2018 Match Reports
Div. 1 Kesgrave 108 V Hellingly Lions 72
12th August Away
Div. 2 Kesgrave 92 V Hellingly Lions 62
During the final League meeting against Kesgrave, Lady (Bad) Luck still had her claws firmly embedded in the Lions by adding yet another of the numerous misfortunes that have plagued the Lions this season.
In the Very 1st heat of the Division 2 match Steven Archer tangled with a Kesgrave rider which resulted in an exclusion and facial cuts. After being efficiently cleaned up by Kesgrave's first aiders, Steven came out once again for his 2nd ride in heat 4 only to realize a repetition of Heat 1 by tangling again with another Kesgrave rider. But this time, with a more severe outcome by damaging his foot. He got up to attempt to finish the race but after putting weight on his foot, fell straight back down. Stevens original thoughts of toe damage proved to be more serious after examinations from 2 trips to Eastbourne DGH. X-rays discovered a broken bone in his foot that required surgery and a metal insert. Regardless, Steven remains upbeat and said "I don't know how it happened, I'm a bit gutted to be honest as it's been my best season racing so far. I'm not liking these crutches or the boot they put on lol".
The Hellingly club would like to thank the Kesgrave club and 1st aiders for quick response in dealing with Steven in both incidents.
Div. 1 Hellingly Lions v Ipswich Eagles
15th July Home
Team morale was at an all time high at Hellingly after snatching two league points from Great Blakenham 7 days ago, so the arrival of the Ipswich Eagles held no fears for the Lions at the Lower Dicker track. Sadly it was not to be, with no one willing to officiate with the whistle, it was home legend Martyn Hollebon who made the massive sporting gesture to withdraw from the meeting to take on the job as referee; a decision that without a doubt was to cost the Lions victory on the day.
The meeting began with Ipswich winning the coin toss and surprisingly chose 2-4 in heat 1. Although Neil Hollebon cruised to victory from gate 1, it resulted in a drawn heat as Ipswich pairing of Richard Fellgett and Ben Clarke easily kept Jim Cox at bay on the dry and difficult surface.
Heat 2. Jesse Moore executed a superb pass on Matt Hill at the pit bend first time around only to become a victim of the dry surface and falling (see pic by Michelle Rideout) gifting Ipswich a 6-4 heat win.
Heat 6. With the score 23 - 27 to Ipswich it was Dan Knights turn to succumb to the conditions as he fell exiting the first bend second lap only to take too many steps running while re-mounting resulting in exclusion.
Heat 7. Neil Hollebon came out, this time electing to go off gate 3 (this race was cycle speedway at its very best as Neil showed just why he is a master of the Dicker circuit).
After being out-gated by Ashley Hill, Neil chased him down for two laps forcing him to enter the first bend lap 3 far quicker than conditions allowed only to perform the perfect cut back to pass Ashley and going on to win the race to the cheers of the crowd.
The score card now read that the lions were in the lead for the first time at 35 - 34. Happiness was short lived however as Ipswich produced two 7-3 heat wins, one either side of the interval to gain a 7 point advantage which the Lions found impossible to recover from. Ipswich suffered two more exclusions, Matt Hill in heat 12 for running and Ethan Mitchell in heat 14 for both wheels over the white line. The Eagles had more strength in depth demonstrating why they are the current champions and maintained a 5 point advantage to the final heat 18 and winning 91 to 86. In fairness, the Lions all gave 100% effort but the key factor had to be Martyn's sporting but ultimately sacrificial gesture. For Hellingly it was not a case of the one that got away, but was given away??
Neil Hollebon 17+1, Jesse Moore 14+1, George Morley 14, Ed Ridley 11+2, Jim Cox 11+1, Steven Archer 11+1, Ethan Page 5, Jamie Morley 2.
Richard Fellgett 19, Dan Knights 15+1, Ashley Hill 13+1, Fraser Harris 11+2, Ben Clarke 11+1, Matt Hill 11, Charlie Johnson 9, Ethan Mitchell 2.
As the score chart reflects it was yet another close encounter for the younger brigade. In fact eleven of the sixteen races were 5-5 drawn heats with the bone dry surface proving difficult for both teams. For Hellingly, Martyn Hollebon rode as others were suffering with the heat but had to endure a 15pt penalty. He was well supported by Steven Archer and George Morley who has improved no-end since the start of the season. For Ipswich it was a compact team effort with Gemma Hill and Charlie Jane Herbert showing her skills in team riding in 3 different races. Not a classic match as in the past weeks, but conditions did not allow for fast racing.
George Morley 20, Martyn Hollebon 19, Steven Archer 17+1, Harry Sexton 10+1, Jamie Morley 5+1, Ethan Page 6, Harry Ridley 2.
Ipswich 77 +15 = 92
Gemma Hill 12, Ben Clarke 11, Charlie J Herbert 10+3, Kristian Mitchell 10+1, Charlie Johnson 9+1, Fraser Harris 8+2, Harvey Young 6, Luke Dunningham 6, Ethan Mitchell 5+2.
(Photos courtesy of Michelle Rideout).
Div 1 Hellingly Lions v Great Blakenham
After the Lions being taken to the cleaners two weeks ago in both Div 1 & 2, it was time to take on the league leaders Great Blakenham who have only been beaten once to date this season. With their heat leader trio of Brooks, Osbourne and Peck all present, expectation of a victory was somewhat wishful thinking for the Lions, even with the welcome return of Jesse Moore and Steven Archer.
Great Blakenham won the coin toss and chose to go off 1-3 in heat one and produced the heat winner in the first three races, Hellingly content to settle for the 2nd/3rd placings to bring the score chart to 15pts apiece. All was to change in Ht 4 as Steven Archer and Neil Hollebon rode to an emphatic 7-3 maximum. Heats 4 & 5 produced a 6-4 score to either team with Hellingly maintaining their 4 point lead. The gremlins took charge in at the start of heat 6 as an electrical fault developed in the starting gate taking 15 minutes to rectify.
With another 6-4 to Great Blakenham in heat 7, followed by two drawn heats in 8&9 at the interval, Hellingly's lead had now been reduced to just 2 points with the score standing at 46 - 44.
The second half of the meeting proved to be very tactical, but Hellingly eventually ran out comfortable winners 93 - 85.
To sum up the meeting, Great Blakenham had both Josh Brooks and Lewis Osbourne go unbeaten and produced 12 out 18 race winners. Their downfall was suffering three exclusions, two of which were due to riders falling and being lapped. Conversely, even though Hellingly only produced 6 race winners, their winning key factor was heat advantages of either 6-4 or 7-3's. Even more surprisingly, the Lions only had 4 last placings in the 18 heat match, proving just what a superb team performance this was with 7 of the 8 riders netting double figures plus. A warranted special mention for Eddie Ridley who despite riding with constant knee pain, achieved a crucial race win in heat 6 finishing with a very creditable 12+2 score.
Hellingly 93 Great Blakenham 85
Neil Hollebon 16+2, Steven Archer 14+2, Jesse Moore 13+1, Martin Hollebon 13+1,George Morley 12+2, Ed Ridley 12+2, Jim Cox 11 Jamie Morley 1.
Lewis Osbourne 20, Josh Brooks 19+1, Adam Peck 14, John Jo Slaughter 8+1, Keanu Bowers 9, Adam Cooper 9, Bill Rhodes 3,Sam Broom 3.
With the intense heat and the Division 1 match taking almost 2 hours to complete, it was agreed by all for this match to race over 13 heats. Although the score card showed Hellingly winning by 12 points, the match proved to be very entertaining.
For Great Blakenham, Adam Cooper and Keanu Bowers gave it their all, but the lions showing their superior track knowledge when it mattered.
Probably the best race of the day was heat 13 nominated. Unbeaten Keanu Bowers was the key rider for Great Blakenham versus the Lions two Harry's (Sexton and Ridley).
The match was already won by Hellingly, but you try telling these young lads that!
Tapes up and Keanu was gone looking a certain winner on the first lap. On the exit of the first bend, lap 2, Harry Sexton made a superb pass on the inside and took the lead. Unfortunately for Harry, Keanu repaid the compliment on lap 3 with everyone believing that was it - race over. Not Harry! He kept the pressure on the leader resulting in Keanu making a forced error on the final bend with Harry passing him yet again to take the win to the ecstatic crowd. What a guy! All credit to Keanu for sportingly shaking Harry's hand even though he deprived him of an 'unbeaten' score.
Hellingly 71 Great Blakenham 59
Harry Sexton 16+2, Ed Ridley 14+1, George Morley 13+1, Steven Archer 12+1, Jamie Morley 9+1, Harry Ridley 4, Jim Cox 3.
Keanu Bowers 19, Harvey Smith 7+2, Adam Cooper 12, Sam Broom 9, Bill Rhodes 6,
Gavin Whitehouse 6+1.
1st July Norwich Stars v Hellingly Lions
This time the Lions were taking on the Norwich Stars at their circuit involving a journey of 160 + miles in the scorching sunshine. Unfortunately yet again key riders were missing due to work commitments, holidays and injuries. On arrival spirits were high and all were prepared to get on with the racing even with the news that Norwich had named their strongest team.
The meeting started as an evenly matched contest with the first three heats shared at 5 points each to bring the score to 15 - 15. For the Lions, George Morley rode a clever race in Heat 1 finishing 3rd and in Heat 2 Harry Sexton took full advantage of a fall by Chris Cullem to gain a superb 2nd place. Ht 3 was a tapes to flag win for Neil Hollebon to set him on his way to an unbeaten score of 19+1 from 5 rides. The same has to be said for Norwich's Craig Norton, who also went unbeaten netting 18 +2 after 5 rides from the No.7 reserve berth. Both riders were not programmed to race each other, so no race would decide who would be 'top-dog' of the day, so scores remained even. Paddy Wenn for Norwich had a day he would rather forget suffering a fall and exclusion in ht 8, followed by slipping on the loose surface whilst leading in heat 15 gifting the lions with a 7 -3 heat win. Throughout heats 1 to 17, there was never more than 7pts between the teams, but in heat 18 Norwich gained a 7 - 3 to give them a comfortable 11pt win.
In truth, with Hellingly only having just two recognised heat leaders in Neil and Martyn Hollebon and with 12 yr old Harry Sexton somewhat out of his comfort zone, it was a superb team effort by all to run Norwich that close. It was also good to see Ethan Page back on a bike after being sidelined with an injury for 6 weeks, although clearly unfit. Were the Lions able to have fielded a more complete team, even just one more heat leader, the outcome would most surely have been different!
