Poole) 10, Charlie Ellits (Wednesfield) 9, Rebecca Davies (Newport) 8, Jenna Whitehead (Leicester) 6, Natalie Timms (Wednesfield) 5
Aaron Smith rode a fine match to claim the under 16's Individual title today at Leicester's Glover Park. The Poole rider went one better then 2012 to secure the match only dropping one point from his five outings.
Jesse Moore took second spot with eighteen points, coming second to Smith in the fourth heat was never able to claw the point back. Ipswich's Richard Fellgate took the final step on the podium with seventeen points.
A fast opening heat saw Dan Knights take the chequered flag from the tapes, pushed hard by Oliver Riley, Knights held off the Hethersett rider who stumbled coming out of the last bend to allow the Ipswich rider the win. Danny Margitson opened his account in the second heat taking the four points from Adam Watson, the race was about Matt Haddock and Matt Hill both coming together and taking themselves out of the running and the points rolling in third and fourth respectively. Brandon and Jamie Whetton took the first two positions in heat three after the restart which saw Callum Albin excluded for stopping the race after causing a crash with Newport's Jacob Soper. Aaron Smith opened his account in heat four holding off Jesse Moore into second spot, the Poole youngster doubled his tally with his second win of the day in heat five.
A straight forward heat six allowed Jesse Moore the win to keep his title hopes alive, Brandon Whetton also did his chances no harm with a relaxed second spot and three points. A fast gate from Margitson in heat seven left the rest of the field fighting for second spot but a flying Soper got the better of the Norwich rider on the second lap and the two fought the last two laps wheel to wheel and crossing the line only a tyre width apart, the referee giving the result to Soper.
Richard Fellgate got his championship back on track in heat eight with a win, the Ipswich youngster proving a little too strong for matt Haddock who took the three points. Fellgate took an easy win in the following heat to take an important four points. Oliver Riley closed the opening half with a straightforward win in heat ten from Kyle Holland, the Ipswich rider going into the interval level with Richard Fellgate on nine points.
Heat eleven saw an exclusion for Hull's Sam Schofield for moving at the tapes, a close race between Haddock and Moore from the restart saw the Wednesfield rider hold off Moore to take a valuable four points. A win in heat twelve gave Margitson an all important four points from Aaron Smith and with all riders completing three rides both riders were sitting on eleven points each with Jesse Moore on ten.
An exclusion in the following heat saw Margitson excluded, arguably his chance at the championships now expired, Jesse Moore took the win from the restart and crossing the line the Hellingly rider knew his chances for the title were still alive.
Smith was firing on all cylinders and had found his zone, proving too strong in heat fourteen for Haddock, the poole rider was now sitting on fifteen points, one to the good of Moore. Fellgate's win in heat fifteen took the Ipswich rider to thirteen and an outside chance of overall victory. A win by Brandon Whetton in heat seventeen gave the East park rider a final overall of sixteen points and an slim chance of a podium step but Fellgate would prove too strong in heat eighteen, taking the win and ensuring his place on the last step.
A crash in heat nineteen saw three riders hit the deck including Smith but the referee called all four back to the restart and Smith made no mistake from the tapes to take the win and the overall victory. A final heat win by Jesse Moore in the final heat gave him second place overall.
Aaron Smith (Poole) 19, Jess Moore (Hellingly) 18, Richard Fellgett (Ipswich) 17, Brandon Whetton (East Park) 16, Matthew Haddock (Wednesfield) 15, Oliver Riley (Hethersett) 14, Daniel Knights (Ipswich) 13, Danny Margitson (Norwich) 13, Kyle Holland (Sheffield) 11, Matthew Hill (Ipswich) 11, Jacob Soper (Newport) 11, Jamie Whetton (East Park) 10, Adam Watson (Sheffield) 10, Callum Albin (Poole) 7, Sam Schofield (Hull) 6, Jake Neighbour (Swindon) 6