Brilliant Ipswich Eagles win U14 cycle speedway crown at Newport in British Team finals
- Credit: Archant
Ipswich Cycle Speedway Club’s under-14 team became the inaugural British under-14 champions at Newport.
The young Ipswich team saw off a strong challenge from Poole, but with skipper Ben Clarke, Charlie Johnson and Gemma Hill all riding superbly, the Whitton Sports-based team had too much in the locker.
Youngster Kai Gowers was called up to the squad, allowing Clarke to ride as tactical reserve. Five heat wins in the opening eight races gave Ipswich a comfortable five-point lead at half-time, which they then defended with safe second places and Gowers scoring a creditable third place.
Poole used their tactical reserve Nathan Goulden against Kristian Mitchell, another who rode well, and Hill, but could not match Clarke and Johnson.
Johnson made the win certain in the penultimate heat, as the celebrations in Wales began.
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Ipswich team manager Phil Clarke said: “I’m really pleased for the team to finally win their age group, after four years of second places.”
Meanwhile, fellow Suffolk side Kesgrave were runners-up in both the under-12 competition and the under-16s.
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Great Blakenham missed out on the under-16 final after a tough semi-final while Kesgrave began the final with four wins from Tyler Brinkhoff, Lewis Brinkhoff, James Porter and Charlie Long.
Their lead grew until four bad heats in their last six saw Poole overhaul them for the title. Ipswich finished fourth, with Harrison Bacon top-scoring with 15 points.
In the under-16 girls, the Women and the Veterans, Ipswich’s Gemma Hill set a competition record for appearances by racing for the under-14s, the under-16 Girls, the Under 16 and the Womens teams!
The ladies completed their ninth second place finish behind Leicester, who have won the competition every year since 2006.
Ipswich and Great Blakenham lined up for the Open semi-final in by far the tougher one, defending champions Wednesfield being knocked out. Great Blakenham fared best in the final finishing second to Newport by four points. Ipswich’s U18s finished third in their final, as the Eagles lost their British Club crown to Poole – after five years of holding it.
Suffolk teams in 2017 British Club Championships
Under 12: Kesgrave 2nd, Ipswich 5th
Under 14: Ipswich, Champions
Under 16: Kesgrave 2nd, Ipswich 5th, Great Blakenham 7th
Girls U16: Ipswich 3rd
Under 18: Ipswich 3rd
Women: Ipswich 2nd
Open: Great Blakenham 2nd, Ipswich 4th
Veterans: Ipswich 5th