Norwich Stars 95
Craig Norton 18+2 - Leigh Grange 15+1 - Chris Cullem 15 - Jamie Medlar 13+3
Paddy Wenn 10+2 - Gary Colby 11 - David Spauls 8 - Alex Dyball 5+2
Hellingly Lions 84
Neil Hollebon 19+1 - Martyn Hollebon 16+1 - Jim Cox 15+1 - Ed Ridley 10
George Morley 9 + 1 - Harry Sexton 7 - Jamie Morley 4 - Ethan Page 4
With the unforgiving brutal sunshine (hovering around 30 deg), track conditions were on the difficult side being very dry, dusty and slippery. The div 2 encounter appeared to be a much more even affair with both teams having a mixture of youth and experience making a match forecast result impossible - and so it proved with the scorecard see-sawing from one team to the other with never more than a 2 point margin throughout the 16 races. It was a classic cycle speedway match, albeit Div.2, but the above average crowd of spectators were well entertained. It would be unfair to single out any one rider from either team as all gave 100% effort. For Norwich, Jamie Medler showed his experience going through the card with an unbeaten 24pts. For Hellingly both George Morley and Ethan Page turned on the gas and scored freely feeling more at home with riders of the same age group.
Likewise, Harry Sexton was also far more at home at this level and demonstrated once again that he just doesn't know the meaning of fear.
The score chart read Norwich 76 - Hellingly 74 after heat 15 with just the nominated heat remaining. Predictably, Norwich selected Jamie Medler and David Spauls, their two most experienced riders, whilst Hellingly went with George and Ethan. Norwich won the coin toss for gate positions giving Jamie Medler gate 1 which he won at a canter to complete his maximum. The two Lions tucked in behind for 5-5 drawn heat which resulted in the Stars taking overall victory by just 2pts.
Overall the meeting was fiercely contested but in a sporting manner to which both teams deserve credit for.
Norwich Stars 81
Jamie Medler 24 - David Spauls 17 - Alex Dyball 16 - Scott Colby 11+1 -
Tom Blackmore 7 - David Blackmore 5 - B. Allerton 1.
Hellingly Lions 79
George Morley 21 - Ethan Page 17 + 2 - Ed Ridley 16 - Harry Sexton 11+1 -
Jamie Morley 9+1 - Harry Ridley 5
Sun 17th June
Hellingly 85 - East London 75
A warm welcome was extended to the old boys from East London to the Hellingly circuit for the Div 2 match in the South East/Eastern league. With the weather somewhat overcast, track watering was kept to a minimum for the match between two sides whose ages differed vastly and being difficult to predict a result.
The match kicked off with a brace of 6-4's to Hellingly and were, perhaps surprisingly, leading 12 - 8.
Ht 3. Captain for the day George Morley and latest sensation 12yr old Harry Sexton came to the tapes off gates 1-3 against the vastly experienced Nick Gunkell and Kevin Smith for the Londoners. Tapes up; George made it off gate 1 under tough pressure from Nick Gunkell with them both running wide on the first bend. Then, with his track-craft and racing experience at almost zero, young Harry Sexton made a classic cut back into the massive gap and was closely followed by team mate George to race away with a very well earned 7-3 maximum heat win. The following 6 races were a little tactical with the Lions heat leaders winning their inside gates, picking up two 6-4's to bring the match score to an unexpected 50 to 40 to Hellingly at the interval.
At the restart things changed dramatically with George Morley having to succumb to superior team riding of Richard Austin along with the evergreen Dave Hughes to hit back with a 7-3 for the Londoners. With the lead now down to 6pts it was again time to protect the same for Hellingly gaining two 6-4's and a shared 5-5 drawn heat to bring us to heat 14.
For the Lions it was Jim Cox who had 4 race wins to his credit, so was in no mood to give anything away. Unfortunately, Jim got caught out by superior team riding, this time by Nick Gunkell for East London who scored a surprise 7-3 bringing the score to Hellingly 73 East London 67. Being just 6 pts up with two races to go the Lions could ill afford any more slip ups.
George Morley won Ht 15 from tapes to flag off gate 1, and with Jamie Morley securing third spot the league points were safe.
Heat 16, nominated, was not going to alter the match result, but was still fiercely contested. Ethan Page, with this being his first match back from injury for the Lions was made to work hard for the race win. His partner Harry Sexton battled well for third spot for a 6-4 heat win with the Lions running out 10pt winners 85 - 75. Credit to boys from East London, not just for turning up but being part of an absorbing meeting appreciated by a larger than normal crowd. Hellingly's Steven Archer, for the second meeting in a row raced superbly, beaten only once in 5 rides along with Jim Cox who was unlucky not to go unbeaten. It was a solid team performance by Hellingly that won the day.
Steven Archer 19 - Jim Cox 18 - George Morley 15+1, Ethan Page 12+1,
Harry Sexton 12+1, Jamie Morley 7, Harry Ridley 2.
East London 75
Richard Austin 20 (6r) - Les Stevens 16 - Nick Gunkell 15 - Dave Hughes 10
Harry Austin 8+1 - Kevin Smith 6+1.
Sun 3rd June
Hellingly 94 Kesgrave 85.
Unbroken sunshine and temperatures of 25c welcomed Kesgrave Panthers to the impeccably turned out Lower Dicker track, the home of the Lions. A decision not to water too heavily in case the surface broke up was possibly the wrong one as the track became very slippery and required a splash and dash every 3 or 4 races. On paper, both teams looked evenly matched with Lewis Brinkhoff for Kesgrave missing due to injury. Kesgrave won the coin toss and elected to go off 2 & 4, the outside gates in heat 1.
Heat 1: Neil Hollebon once again looked a class above the rest going from tapes to flag with ease leaving the Kesgrave opening pairing of Ben Harvey and Tyler Brinkhoff comfortably keeping Jim Cox at bay resulting in a 5-5 even score.
Heat 2: After irritating starting gate malfunctions, this heat was a different ball game with track conditions not good due to intense sunshine. Gary Brown and James Porter (Kesgrave) made a mess of the first bend so superior home track knowledge won the day for Steven Archer and Jesse Moore to race away with a comfortable maximum 7-3.
Heat 3: This was won from the tapes by the evergreen Martyn Hollebon for another 5-5 to bring the score to Hellingly 17 Kesgrave 13.
With all the riders now adapting to the difficult surface, racing became somewhat more tactical resulting in three drawn heats and one 6-4 to the Lions with the scorechart standing 38 - 32 to Hellingly.
Heat 8: Ben Harvey off gate 1 went well clear in the lead riding a steady race, but on lap 3 Tyler Brinkhoff was excluded by the referee for allegedly forcing Jesse Moore over the inside white line. The race finished 5-4 to Hellingly with Ben Harvey first to the flag. Unfortunately the referee had to endure some dissent from the crowd, as from their viewpoint, judged it to be the wrong decision with various opinions from the teams in the pits. Undeterred the referee declared the result and the score chart now reading Hellingly 43 Kesgrave 36. This was followed by another 5-5 shared in heat 9 before the interval which was welcomed by all.
Heat 10: After a lengthy break Dan Welch on gate 2 with Martyn Hollebon on 4 were against James Porter and Steve Hammond for Kesgrave. Dan having changed bikes at the start of the meeting (from a polish frame to an Archie) looked a different rider, making a lightning start closely followed by Martyn and both riding a majestic 4 laps for a maximum 7-3 putting the meeting very much in Hellingly's favour.
Two more 5-5's and a 6-4 brought the score to 71 - 58 at heat 14.
Heat 14: Kesgrave were now 13 pts in arrears and claimed the inside gates with Charlie Long off gate 1. Tapes up and Charlie led into the first bend but on the exit he fell bringing down the closely following Steven Archer. The race was stopped and Charlie Long excluded as being the prime cause, but once again the decision was met with some discontent. Unmoved the referee called for the re-run with 3 riders to which Steven Archer and George Morley went on to a 7-2 over Steve Hammond. Four races now remained with the score standing at 83- 66 Kesgrave mounted a mini revival making two maximum 7-3's and two 5-5 drawn heats to finish with an overall 11pt defeat. With the Hollebon, brother's both unbeaten in 4 rides each, Dan Welch getting to grips with his Archie frame and Steven Archer having his best meeting of the season to date scoring 17 pts.
It was good to see two ex riders, Andy Pelling, an ex Lion who looked in and also surprise visitor Chris Riches from Hawkinge Hammers (Kent). Overall it was a solid team performance by the Lions under somewhat difficult conditions.
Neil Hollebon 16 (4r) - Jim Cox 8+1 - Jesse Moore 8+3 (4r) - Steven Archer 17 - Ed Ridley 4 (3r) - Martyn Hollebon 15+1 - George Morley 7+1 - Dan Welch 16 - Jamie Morley 3 + 1 (2r)
Ben Harvey 14+2 - Tyler Brinkhoff 13+1 - Gary Brown 13+1 - James Porter 10 - Charlie Long 9+2 - Leon Mower 13+1 - Jake Vincent 8+1 - Steve Hammond 4
Image by Michelle Rideout
Hellingly 67 Kesgrave 92.
Kesgrave fielded a powerhouse side compared to the Lions, nonetheless it was to be valuable racing experience under difficult racing conditions. With all the Panthers having ridden in the first match, with the exception of Luke Gifkins, it came as no surprise to see them showing their talent. Once again for the second week on the trot Harry Sexton for the Lions had a tremendous meeting scoring 16pts. This was only his third match and again deserved his place in the heat 16 nominated, but this time he showed his character by winning it from gate 1. For a young lad not yet 12yrs old and very limited racing experience, to ride with such compassion and no fear his future looks very bright.
Harry Ridley 6 - George Morley 9 - Harry Sexton 16 - Jamie Morley 7 - Isaac Westwood 11 - Steven Archer 12+3 - Dan Welch 6+1.
Luke Gifkins 19+1 - Charlie Long 11+2 - James Porter 14+3 - Steve Hammond 11+1 - Gary Brown 19+1 - Tyler Brinkhoff 3+1
Sunday 27th May
Div 1 - Hellingly 95 Norwich 84
Relentless sunshine created a very warm welcome to the Norwich Stars but made racing conditions difficult and wearing.
Hellingly won the coin toss and selected gates 1 & 3 in heat 1.
Tapes up and Neil Hollebon off gate 3 was gone and looked a class above the rest but Jim Cox off gate 1 was pinned on the white line and had all the chasing to do. Lap 3, pit bend, Craig Norton (Norwich) slipped off his pedals so Jim seized the opportunity and blasted past - [Lap 4, pit bend again] Craig Norton dived for a gap that was really not there in an attempt to pass Jim, both riders clashed and crossed the outside line of the track resulting in a referee decision to stop the race. After a quite lengthy delay, much to the amazement of everybody the race was re-run with all 4 riders because the referee could not decide who was at fault?. The result was a drawn heat with 5pts each and Neil easily the winner. That decision, or perhaps lack of it, by the referee was to set the tone for the following 8 races which seemed to affect the Lions far more than Norwich Stars. Dan Welch for the Lions was having a nightmare meeting with a tapes exclusion in heat 4 followed by two falls while in good point scoring positions. The elder statesmen of the team, i.e.; Neil and Martyn Hollebon along with the reborn Ed Ridley all showed their vast racing experience by steadying the ship. With 5 race winners to Lions and 4 to the stars alongside some very strange decisions by the referee it came as no surprise that the mid way scoreline was close - 44 pts to Hellingly and 45 pts to Norwich.
During the interval, copious amounts of water were put down on the track in an effort to get it rideable and copious cups of tea were put down the riders to make them rideable!
