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Report: Halesowen Friday Night Track League

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Location: Halesowen, West Midlands
Event: 1 June 2012
Report: William Fotheringham

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With three evenings out of a possible four completed, some close contests look to be in the offing at Halesowen Friday Night Track League. June 1’s racing was close-run in another sense, with rain threatening as the final races were completed, in stark contrast to the previous week’s balmy temperatures.

The youth league is the tightest of the four, with Bradley Simkin and Xavier Sullivan-Touye tying on 25 points after the first two rounds.

Simkin fared the better on Friday, wining the devil, then netting three track league points in the course des primes. Sullivan-Touye failed to score in the devil, but fought back in the third race, a Derny-controlled scratch, winning his heat with Simkin only fourth.

The pair closed the evening with only a handful of points between them, while third rider overall George Cann also scored well, landing five points in the course des primes to keep in touch with the two leaders.

Among the freewheelers, Josh Field has taken a convincing early lead, and he extended it on Friday with a strongly taken victory in the opening one-lap handicap, starting off scratch, and crossing the line a bike length ahead of Sullivan Berry of Redditch RPCC. He added to that with second in the three lap handicap behind his fellow Halesowen rider David Meyer, and completed a fine evening’s work by winning his heat of the 240m dash from Meyer, with the other heat going to Georgia Davies of Redditch.

The A league looks set to be a battle between the home club’s Tom Gregory and George Bate of MJS racing. Although Gregory came out the better on Friday with a clean sweep of all four races on the evening, the pair are stretching clear of their closest challenger, Jack Hibberd of V-Sprint, who was absent the previous week. Gregory won the opening devil from Hibberd after the pair fought out an intriguing match sprint over the final two laps, then scored a maximum of three points in the course des primes - as did Bate, who dominated the first three laps - before adding the Derny controlled scratch race in a tight sprint from Tim Allen and Hibberd.

The B standings look set to be dominated by the promoting club’s Matt Harris, who scored in all four races on Friday to put some ground between himself and the chasing pack, led by Youth A rider Patrick Fotheringham. Harris finished third in the devil from Harvey Jackson of V-Sprint, then picked up two track league points in a lively course des primes in which no fewer than eight riders managed to score during the 12 laps. The Bs were split into two heats for the Derny controlled scratch, with Jackson landing the first, and Charles Walker of Halesowen taking the second.

The As and Bs were combined for the closing 30-lap scratch race, with Hibberd, Gregory and Bate escaping after 10 laps together with father and son combination William and Patrick Fotheringham. A strong chase ensued from the peloton led by Allen and Alex Billington of Bromsgrove Olympic CC, who made contact briefly before the move split again and the original quintet lapped the bunch, with Gregory leading in the As from Hibberd and Bate, and Fotheringham junior taking the B event from Billington.

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