Hawks in Euro battles
HETHERSETT Hawks/Swinton cycle speedway club had three riders in Poland over last weekend, competing in the European Championships. In the Junior event, Ben Collins and Dan Chambers contested qualifying rounds at Zielona Gora on Friday.
HETHERSETT Hawks/Swinton cycle speedway club had three riders in Poland over last weekend, competing in the European Championships.
In the Junior event, Ben Collins and Dan Chambers contested qualifying rounds at Zielona Gora on Friday. Ben rode well to score 14 points and qualify for the quarter-finals, and in a later round Dan also scraped through qualification with 13 hard-earned points. On the Saturday they were at Leszno in pouring rain for a 9am quarter-final.
The very heavy track conditions made it difficult and Ben was unlucky in a couple of races before running out of stamina to finish on nine points. Dan was in the thick of the action but some dubious Polish tactics robbed him of a point, which in the end was vital, as his 12 points were one short of the automatic qualification for the semi-finals.
After all the quarter-finals were completed, Dan was involved in a sudden-death four-rider race to fill the one remaining place.
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On a now-drying track, he finished second and, like Ben, was eliminated.
Later the same day, Dan was in action again at Leszno racing for Young England in the European Junior Cup of Nations and played a full part with 15 points.
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However, in one race he unfortunately fell while leading and a key 7-3 lead was reversed, and a similar result in the penultimate heat involving two other riders gave Poland a narrow victory. Poland 65, England 62, Wales 52.
In the Open European Championship, Mel Perkins MBE made a cameo appearance as the oldest entrant, having never raced abroad before. He scored seven points in a qualifying round and then nine in a repechage, before being eliminated. Both matches were at Leszno on Friday.
The Norfolk U10s final was held at Hethersett and was keenly contested by young riders from both Hethersett and Norwich.
Six recently-recruited riders qualified for the East Anglian U10 Championships.
Mason Parkins from Norwich won the title and Hethersett rider Charlie Bion finished runner-up, with Bradley Lewin from Hethersett third. Tyler Matthews and Adam Allen from Hethersett and Owen Wells from Norwich also finished in the top six.