Unusually, the Lions decided upon a team talk, rarely seen before!
With the interval over, the Lions emerged somewhat re-energized, same riders but either the cups of tea or the team talk worked its magic and something clicked - the tide was to turn!
Ht 10. Martyn and Dan secured a 6-4 heat advantage moving from 1pt down to 1pt up. Moving forward to Ht 15, Dan partnered Steven Archer to add another heat advantage with a 7-3 bringing the score to Hellingly 77 Norwich 72. Ht 16 was a shared 5-5 bringing us to Heat 17 and possibly the race of the day. Representing the home team was the unbeaten Neil Hollebon partnered by young George Morley, who was not having his best of days. The scene was set; the Lions were 5pts up, Neil was on gate 1, George on gate 3 and expecting nothing less than a 5-5 result. Predictably, Neil leaped out from the gate and was gone leaving the others to sort themselves out. Suddenly from nowhere George was on the button. He achieved a classic first turn manoeuvre and emerged in second spot and promptly chased after his Lions partner Neil. The rest of the Lions team and most spectators erupted into a crescendo resembling England scoring against Germany in the world cup. Neil wondering what was going on took a look behind, seeing George in second spot allowed him to pass and rode a classic two laps to bring home a match winning 7-3 heat advantage with just one race remaining.
Ht 18. With Martyn Hollebon also in great form with partner Steven Archer, the match already won, no favours were about to be given. A 6-4 to the Lions brought an end to a match that was very much of two halves.
The final score was :-
Hellingly - Neil Hollebon 18+2, Jim Cox 12+1, Steven Archer 13+1, Jamie Morley 5+1 (3r), Ed Ridley 13+1, Martyn Hollebon 19, Dan Welch 8, George Morley 7
Lee GRANGE 15+2, Dave Spauls 3 ( 3r), Norwich - Paddy Wenn 13+1, Dave Blackmore 4 (4r), Gary Colby 12+1, Jamie Medler 10, Martin Voller 10, Craig Norton 17+1.
Div 2 Hellingly B 93 Norwich B 67
On with the Div 2 encounter. Norwich, like Hellingly, are somewhat lacking in junior racing staff so chose to use 3 first team members Dave Blackmore, Dave Spauls and Jamie Medler for Norwich and Hellingly using Dan Welch and Steven Archer. Dan using it as a testing session on a change of machinery and promptly went on to record 4 wins from 4 starts. George Morley and Isaac Westwood also had a good meeting both dropping just one point each. The story of the match though must go to the lions Latest recruit Harry Sexton. This being only his second official match and with only a couple of training sessions put in an outstanding performance to record a score of 16 points from 6 rides including a deserved ride in the nominated Ht 16. The only downside from the result was that young Harry Ridley seemed unusually off the pace scoring 4 points from 4 rides. As for the opposition credit to Norwich for fielding a team with 3 riders not even out of junior school, making the long journey and prepared to give it a go.
Harry Ridley 4, Dan Welch 16, Jamie Morley 13+2, George Morley 19,
Isaac Westwood 19+4, Harry Seyton 16, Steven Archer 6+1.
Dave Blackmore 9+1, Tom Blackmore 13, Dave Spauls 15, Paul Jarret 7+1, Jamie Medler 12, Kieron Alton 6+1, Tabby Wierop 3
Sunday 20th May
Hellingly 88 Hethersett 90.
Hellingly lions staged their first regional league fixture at the Lower Dicker since July last year against Norfolk based Hethersett Hawks.
Hellingly on the back of 3 away defeats already this season were hoping to get a win to kick start this difficult season that was so far peppered with injuries.
Hellingly won the coin toss and elected to take gates 2-4. The match only saw 3 races drawn sharing 5 points apiece as an afternoon of tactical racing took place. Both sides had an exclusion but Hellingly's probably proving the more costly as they was on a 7-3 heat advantage when veteran Edward Ridley came down bringing Hethersett's riders down and causing a race stoppage. In the re-run the hawks produced a surprise 7-2 from David Adams and Glyn Morgan. The lead changed hands several times during the match but Hethersett took the victory's thanks to a good last 5 heats. Hellingly finished the match with a 7-3 with GB veteran pairing Martyn Hollebon and Edward Ridley to finish on a positive note. The match was somewhat of a shock to the Lions losing to the Hethersett side who in the previous two seasons have struggled to adapt to the tight Hellingly circuit.
Hellingly - Neil Hollebon 19+1; Martyn Hollebon 16+2; Jesse Moore 14; Steven Archer 13; Jamie Cox 10; Dan Welch 6; Edward Ridley 5; George Morley 3; Jamie Morley 2
Hethersett - Leigh Cossey 18; Harley Hamill 17+1; Glyn Morgan 15; Liam Webster 13+1;Owen Wells 9; David Adams 8+2;Daniel Butler 8; Paul Delaiche 2
Sunday 29th April
Ipswich v Hellingly Div 1.
Not a pleasant day for the Lions with their trip to Ipswich. As forecast the weather was overcast and fine drizzle falling with the temperature to the liking of Eskimos. The Eagles did us no favours by naming a full strength side whilst the Lions had no choice but to make the trip vastly under strength due to work commitments and injuries the outcome being first team racing for all of Lions juniors. The mainstay of the team being Neil and Martyn Hollebon, Ed Ridley and Steven Archer, the balance of the team was juniors. Ipswich had three riders who were unbeaten by an opponent with no less than 7 out of 9 riders reaching double figure scores with ease. For Hellingly there was very little to get excited about as the Eagles had 11 maximum 7-3 heat wins with Neil Hollebon recording the Lions only race win in heat 17. The meeting was very much a power house show from Ipswich with the young Lions having to accept second best.
Richard Fellgett (13 + 2) - Pierce Bacon (20) - Ashley Hill (19+1) - Dan Knights (16+3) - Matt Hill (12+2) - Harrison Bacon (18+2) - Fraser Harris (12) - Luke Donningham (3) - Ben Clarke (2)
Neil Hollebon (12) - Steven Archer (10) - Martyn Hollebon (9+2) - Edward Ridley (9) - George Morley (8) - Jamie Morley (4+1) - Isaac Westwood (6)
Ipswich 92 - Hellingly 60
The Hellingly team Div 2 side was almost the same as the Div1 but without Neil and Martyn Hollebon. The Ipswich team again was looking more than useful with the inclusion of two woman internationals and three other riders from the Div1 side.
Hellingly won the toss which put Steven Archer on gate 1 Heat 1. Tapes up and Steven went into the distance, but after two laps Luke Dunningham chased him down and passed him to record his first race win. 6-4 to Ipswich was the score with drama about to unfold in heat 2. International Chloe Pearce was off gate 1 and Gemma Hill off gate 3 for Ipswich, Ethan Page on gate 2 with Isaac Westwood gate 4 for the Lions. Chloe Pearce gated and rode a clever first bend to allow Gemma Hill through to what looked like an easy 7-3. This was how the race progressed until on lap 2 entering the pit bend Ethan Page dived under Chloe into a gap that really was not there. He went down very heavily onto the concrete and the referee stopped the race. After a lengthy delay to allow first aid for Ethan, he was excluded from the re-run as being the prime cause of the stoppage. Because of the severity of the fall Ethan had to withdraw from the meeting and took no further part. Ipswich went on to record an untroubled 7-2 in the re-run. Unfortunately for Hellingly it also meant that there was to be a further four races which would be contested by a single rider. Team spirit for the Lions was now very much on the low side, but Isaac Westwood rode a good race on his own to win in heat 8 and likewise for George Morley winning heat 11 from tapes to flag. The Ipswich Eagles continued control of the meeting throughout, conceding only one race in heat 9 when the Ed Ridley and George Morley partnership scored a 6-4. Ipswich eventually ran out comfortable winners 92 points to 60.
The latest news on Ethan's injury is after examination he has soft tissue and ligament damage with his leg in a splint and further tests to follow which now brings the injury total to three for the Lions with riding staff very much in short supply.
Ethan Mitchell (17+1) - Luke Dunningham (16) - Chloe Pearce (6+1) - Gemma Hill (11) - Alex Harvey (9+2) - Kia Gowers (14+1) - Charlie Jane Herbert (4+2)
Ben Clarke (6+2) - Fraser Harris (9+2)
Steven Archer (17) - Ed Ridley (14) - George Morley (11) - Isaac Westwood (10) Jamie Morley (6+1) - Ethan Page (withdrawn injured)
Sunday 15th April 2018
Division. 1 Great Blakenham v Hellingly Lions.
Great Blakenham 106 - Hellingly Lions 72
With the season about to begin in earnest, the Lions made a trip to Great Blakenham for both Div 1 & 2 encounters. With the "Blakers" being title contenders, any speculations of glory were a distant dream for the Lions, even with a full strength side but sadly the Lions had to endure a double blow regarding team strength. Firstly, Lions Div1 Captain Jesse Moore was forced to not compete due to a shoulder injury and secondly, Vice Captain Dan Welch didn't appear, for as yet reason unknown.
The weather was not at its best being overcast and chilly. On the plus side the tactical ploy of having Neil Hollebon (captain for the day) being named No. 6 for the Lions, and winning the toss worked in our favour.
The first two heats went as expected, both being 7-3's to Great Blakenham. In Heat 3, Lions had Neil coming off gate 1 and despite being under constant pressure from Lewis Osbourne over the 4 laps, Neil took the chequered flag. Heat 4 brought yet another 7-3 to Blakenham bringing the score to GB 26 - Lions 14. Things looked a little better in Ht 5 as Jim Cox made the gate and was comfortably maintaining a lead before clashing with his opponent on the second lap. Both riders fell heavily and the referee decided that Adam Cooper (GB) should be excluded from the re-run as the prime cause of the stoppage. Although in obvious pain, Jim picked himself up and won the re-run. For the next four heats it was three 7-3's to GB and one shared 5-5 due to Neil winning his second ride. At the interval the score chart was very much in Great Blakenham's favour standing at 55 - 34. In Heat 11, Adam Peck (GB) moved at the tapes so was excluded and the Neil and Steven Archer pairing went on to record the only maximum heat advantage of 7-2 to the Lions. Heat 15 was the heat that the maximum points Neil was aiming for was eluded by his only mistake, looking the wrong way, by doing so Adam Peck overtook Neil dashing his hopes of going through the meeting unbeaten. The final score was an easy win for Great Blakenham 106 pts to Hellingly's 72 with Neil Hollebon the only rider to offer any serious resistance, demonstrating the rewards of his recent intensive training regime. Were the Lions not missing two strong heat leaders, I believe we would have offered a far more serious challenge to the Great Blakenham side. Looking forward to the return on our track on July 8th
Hellingly scores ; Eddie Ridley 9, Jim Cox 7, George Morley 8, Martin Hollebon 12 + 1, Steven Archer 10 , Neil Hollebon 18 + 1 , Ethan Page 3 , Jamie Morley 5.
Div 2 Great Blakenham 89 - Hellingly 71.
25th March 2018
East London Away at Canning Town
After last week's cancellation of the cycle speedway calendar due to snow, it was all systems go for the Lions this weekend with a short trip to East London for their first League encounter of the season. The match was to be just at Div 2 level, as the Londoner's had elected not to contest Div 1 this season. The Lions arrived at Canning Town with a full Div 2 squad and quietly confident as Dan Welch was back in the saddle and captain for the day. The rest of the side was very much the same as what finished the 2017 season. The same could be said for the East London team which had a familiar look about it.
Captain Dan won the coin toss and chose gates 1-3 for heat 1.
On with the racing;
Heat 1: Elevated to No.1in the team, the evergreen Ed Ridley took gate 3 and partner George Morley gate 1, hopes were high for a good start but not to be. Richard Austin trapped across George and went on to win the heat with Ed keeping Kevin Smith at bay so honours were shared at 5-5.
Heat 2: Had Nick Gunkell with an easy tapes to flag win for the Londoner's from gate 1. One of the surprises of the afternoon was the ability of debutant Mike Woodley to show a somewhat lacklustre Ethan Page round to record a 6-4 heat advantage to East London.
Heat 3: Hellingly's captain Dan Welch paired with Steven Archer off gates 1-3 against the elder statesmen of Les Stevens and Dave Hughes. No-one could have forecast the end result, it was an outstanding 7 -3 heat win for East London to give them an unfamiliar score chart of holding a 18 - 12 lead.
Through the following heats, Hellingly nerves were settled a bit as both Ed Ridley (twice) and Jim Cox (twice) displayed some excellent team riding along with skipper Dan Welch (2 race wins) to bring the scores back to 46 East London 44 Hellingly at the interval.
Heats 10 and 11 maintained the status quo of a 2pt lead for East London.
Heats 12, 13 and 14 were to be the turning point in the contest as Mike Woodley won twice and Nick Gunkell won the other, all three being heat advantages to the Londoners to take the score chart to 75 - 64 with just two races remaining. The lions provided both races winners but was not enough to affect the result, with East London running out comfortable winners 84 to 75.
Credit must go to debutant Mike Woodley and Les Stevens of East London who rolled back the years to score a superb 18 pts. In fairness Hellingly did not have an answer for such enthusiasm. Although the Lions were desperately short of practice laps they accepted defeat gracefully. The top two Lions on the day being Ed Ridley and Jim Cox who can both be proud of their efforts. Congrats to East London for a all round team performance.
East London 84 :-
Richard Austin (16 + 1) - Kevin Smith (4) - NIck Gunkell (18 + 1) - Mike Woodley (16)
Les Stevens (18) - Dave Hughes (8) - Harry Austin (4)
Hellingly 75 :-
Ed Ridley (13 + 2) - Jim Cox (15) - George Morley (12 + 2) - Dan Welch Cpt. (12)
Steven Archer (10) - Jamie Morley (8 + 1) - Ethan Page (4 + 1) - Harry Ridley (1)
2017 Match Reports
Sat 30th Sept
Round 7 of 8 of the Eurovets competition at the Hellingly circuit.
With the previous week’s weather doing us no favours, the track and surroundings were very wet, but after many hours of work by the Hellingly ‘ever faithful’, the track was now in race-able condition and in fact appeared to be very fast. We were graced with the attendance of the best veteran riders in the country, with the exception of Steve Harris (last year's event winner), and there were two former champions attending, the current champion Craig Marchant (Leic) and Mark Winwood (Birm). We were also privileged with the appearance of Dave Hemsley (Leic) a former world and British champion.
The meeting was to be run having two separate sections - over 40's and over 50's / 60's and alternating between the two.
>>> So to the racing
The first two heats ran pretty much as forecasted, with Paddy Wenn winning the 50 / 60's and Mark Winwood winning the 40's. Likewise, in ht 2 of the 50/60's Terry Kirkup took the win from gate 4.
Ht 2 of the 40's had home favourite Martyn Hollebon on gate 1 with the well respected Dave Hemsley on gate 3. Tapes up and Martyn made the perfect start fending off Dave first bend to race away for a healthy lead. But with the ex world champ chasing you down looking for any small mistake that could prove costly; indeed fate took its toll. As Martyn exited the pit bend on lap 2, he missed his pedal and Dave snatched the opportunity and came by like a steam train and went on to record a vital 4 point win with Martyn finishing second on 3pts.
Ht 3 for 50/60's and *I was on grid 3. Favourite for this group Mark Griffiths on 2 and Steve Mullinder on 4 (both from Wednesfield ). Both Wednesfield boys trapped like rockets leaving me for dead creating a big gap at the first bend, I naturally dived into the gap but resulted in me and Steve hanging off the fence. The ref rightly stopped the race, gave me a warning and called for a re-run with all 4 riders. The re-run was almost a carbon copy, but this time we managed to stay clear of the fence. Mark was gone with Steve close behind then me with 79yr old Chick Mackie a distant 4th.
Ht 6 (40's) brought together the two main contenders Craig Marchant grid 2 and Kev Burns grid 3 with Dave Hemsley grid 4 . After a cagey first bend they all settled as from the grid scoring 4,3 and 2.
Ht 10 for the 50/60's was another benchmark bringing out two unbeaten riders namely Paddy Wenn and Mark griffiths. Mark took the win from pole position grid 1 while Paddy was made to work hard for three laps to gain the important second place.
Ht15 Crunch time now in the 40's. Jason Kieth (10pts) off grid 1, Martyn Hollebon (11pts) grid 3 and Craig Marchant (unbeaten 12pts) off grid 4.
Tapes went up and if ever Martyn was to make the perfect start, then this was it. He was off like a rocket claiming the first corner, always in control and away to what was to ultimately be a vital 4pts and Craig's first defeat of the day.
All riders in both sections had only one ride left, but with the English weather so unpredictable it began to rain with a fine drizzle.
Ht 18 (50/60's) Paddy Wenn on gate1 and myself gate 2. This one was no contest as Paddy took off like a whippet for an easy 4pts which was to give him gate 2 in the A final being beaten only once in 5 rides to finish on 19pts. My second spot earned me gate 1 in the 60's B final.
Staying with the 50/60's, Ht 19 Mark Griffiths leapt out of gate 2 to an untroubled win completing a 5 ride maximum of 20pts and gate 1 in the A final. Glynn Morgan of Hethersett had to settle for second spot in this race to finish on 18pts and gate 3 in the A final. This left gate 4 up for grabs and Norman Venison etched his name on it with a tapes to flag win in ht 20 to complete the 50/60's section.
Back to the Blue Ribbon section so to speak. With the drizzle still falling the track surface was a tad on the slippery side, especially for those who chose not to use Maxxis tyres (without doubt the best).
Ht 17 in the 40's section had Craig Marchant winning from gate 2 to finish on 19pts and Mark Winwood from gate 4 taking second spot to end on 17pts.
Kev Burns won ht18 from gate 1, also finishing on 17pts. Dave Hemsley from gate1 took the win finishing on 18pts in ht 19.
The tension now was electric as ht 20 came around.
On gate 1 was Eddie Ridley (Martyn's club mate), gate 2 was Jim Collier from Horspath and our very own Martyn Hollebon off gate 4. This was a critical race for Martyn to earn the best spot in the A final being gate 1. It transpired to be no problem for him after yet another majestic start he rode on to the chequered flag untroubled. Credit given to Eddie for keeping the pressure on for all 4 laps as any mistakes he would certainly have taken advantage.
That win gave Martyn a total of 19pts only being beaten in his first ride by Dave Hemsley.
Finals time now. 1st up is the over 60's B with *myself off gate1 and 79yr old Chick Mackie from Glasgow on 2. A non event really as we passed and re passed each other every lap for fun at our pace. I took the win, but huge respect to Chick for even getting on the bike.
60's A final was won by Phil Hemmings (Wednesfield) - 2nd Terry Kirkup (Newcastle) 3rd Fred Rothwell (Manchester) and Ash Patterson (Newcastle).
50's A final. Now thoughts go out for Mark Griffiths in this one, for having done all the hard work in the qualifying heats (20pt max) he was on gate 1. As the tapes were released he applied max pressure and his rear wheel spun like he was on ice. Tragically, in that split second his race was over and the title gone. Paddy Wenn (Norwich) took the win from gate 2, Norman Venison (Leicester) 2nd , Mark Griffiths (Wednesfield ) scrambled to 3rd with Glynn Morgan (Hethersett) 4th.
40's B final, with track conditions not the best, no-one was willing to take any risks. The result was as the starting grid positions with Kev Burns (Leicester) 1st, Andy Johnson (Horspath ) 2nd, Jason Kieth (Newcastle) 3rd and Eddie Ridley (Hellingly) 4th.
On to the last race of the day, the over 40's A final. The line up was our own Martyn Hollebon (Hellingly) on grid 1, last year's champ Craig Marchant (Leicester) grid 2, ex world champion Dave Hemsley (Leicester ) grid 3 and ex vets champ Mark Winwood (Birmingham) grid 4. A tough line up and without doubt the four best riders on the day were at the tapes for the final race. Now the old adage of 'lightning doesn't strike twice' was trashed here. The referee put the riders under starters orders, the tapes were released and on gate 2 Craig Marchant spun his back wheel half a revolution and did not move an inch. In that split second again his race was over and the championship gone. Meanwhile Martyn made yet another superb start from gate 1 and fended off a first bend challenge from Dave Hemsley. From then on picking his own line with his superior track knowledge took him to the chequered flag as a much deserved winner of the event. Dave Hemsley finished a close 2nd, Mark Winwood 3rd and a very dejected Craig Marchant a lonely 4th.
Summing up; the meeting was a great success for the Hellingly club as hosts of the meeting for the charity ORCHID IN AID OF MALE CANCER. For Hellingly to provide the winner of the meeting was a bonus (but thoroughly deserved), so CONGRATS TO MARTYN.
Off route there are many others that deserve a mention who without their help the meeting would not have been so successful. To Neil Hollebon for refereeing and overseeing the maintenance of the circuit, Ethan Page flag Marshall, Jamie Morley on the starter button, Steven Archer, the Mike man, Dave Page pit Marshall, Val Cox, Sonia Hollebon, Sarah Tucker and Mrs Gill Hollebon manning the gazebo serving the refreshments, Perce and Geoff Cox for doing most of the donkey work. All can feel very proud in making the day what it was. Apologies if anyone was missed.
Finally, thanks to all the riders for making the trip to Hellingly with special thanks to Chick Mackie at 79 yrs young travelling all the way from Glasgow.
Sun 10th Sept Ipswich KO Cup Play-Off
With the cut and thrust of league racing now at an end and the Lions finishing in third place in Div 1, it was off to Ipswich to take part in the KO cup play offs. This is a brand new competition which is only open to the top four teams from each of the four regions. (Northern, Midlands, South & South West and South & South East). Joining the Lions were the host club Ipswich (league winners) Great Blakenham and Hethersett.
The competition was new to all as was the racing formula. All teams were split into two sections (A and B) with four riders in each having 4 rides, one ride from gates 1 to 4. This gave two 16 Heat matches run together with the team members allotted by the league averages. Team A, Jesse Moore, Neil Hollebon, Martyn Hollebon and Dan Welch.
Team B, Steven Archer, Jim Cox, George Morley and Jamie Morley with Ethan Page at reserve.
Even though both teams ride separately the scores are combined for a team total after 32 heats of racing.
Our worst journey of the season! Diverted off route because of a traffic accident, then caught in a 5+mile queue at the Dartford tunnel and arrived at Ipswich 10 mins after the allotted start time. With the cycle speedway world being as it is, the powers that be elected to delay the start until 2.30 to accommodate us for which we were very thankful.
On with the racing. The first block of 4 races had the B team starting from gate 4, with the second block having the A team off of the favoured gate 1. Unfortunately for the Lions, both teams only gained 6pts each as the need for fitness was demonstrated on a very fast Ipswich circuit. All the competing riders had now had one ride each and the collective team totals were - Gt Blakenham 28, Ipswich 27, Hethersett 13 and Hellingly 12. Moving on to the next four heats, the B team were on gate 1 to which they faired a little better scoring 8pts with a splendid 2nd from Steve Archer. Heats 13 to 16 had the A team starting from gate 4, and they also scored a little better to total 9pts. Jesse Moore had a second place and Neil Hollebon went on to record Hellingly's first race win. We were now at the halfway stage and Gt Blakenham were on 52 pts, Ipswich 51 pts, Hellingly 29 pts and Hethersett 28 pts.
After a short interval with rain looking imminent, Heat 17 had the Lions B team off of gate 2. There must be something in the water in Suffolk, because the whole team upped their game big time. A battling third from Jamie Morley, a fantastic second from Ethan Page and a spectacular race win for Jim Cox brought the Hellingly total to 39 pts. We were now at Heat 21 with Hellingly A team out on gate 3 and they must have been inspired by the B's. All four of them gave 100% for little reward with the exception of Martyn who gained a hard earned second place. With only the one race left for all riders, the scores were still nip and tuck at the top. Gt Blakenham 75, Ipswich 74, Hellingly 47 and Hethersett 43.
Heat 25, with Steven Archer on gate 3 and not to be outshone Steven made a classic cut back on the first bend to emerge in the lead. He must have been racing on pure adrenalin as he sped away to a superb win. Next out was Jim Cox (gate 3). All four riders entered the first bend shoulder to shoulder. Jim got pushed wide, Keanu Bowers (Gt B) fell, Charlie Rumbold ( Ips) disappeared in the distance followed by Paul Machin (Heth). This left Jim the full length of the back straight behind in third. With the team spirit through the roof and all the lions cheering him on Jim gave chase. It took him 2 laps to get back on terms and on entering the pit bend on lap 3 made a superb clean pass on Paul Machin to earn a truly brilliant second place at the finish.
The last race for the B's was with George Morley on gate 3.This race had to be re-run as Richard Williamson (Gt B) on gate 1 moved at the tapes whilst under orders and was excluded (the only exclusion in the meeting). Ultimately this was to deprive Great Blakenham any chance of winning the meeting. In the re-run George made a good first turn to emerge in the lead, but lack of experience allowed Leon Mower (Ips) to power on past him to win the race. Nevertheless George held on to finish in second spot.
Four races were left now with Hellingly A off gate 2. First out was Martyn Hollebon. Tapes up and Martyn was left trailing at the first bend but still in touch. On lap three at the pit bend all three riders were jostling for positions which created a gap on the inside. While always in contention, Martyn seized the opportunity, nipped into the gap and went on to record the race win. Dan Welch's turn next and as in previous heats all four went into the first bend shoulder to shoulder. Unfortunately Dan was the unlucky one and fell. He remounted and finished the race to get the single point.
The final scores were:
Ipswich 100 , Great Blakenham 92 , Hellingly 67 , Hethersett 59.
The Hellingly scores: A team;
Jess Moore 8 - Neil Hollebon 10 - Martyn Hollebon 10 - Dan Welch 4
Steven Archer 10 - Jim Cox 10 - Jamie Morley 3 - George Morley 6 - Ethan Page 6
Just a few words regarding the meeting overall; It has to be said that each and every one who took part gave 110% commitment. All of whom should be very proud and hold your heads high. Even our ever stalwart George Hollebon was pleased with your performance today. Well done lads BRING ON NEXT SEASON.
Pictured - Jim's pass in Heat 26
Round 6 of the Eurovets at Glasgow Sat 2nd Sept.
Three Lions and one cub, Brian, Martyn, Eddie and Junior (Harry) made the trip to Scotland incorporating a speedway meeting at the new national stadium at Belle Vue Manchester and an overnight stay at Carlisle.
Saturday morning we were greeted with brilliant sunshine (albeit a touch chilly), so a full English brekky was the priority. All fuelled up we were off to Myrtle park Glasgow for round 6 of the Eurovets. Our arrival just before midday at the sedately tree lined track, a few of the local club members were busy getting things ready, but not many of the opposition were obvious. The usual track inspection followed and all looked pretty much the same as last year. The first bends were under the cover of trees, so damp and grippy, but not so bends 3&4 which were the complete opposite, dry, loose and very slippery.
On with the racing;
with most heats won and lost from the tapes Craig Marchant from Leicester recorded 5 unbeaten rides to claim gate 1 in the A final. Joining him was Mark Winwood (Birmingham) gate 2, Jason Keith (Newcastle) gate 3 and Kevin Burns (Leicester) on gate 4.
Tapes up and Craig was gone with Mark riding sensibly in second spot and Jason following. All in the pits assumed this would be the result, but was not to be! On lap 3, last bend with Craig way out in front, Mark in second place hit the notorious slippery spot and hit the deck. This resulted in Jason passing on the outside and Kevin zipping up the inside into second. Final result Craig Marchant 1st - Kevin Burns 2nd (both Leicester) - Jason Keith 3rd (Newcastle) and Mark Winwood 4th (Birmingham).
The B final was almost a carbon copy with Martyn off of gate 1, Mick Knowles (Astley) off 2, Jim Collier (Horspath) off 3 and Eddie off gate 4.
Martyn was away cruising to victory with the other three battling for positions. Halfway into lap 3 with Mick weaving all over the track, Eddie tangled with his back wheel and fell heavily, the result being Martyn 1st, Mick Knowles 2nd, Jim Collier 3rd and Eddie 4th.
As for the author, well fitness took its toll on me. Five starts, five lasts having not been on a bike for 3 months I was happy just to have a run out on my new bike. However, having not scored a point, it still gave me gate 2 in the over 60's B final with Chick Mackie on gate 1 (he is 78 yrs old). Tapes up and off we set for a four lap cruise shoulder to shoulder with myself taking the win by mere inches.
Time for Harry to stretch his legs. Obviously he did not feature in the meeting proper, but at every opportunity he was out on the track. In my opinion he probably did more laps than anyone else that day and have to say he is getting so much more confident and a lot faster. Keep it going Harry
Sun. 27th Aug
Hard Lines Jesse, so near but a great representation for the Lions.
Sat. 26th Aug
Jesse Moore competing in the British Finals weekend in the Midlands returned 14 points from his first event at East Park this evening.
Paul Heard ran out as the event winner with a sublime 20 point maximum. Some excellent races on show with Jesse battling hard throughout. His fourth ride in heat 15 saw drama, Jesse got past the Coventry pair of Daniel Drewett and Samuel Hardie who both took heavy falls entering the last lap causing the race to be stopped and re run a heat later than planned, that though didn't stop Jesse from making another superb start to pick up a vital 2nd place. Heat 18 saw a great ride from the 49 year old Steve Harris who gated last, but put his foot down entering bend 3 lap 1 and come under both Leon Mower and Samuel Hardie for 2nd. Jesse headed into the final race of the evening on 11 points but made a superb gate from 4 to come across both Matthew Lawrence and Charles Barnett to gain second position, but despite his great effort in chasing, failed to catch the fast charging Andy Angell.
Special mention also to Dean Hook from Poole who looked super fit and fast all night.
P.Heard 20, A.Angell 19, C.Timms 17, J.White 16, S.Harris 15, D.Hook 15, J.Moore 14, L.Kemp 13, L.Mower 13, K.Ramsden 11, N.Everett 10, M.Lawrence 9, C.Barnett 7, S.Hardie 7, D.Drewett 6, J.Hill 6
Report from Steven Archer
Don’t know why it’s blue, that’s how it came!!!!
Sun 13th Aug
East London 72 - Hellingly 87
Hellingly arrived at the East London circuit bathed in glorious sunshine to be met with a full strength London side. After a few laps to loosen up the Lions found the track a bit loose in places (no water had been put down) but very fast. This was the final league match for both teams, and the result was not going to affect either teams league position. With this in mind, Hellingly named Neil Hollebon at No; 9. The Lions won the coin toss and chose gates 1-3 in Heat1. Jim Cox off of gate1 flew from the tapes (probably his best gate of the season) closely followed by captain Jesse Moore to race away to an untroubled 7-3 win. Heat 2 had East London's No;1 Nick Gunkell on gate 1, Steven Archer (H) 2, Sid Stanley 3, Dan Welch (H) on 4. Dan shot from the gate to meet with Nick Gunkell at the first bend giving him a bump resulting in a big gap which Steven Archer found to his delight to which he raced off to an easy win. The race for the minor placings was a corker with Dan Welch unable to find a way past Nick Gunkel, they both tangled with Dan coming off the worst and falling heavily. He did manage to remount and finish to a shared heat bringing the scores to E. London 13 Hellingly 17. Ht 3 was a majestic win for Martyn Hollebon, tapes to flag for another 5-5 heat score. Hellingly then kicked in with three 7-3's and another 5-5 that included a superb win for George Morley in heat 7 gating from 1. With the scores now E. London 27 Hellingly 43, Richard Austin in heat8 and Nick Gunkell in heat 9 were race winners for the Londoners to bring up the interval.
The lions now with a 14pt advantage and Dan Welch feeling the effects of his first race crash, he took no further part in the meeting. At the start of the second half with the match score 43 - 57 in favour of Hellingly, Martyn Hollebon also elected to stand down from his last three rides to give the younger reserves a chance to prove their worth. These tactics proved to be a winner as the last 7 races were all a lot closer and more entertaining. Hellingly were to end the match winning by a 15pt margin, but respect to the East London side who apart from a very young Grace Austin were all classed as veterans, and were certainly not disgraced.
East London 72 - Hellingly 87
Mark Renna 15+1 (6r) - Les Stevens 7+1 (4r) - Nick Gunkell 12+2 ( 5r )
Sid Stanley 4 (2r) - Richard Austin 19+2 ( 6r ) - Neil Lester 8 ( 3r )
Kevin Smith 4 (2r) - Ian Olson 2 (3r) - Grace Austin 1 (1r)
Jesse Moore 17+3 (5r max) - Jim Cox 13 (4r) - Dan Welch 5+1 ( 3r )
Steven Archer 16 (5r) - Martyn Hollebon 7+1 (2r) - Eddie Ridley 9 (4r)
George Morley 8 (3r) - Jamie Morley 6+2 (3r) - Ethan Page 6 (3r)
Neil Hollebon DNR
East london 57 +15 = 72 - Hellingly 73
Try to keep up Dad!
Sun 30th July
Hellingly 74 Ipswich 85
After a horrendous amount of rain that fell overnight, the Hellingly circuit was not looking good with just 4 hrs until start time. Ipswich were the visitors for the South /Southeast Div 1 & 2 league encounter. Unfortunately for the Lions, they were without the services of Eddie Ridley (on hols) and Jim Cox (moving house) while Ipswich turned up with a full strength squad. With the track now looking in pristine condition, Ipswich winning the coin toss and taking 1-3, heat 1 got under way.
Ashley Hill led the way from the tapes for lap 1, but with a skilful cut back to take Ashley
on the inside Neil Hollebon showed his mastery of the circuit to race away to the flag to earn a shared heat 5-5. For the next five heats, Ipswich showed why they are sitting on top of the league table by scoring four 6-4's and a 7-3 to take the score to Hellingly 24 Ipswich 35. With Matt Hill having trouble with the second bend in heat 7, the Lions surprisingly came up with a maximum 7-3 with Steven Archer and Neil Hollebon. However this was short lived as Richard Fellgett and Charlie Rumbold did likewise for Ipswich in the next heat, followed with a 5-5 shared race to bring the score at the interval to Hellingly 39 Ipswich 50. After the interval Hellingly got their act together in a small way to stop the rout by restricting Ipswich to one heat advantage in the next six races to 5 drawn heats and the one 7-3. The match score stood now at Hellingly 67 Ipswich 84 with just the nominated ht 16 to go. Even though the match was beyond Hellingly, pride was still in evidence as Jesse Moore and Neil Hollebon were the nominees. For Ipswich it was Leon Mower and Matt Hill off gates 1-3. Tapes up, riders away and after a messy first bend the Lions emerged heading for what looked to be an easy 7-3. Leon Mower had other ideas as on lap two entering the pit bend he elected to dive into a gap that was not there bringing down Neil Hollebon. Whistle blew; race was stopped and resulted in Mower being excluded as the prime cause. This left Matt hill out on gate 4 in the re run on his own. The result was a 7-2 to Hellingly as Matt was no match for top two Lions . The final score was a win to Ipswich by 84 to 74. Credit must be given to the Eagles for turning up with a full squad and performing as league winners should. A special mention to Richard Fellgett for racing to an unbeaten 5 ride maximum, as this is a feat rarely achieved by any visitor to the technical circuit of Hellingly Lions.
Hellingly 74 Ipswich 85
Neil Hollebon ( 6r ) 18 + 3 - Jesse Moore ( 6r ) 16 - Steven Archer ( 5r) 12 + 1
George Morley ( 5r ) 10 + 1 - Martyn Hollebon ( 5r ) 9 + 1 - Jamie Morley ( 5r ) 9
Sun 16th July
Kesgrave 75 Hellingly 85
The Lions set off to Ipswich to take on the Kesgrave Panthers in their last of the long distant league matches. Spirits were high in anticipation of a victory as Jesse Moore was returning from injury and Jim Cox now back in the side. With Steven Archer still on his hols this gave George Morley another chance to taste 1st team action. On arrival at Kesgrave the mood was still positive, but somewhat strange. We were the first to arrive at the track and wondered if we had got the wrong day. The weather was very warm and sticky (20℃ plus ) but overcast. After their arrival and with start time fast approaching, both sides declared their teams for the day. Hellingly, while in good spirits were a tad dejected to hear the news that Kesgrave were without the services of three key riders. Lewis and Tyler Brinkoff were on holiday and Jamie Chittock not available. Both teams ready to start, but were without a referee, so to get things moving a member of the Hellingly staff took the whistle. Ray Pyke (Kesgrave) and Jesse Moore (Hellingly) were called to toss the coin which Ray Pyke won and elected to go off gates 2 - 4 in heat 1.
Tapes up first race with Neil Hollebon off gate 1 he was an easy winner and never tested to the flag. The Kesgrave pair realised early on in the race that chasing Neil was pointless and promptly team rode very cleverly to keep Jim Cox in last place to a shared heat 5-5. Heat 2 with skipper Jesse Moore off gate 2, he was surprisingly headed home by Kesgrave's Gary brown. The race ended with a 6-4 advantage to Kesgrave as again Hellingly provided the last placed rider in George Morley. Two points in arrears it was the veteran pairing of Martyn Hollebon and Eddie Ridley off of the inside grids in heat three. After riding a clever first bend the Hellingly pair showed their experience big time and raced away for a much needed maximum 7-3 to steady the ship.
Two more heats came and went with Neil and Jesse winning one each. Heat 6 with the Lions off of gates 2-4 with Neil and Jim, again superior team riding won the day as Hellingly gained another 7-3 advantage from tapes to flag. The match score was now 26 -34 in favour of the lions taking control of the meeting by an eight point margin. The interval came after heat 9 with Hellingly still ahead and looking to consolidate their lead.
The match itself was not turning out to be the walk in the park as first thought. Neil had six rides and rode superbly to go unbeaten by an opponent. Martyn had 3 wins and 2 second places again doing a great job to keep the score rolling along. Jesse done the captain's job also, bearing in mind he has just come back from injury and three of his races were from the outside grids. Eddie showed he is no mug by being a part of two 7-3 heat wins, even though an old knee injury showed itself in a couple of races. With the racing very fast and hectic, unfortunately Jim found himself on the wrong end of some clever team riding by Kesgrave. George had a meeting he would probably want to forget. On more than one occasion he got dumped on the track taking some heavy falls, even though this must have knocked his confidence, he was a race winner in ht 8 by being in the right place at the right time. Ethan Page and Jamie Morley were lacking racing speed and both were victims of more clever team riding by Kesgrave.
To sum up, although Hellingly ran out winners by 75pts to 85pts, it was no walk in the park as first anticipated. Credit to Kesgrave for putting on a show with limited resources, and hopefully the younger Lions came away with the knowledge of what team racing is all about
Neil Hollebon ( 6r ) 23+1 - Martyn Hollebon ( 5r ) 18 - Jesse Moore Cpt. ( 5r ) 15+1
Jim Cox ( 5r ) 10 - Eddie Ridley ( 4r ) 9+1 - George Morley ( 4r ) 7
Ethan Page ( 2r ) 2 - Jamie Morley ( 1r ) 1
- on to the div2 match . Due to an acute shortage of riders to both teams the line ups were very similar to the Div1 match. Kesgrave elected not to use Gary Brown and Ben Harvey and Hellingly did likewise, not using Jesse Moore and Jim Cox. Unfortunately that meant we had to incur a 30pt penalty for using Neil and Martyn as they are both graded riders. Kesgrave won the coin toss and chose gates 1-3 in Ht1. This brought out George Morley on gate 2 and Eddie Ridley on 4. Tapes up and the dash to the first bend was to bring the first of two heavy falls to George, (as the pic shows) The referee deemed that George fell on his own and elected to let the race continue. The result was a 6-4 to Kesgrave with Eddie second and George remounting to finish for one point. So the stage was set for another hard fought contest, but with Hellingly gifting Kesgrave with a 30pt lead the senior riders decided to put on a show of classic passes and team riding. The score at Heat 7 was 40 - 30 to Kesgrave. Off of the inside grids Lions had Neil and Jamie Morley who were to put on a show. Jamie off gate 1 made the first turn and drifting the Kesgrave lads wide. Neil made a classic turn back to take the inside and slot in second behind Jamie then went on to earn Hellingly a welcome 7-3 maximum. The interval came and went to bring us to heat 10 with the match score at 57 to 42 to Kesgrave. Off of gate 2 was George with Martyn on 4. After making a reasonable start George was chasing hard for the lead only to clash with the Kesgrave rider and suffer his second heavy fall. The race was stopped and George excluded as the prime cause of the stoppage. The re-run turned out to be a classic as Martyn (on his own) allowed Charlie long to take the lead first bend only to retake the lead at the pit bend with a superb cut back. He performed this manoeuvre three times in this single race and was a joy to watch. On to ht 16 the nominated. With the match already lost it was George and Ethan who had the honours. Tapes up, riders away and a good race was developing until Lewis Gifkins of Kesgrave took George wide on the pit bend. The referee stopped the race and warned Lewis. Re-run 1 was to be a carbon copy of the first attempt, but this time the referee excluded Lewis. The second re-run was to be an easy win for Ethan with George second for a 7-2 heat win to bring the meeting to end with a win for Kesgrave 86.5pts to 72.5pts.
Neil Hollebon ( 5r ) 17+2 - Ethan Page ( 6r ) 13 - Martyn Hollebon ( 5r ) 12.5
George Morley ( 6r ) 11+1 - Eddie Ridley ( 5r ) 11 - Jamie Morley ( 5r ) 8
Sun 9th July Hellingly V Hethersett
Hethersett 85 - Hellingly 75
Hellingly Lions made their second trip to Norfolk in five weeks to take on Hethersett Hawks. The Lions left Sussex with three first team members missing; club captain Jesse Moore was unable to ride due to doctors orders from a groin injury suffered after a heavy crash last week with Great Blakenham's Lewis Osbourne. Steven Archer (vacation), Jamie Cox (family commitments) were the other two regulars to sit out. On arrival at the memorial playing fields Hethersett were also in a similar position missing Lee Smith, Dan Chambers and Owen Wells. Hethersett won the toss of the coin and chose gates 1-3 in Heat 1 - Tapes up and Neil Hollebon got the meeting off to a shared 5-5 gating across Ollie Buxton to win the first heat.
Heat 2 was something of a surprise win for Hellingly. Dan Welch, in only his 2nd meeting of the season held off Leigh Cossey of Hethersett superbly for 4 laps to gain another 5-5 shared race.
Heat 3 the Hellingly's veteran pairing of Martyn Hollebon and Eddie Ridley off of the outside gates suffered a 6-4 reverse to bring the match score 16 - 14 in favour of Hethersett.
Yet another drawn heat was to follow preceding the only maximum heat advantage of a 7-3 to Hethersett over Dan Welch and George Morley for the Lions.
A further shared heat and a Hellingly 6-4 brought a quick response with two 6-4's in favour of Hethersett to bring up the interval scoreline of 49 to 41.
First heat after the interval a shared 5-5 as Neil Hollebon recorded his 4th straight victory. Heats 11-12 and 13 all saw a Hethersett rider take the chequered flag with two of those races gaining a 6-4 advantage. Hellingly were now 12 pts in arrears with the match score now 71 - 59. Three heats to go with Hellingly requiring 3 maximum 7-3's to earn a draw from the match. That however was never likely to be on the cards, but did manage to achieve one in heat 16. Dan Welch did a great job to team ride his partner George Morley home to end the match with a 7-3 and a final score of 85 -75 to Hethersett.
Hethersett earned the 2 League points in a match where both teams were missing key riders. Hellingly ran 13 last places over the 16 heats which prevented them keeping a closer score during the final heats preventing the opportunity of taking the 2 league points back to Sussex. The league table at the moment has Ipswich and Great Blakenham level at the top with Kesgrave, Hethersett and Hellingly all chasing the other two places to make the playoffs.
Neil Hollebon (5r) 19 - Martyn Hollebon (5r) - 17 Dan Welch (6r) 16+1
Eddie Ridley (5r) 9+1 - George Morley (6r) 9 - Jamie Morley (3r) - 3 Ethan Page (2r) 2
With the dust now settled and few dark clouds rolling in it was time for match 2.
Again with both teams missing riders, the line-up similar to the first match. Hellingly elected not use Neil and Martyn and Hethersett rested 2 of their top riders.
On with the racing; as was predicted with both teams evenly matched, so was the scoreline, so much so that the first 5 heats were all shared 5-5's with the score 25pts each. All changed in heat 6 as Eddie Ridley and Ethan Page raced home for a maximum 7-3 for Hellingly. This created panic waves in the Hethersett camp as they promptly brought in one of their reserves to counteract the last race. Their tactics worked as they did likewise for Hethersett gaining a 7-3 of their own to level the scores once again at 35pts each. Heat 8 with Hethersett a little on the back foot, once again elected to use their 2nd reserve replacement to try and steady the tide as the racing was close and very competitive. The tactic again paid off with Hellingly on the wrong end of a 6-4 followed by a shared 5-5 to bring the scores to 46 to 44 to Hethersett at the interval.
Second half - With Hethersett feeling the pressure they again used their reserve to good effect to score another 7-3 over Eddie and Issac in heat 10. Next race had George Morley off gate 1 which he won after a first bend tussle to earn a shared 5-5 .This being George's 3rd race win from 4 starts. A 6-4 from Dan Welch and Jamie Morley brought the match score to 62 -58 to Hethersett which again set off the alarm bells with only four heats remaining. They predictably responded by using their reserves in heats 13 and 14 and with Dan Welch and Jamie Morley in heat 15, but this time suffered a 6-4 reverse the match was all but lost. The nominated heat 16 again ran out a shared 5-5 bringing the final score Hethersett 85 Hellingly 75. Summing up, it was a close match with racing hard and very competitive. The difference between the two teams was the shrewd use of the reserves by Hethersett and to be fair to them we expected nothing less as they are top of div 2, and are still unbeaten both home and away.
Hellingly 75 - Hethersett 85
Dan Welch (5r) 17 - George Morley (5r) 15 - Ethan Page (6r) 13
Eddie Ridley (5r) 11+4 - Issac Westwood (6r) 9+1 - Jamie Morley (5r) 6
Footnote; Watch out boys, Eddie son Harry Ridley took his new bike along and done more than a few laps. At 7yrs old he ain't hanging about.
July 2nd Home
Sun 11th June Hellingly V East London
Hellingly 103 East London 57
Once again the day started mid-morning with much needed repair work to the track surface due to the heavy rainfall over the previous 2days. All work done, a decision had to be made on how much water to be put down. The sky was overcast but the sunshine that was forecast failed to arrive in time (sorry boys, got it wrong this time with a tad too much water).
The East London boys had arrived and to be fair to them the meeting was never going to be a rip roaring affair. A glance at the league table showed East london at the bottom end with not having any success to date. With this in mind, the decision was made to leave Neil Hollebon out of the first team in an attempt to make the match more competitive and elevate some of the younger regime to gain racing experience. Unfortunately for East London they were up against a team raring to go and riding high due to a good away win from last week at Norwich.
Heats 1 to 9 were all heat wins to Hellingly with 8 races resulting in 7-3 wins and 1 being a 6-4 result with the score at the interval 62 -28 in favour of Hellingly. More repair work was carried out on the track as it was not at its best due to the sunshine finally arriving.
The second half of the meeting did fair a little better for the East Londoners as they managed to hold the Lions to three drawn heats of 5pts each. In two of these races they supplied the winner with Richard Austin winning Ht 11 and Nick Gunkill the same in Ht 13. By now the match result was all but over with Hellingly racing away to win 103pts to 57. Thanks must be extended to East London for making the trip to take on the Lions round their somewhat technical circuit. Lets also give applause to young Grace Austin from East London. A tiny little slip of a girl against all those hairy burly lads and give her lots of credit for getting on a bike to make up the team.
Martyn Hollebon 20 (5r) Unbeaten - Steven Archer 15 +5 (5r) Unbeaten
Jesse Moore 15 +1 (4r) Unbeaten - Daniel Welch 15 - (4r) - Jim Cox 14 (4r)
Eddie Ridley 11 +3 (4r) - George Morley 8 + 2 ( 3r) - Ethan Page 5 +1 (3r)
Hellingly 67 East London 63
With East London having to use the same riders as the first match (although two declined to ride). Hellingly fielded a team which was, on paper, equal to the East London side even though they had two guest riders from the Lions in Jim Cox and Eddie Ridley. It transpired to be a close and entertaining match. With Rebecca Hollebon making her debut, Issac Westwood back from his hols, Dan Welch, Steven Archer, George Morley and Ethan Page all having their second match, battle commenced.
The first three heats were all drawn 5pts each, score all even at 15pts each. All change in Ht 4 as this brought together Dan and Steve who promptly raced away to a 7-3 ht win, but as usual the hand of fate is never far away. Heat 5, George and Ethan out together for their second ride ended up on the wrong end of a 7-3 to East London bringing the scores back level at 25pts each. No interval was scheduled as it was only a 13 heat match and the next 4 races were evenly shared and the score still level. In heat 10 out came George and Ethan once again. This time the result was reversed for them as they romped away for a 7-3 to Hellingly giving the Lions a four point advantage. The last three heats were all shared 5pts each making the match score 67 - 63 in favour of Hellingly. Dan Welch rode unbeaten for Hellingly, while Eddie Ridley and Jim Cox guesting for East London were only beaten by Dan. A word about the two girls (Rebecca for Hellingly and Grace for East London), honours were even between these two when they met each other. In Ht 6 Grace put in a classic pass on Rebecca, but Ht 13, the nominated race, Rebecca repaid the compliment doing the same to Grace. Well done to both girls and teams for providing a close and entertaining match.
Dan Welch 16 (4r) - Issac Westwood 12+2 (5r) - Steven Archer 12+1 (4r)
George Morley 11 (4r) - Ethan Page 10+2 (4r) - Rebecca Hollebon 6 (5r)
Away Norwich - Sunday June 4th
Norwich Stars 71 - Hellingly 88
The lions arrived at the Norwich raceway with a full team and confidence running high.
The sun was shining so a quick look at the track was the order of the day. Only the bends had been watered, so it was going to be fast and dusty. Norwich win the coin toss and take gates 1&3 in Ht1. Tapes up with Neil Hollebon out of gate four for the win and Steven Archer from gate2 settled in third place for a good start of 6pts to 4 in Hellingly's favour. Heat 2, with Martyn Hollebon on gate 1 and Eddie Ridley on gate three, a similar result looked on the cards. They were up against the best pairing from Norwich (on paper) of Paddy Wenn and Chris Cullem who had a combined age of 110 yrs+. All looked good at the start with Martyn away and Eddie taking care of Cullem at the first bend. The sun shining and fast track Martyn must have fallen asleep as he left room for Paddy Wenn to dive inside him on the pit bend and promptly tore off to win the race to earn a drawn heat of 5pts each. Captain Jesse Moore made no mistakes to win Ht3 by a big margin, but his partner Jim Cox found the pace a little too quick, so another drawn heat of 5pts each with the match score standing at Norwich 14 Hellingly 16.
Neil and Steven were out next off of gates 1&3, disaster struck the Lions. At the start of the second lap three riders clashed together and ended up in a heap at the first bend. The referee stopped the race and deemed Steven the cause of the crash and excluded him from the re-run. Unfortunately for Norwich, Chris Cullem took a heavy knock to his head and was advised by the first aid staff to take no further part in the meeting. The re-run went in favour of Norwich earning them a 7-2. With the score now at 21 -18 to Norwich, the Lions settled for a drawn heat in the next race, followed by a 7-3 by Neil and Steven to put the Lions back in front by one point.
The race of the day came next with Jesse Moore and Jim Cox. With the pressure on, Lee Grange from Norwich managed to get the better of Jesse at the first bend to race away for the win. All eyes were on the two racing for third and fourth now. Jim was some 5-6 lengths adrift, but took off like a man possessed after the Norwich rider. It took him 2 laps to get back on terms and then promptly rode round the outside to claim third spot to rapturous applause from the Lions side of the pits.
The interval came and went with the score now 46 to 43 in favour of Hellingly, the Lions got their act together and took control of the meeting. Hellingly proceeded to supply the winner to all the final 8 races. picking up 2nd's and third's along the way to run out winners by 88pts to 71.
This was far and away the best performance as a team for the Lions this season providing 12 out of 16 race winners and only 4 last places
Jesse Moore 21 (6r), Neil Hollebon 19+3 (6r), Martyn Hollebon 17+1 (5r),
Eddie Ridley 13+1 (5r), Steven Archer 12 (5r), Jim Cox 6+1 (5r).
Norwich 88 Hellingly 86
With the dust now settled after the main event, (mostly due to the under worked hose pipe) it was time for the 2nd team boys to spin their wheels. Both teams were using a mixture of 1st and 2nd team riders which had the makings of a close contest. First up in Ht1 was George Morley and Eddie Ridley. Both had no answer to Jamie Medler of Norwich which finished 5pts each. This was repeated over the next 3 races, all 5-5's with the Home rider taking the chequered flag. The match score was all even on 20 pts each at Ht 5 when Norwich gained their first advantage with a 6-4 heat win over Jamie Morley and Steven Archer. Ht 6 brought out George and Eddie for their third ride in 6 races, but Eddie decided to step down from this one so in came Neil Hollebon to replace him. George from gate 1 was given all the advice under the sun what to do with Neil on gate 3. Tapes up and George was away, muscled his way to the first bend to emerge in the lead with the rest of the boys shouting and cheering from the pits. After the first lap Neil had also made progress to be second behind George which they maintained to the flag. 7-3 to Hellingly, now 2pts in the lead. On to an ill fated Ht7 bringing Jamie Morley and Steven Archer to the tapes. With the track still fast but now dry and dusty again , racing was very close. Tapes up and all four riders were glued together for the first lap. On the exit of the first bend lap 2 they all came together resulting in a heavy fall for Jamie. The race was stopped and with Jamie in obvious pain to his back elected not to go back in the re-run and also not to ride again in the meeting. This left Steven to fight the battle on his own in the re-run. The match score at the interval was Norwich 45, Hellingly 44, but this was to change very quickly due to the superb efforts of George Morley and Steven Archer. Ht 10 and Ht 13 were both 7-3 victories for Hellingly with George taking the chequered flag both times followed by Steven. With Neil having to take Jamie's last 2 rides, he had a bit of fun with the Norwich youngsters which was appreciated by the crowd. So we come to Ht16 the nominated race, to which the honours were given to George Morley and Ethan Page. Credit must go to Norwich for they also elected to give their younger riders the nominated race as well. On paper it looked very evenly matched pairs. Not so when the tapes went up, George came from gate 1 into the bend taking both Norwich riders wide and then roared off into the distance. With the opposition left high and dry, and acres of room in front of him Ethan took the chance and raced after George in second spot. An unexpected but superb 7-3 to Hellingly brought the meeting to a close. The final score was Norwich 73 Hellingly 86 , but due to the Lions having to endure a 15pt penalty for the use of Neil (a restricted rider) the true score was Norwich 88 Hellingly 86.
Although it was technically a defeat the boys should not be downhearted. George had 4 race wins and 2 paid second places to amass 21 +1 pts. Far and away his best ever score. Much the same can be said about Ethan, although he did not win a race, his score of 15 + 2 was equally important. To the both of you be very, very proud, you are the future of Hellingly Lions Cycle Speedway team.
George Morley 21+1 (6r), Jim Cox 16+1 (5r), Steven Archer 15+2 (5r)
Ethan Page 15+2 (6r), Eddie Ridley 9+3 (4r) Neil Hollebon 7+2 (3r)
Jamie Morley 3+1 (2r) Retired injured
South East and Eastern Grand Prix.
Sat 3rd June
The meeting started near on time at midday bathed in the hot summer sun. 1st up was Harry Ridley in the u8's. Unfortunately this was not Harry's day as after completing all his rides did not manage to make the finals. Perhaps the occasion got to him a little bit, but good to see him give it a go. The same could be said about Donna Stowe in the u/10's &12's, although in her case it was more lack of racing experience. It was Rebecca Hollebon's turn next, but being the only girl in this age group, all her races were included within the boys. This was always going to be difficult for her, but she completed her rides and at the end collected 25 grand prix points. The next age group we saw our own George Morley and Ethan Page take to the track, but again neither of them faired to well in front of their home crowd. Was it down to big time nerves or the hot weather, who knows. Moving on to the last set of races which had the seniors and the vets put together. There was only a total of seven riders in this group, three seniors (all Hellingly) and four veterans. Jesse Moore, Steven Archer and Jim Cox were the seniors - Martyn Hollebon (Hellingly), Glyn Morgan (Hethersett), Phil Clarke (Ipswich) and Dave Blackmore (Norwich) were the vets. This took a while to complete because of only seven competitors it meant they all had three rides on the trot at some stage. All heats completed there were the two finals to go. The seniors were up first with Jesse, Steven and Jim which was the order of finishing . This left the vets final with Martyn taking gate 1, Glyn Morgan gate 2, Phil Clarke gate 3 and Dave Blackmore gate 4. This again was the finishing order with Martyn taking the honours.
Home - Sunday May 14th
Hellingly 88 Kesgrave 71
Sun 14th May approx 10.30am the day began arriving at the Lions circuit. After a night of heavy rain we were met with a sodden track nowhere near raceable. It took several hours of raking, rolling, tyre packing and believe it or not more watering. By 2pm the track had been transformed into a first class raceway. So it begins, that is the battle of the wildcats. Hellingly Lions take on the Panthers from Kesgrave (Ipswich). The toss of a coin completed, which Kesgrave won, they predictably chose gates 1&3 in Ht 1. First blood to Hellingly for if they had won the toss they would have chosen gates 2&4. Tapes up Ht 1, Neil Hollebon and Jim cox were somewhat fortunate to escape with 4-6 result against arguably Kesgrave's strongest pairing of Jamie Chittock and Ben Harvey. The next 7 heats were very nip and tuck stuff, 5 drawn heats and two 6-4's in favour of Hellingly, strangely enough both were achieved from gates 2&4. In Ht 8 it was Martyn Hollebon from gate 1 with team mate Eddie Ridley from gate 3. Tapes up and Martyn was away in the distance. On the exit of bend 2 Ed found acres of space and flew into second spot behind Martyn. Sadly for the Lions it lasted only 2 laps, and down to the super fast track and lack of fitness Ed was passed by both Panthers. A drawn heat was the result and the progressive score was Hellingly 41 Kesgrave 39. Heat 9, the last race before the interval, Capt. Jesse Moore on gate 2 Steven Archer gate 4 with the Brinkhoff brothers on 1&3. Jesse trapped like a man possessed claiming the first corner, but hallelujah, Steven also made the gate from 4 flying round everyone. First lap had Jesse in front ,closely followed by Steven. Lap 2 had Jesse screaming at his partner to come round the outside, this he duly did with Steven the race winner and Jesse 2nd it was a much needed 7-3 to Hellingly. The match score is standing at 48 to 42 to the home team at the interval and a much needed cuppa.
Interval over, Ht 10 had Neil on gate 1, Ed on gate3. Tapes up and Neil was gone like a bullet, Ed found himself in 3rd spot after the first bend, but again was passed. Result was 5-5 drawn ht, as was Ht 11. The score now Hellingly 58 Kesgrave 52. Cometh the moment cometh the man, that man being none other than captain Jesse Moore. Ht 12, Jesse elected to go off gate 3 putting his team mate Jim Cox on gate 1. You could hear the rumble of discontent all around the track; "what's he doing on gate 3?". All concerns were forgotten and replaced with raptures of approval as the riders came down the back straight. We had Jim giving it his all leading the race, and Jesse on his back wheel giving him all the advice he could to shepherd him home for another 7-3. It has to be said that throughout the race Jesse was Mr. Cool, had a grin on his face a mile wide and never looked like being passed. Now at ht 13 with Hellingly 10pts in front, Kesgrave had not thrown the towel in yet. This was the only race so far that the referee had to make a decision. We had Gary Brown Kes. gt1, Martyn Hollebon Hel. gt2, Jamie Chittock Kes gt3, Steven Archer Hel gt4. Gary made the start, followed by Martyn with Jamie on his shoulder. With the experience of Martyn to drift Jamie wide, Steven dived into the empty space. The race progressed for 2 laps at 5 pts each until Jamie decided to ride around Steven. Unfortunately he didn't quite make it bringing him down. This resulted in the only exclusion of the match and a heat score of 5-4 to Hellingly. Heat 14 followed with yet another 5-5 score bringing the running totals to Hel 75 Kes 64. With the match almost won it was decided to rest Ed from ht15 and give young George Morley a ride. Not expecting too much from George as he was on gt4, he rose to the occasion with flying colours. He rode a clever 1st bend to claim 3rd spot which he maintained to the flag. With Neil Hollebon winning the race, 6-4 was the result and the score now Hel 81 Kes 68, match won. So we come to the final race, and what a race it was. We were graced with the best riders on show from both teams, namely Neil hollebon & Jesse Moore for Hellingly and Jamie Chittock & Ben harvey for Kesgrave. After a couple of extra minutes respite for Neil (two races on the trot). The toss of the coin was made, won by Hel who promptly chose gates 2-4 without any hesitation. The scene was set, Jamie Chittock on gt1, Neil Hollebon gt2 Ben Harvey gt3 and Jesse Moore on gt4. Tapes up and riders away, they managed 15mtrs to the first bend. Three riders ended up in a heap on the track , whistle was blown all 4 back for the re-run. Extra time was granted to Neil as his rear wheel was damaged in the crash. This time in the re-run all 4 made it round the first bend. Neil rode a clever corner to emerge in front and race away. Jesse did likewise, but emerged in 3rd place. Sheer grit, determination and speed took over. He raced down the back straight so fast he was able to dive under Jamie Chittock, but because of his speed ran wide allowing Ben Harvey to come under them both. Not to be beaten, Jesse gave chase and on the exit of the first bend lap 2 got tangled up with Ben , both riders falling. The referee deemed this a racing incident and allowed the race to continue. Jamie was too far back to take any advantage, and Jesse being quicker to react, remounted to finish second behind Neil for a 7-3 score. With that second place he completed a six ride paid maximum. All the Lions rode with gusto to earn this victory and much credit must go to all the Kesgrave riders for being part of the show.
Jesse Moore 21+3 6r (paid max). - Neil Hollebon 21 6r. - Martyn Hollebon 19 5r
Jim Cox 11 5r. - Steven Archer 9 5r. - Ed Ridley 5 4r - George Morley 2 1r
Lewis Brinkhoff 14 - Gary Brown 14 +2. - Ben Harvey 13 + 4 - Jamie Chittock 13
Charlie Long 9+1 - Tyler Brinkhoff 6+1 - James Porter 2
Hellingly 64 Kesgrave 96
As the scoreline suggests, this was a lack lustre affair compared to the first team match. Hellingly were out classed somewhat by a powerful Kesgrave side, with the exception of Dan Welch and Steven Archer. It was in this match than Dan had decided to make a return to the saddle, having not ridden for a few seasons. He managed to win his first three races but tailed off a bit in the last two. Steven faired a little better winning four of his five races. Both found the racing hard, but fair. Unfortunately for Hellingly that was the sum total of success they could achieve. The rest of the team tried their best, but the superior starts from the tapes for Kesgrave showed up for all to see. Unknown to all the riders, just for fun all the races were timed over 4 laps. It was heat 3 when Steven Archer recorded a time of 45.4 secs, Dan matched this time in heat 7, but not to be outdone Steven did a 45.2 in heat 10. Unfortunately for the Hellingly boys in the very next race, heat 11, Jake Vincent from Kesgrave raced to a time of 45.1 secs. This remained the fastest race time of the match.
Dan Welch 17 - Isaac Westwood 5 - George Morley 11 - Jamie Morley 6
Steven Archer 18 - Ethan Page 7
Lewis Brinkhoff 17 - Jake Vincent 19 - Paul Brinkhoff 7 - James Porter 16
Charlie Long 12 - Tyler Brinkhoff 15 - Luke Gifkins 10
Ipswich - Sunday May 7th
Ipswich 89 Hellingly 69
The Lions made the trip to Ipswich to take on the Eagles at their circuit with the home side winning by the score of 89 to 69. This was always going to be a nigh impossible match to win, as so it proved. Ipswich are the current league champions and are odds on favourites to retain the title this season. Nevertheless the Lions honoured the fixture with the top three of Jesse, Neil and Martyn getting right amongst them. The rest of the side gave it a go with little success, but credit to all the boys for fulfilling the fixture.
Jesse Moore 21 (6r) 3wins - Neil Hollebon 18+1 (6r) 1win - Martyn Hollebon 13 (5r)
Steven Archer 7+1 (5r) - Eddie Ridley 4 (4r) - Jim Cox 4 4(r) - George Morley 2 (2r)
Ipswich 91 Hellingly 68
Unfortunately the fate of the second team went much the same way as the first match. The sheer quality of Ipswich is every teams desire Neil was asked to ride in this one and went through the card unbeaten . Martyn also joined his brother, but after the long trip to Newcastle the day before, understandably, fitness took its toll. Jamie Morley was next down the list and credit to him for being a race winner at least.
Neil Hollebon 20 (5r) - Martyn Hollebon 12 (5r) - Ethan Page - 11+1 (6r) George Morley 9 (6r) - Jamie Morley 9 (5r) - Issac Westwood 7 (5r)
(See News) :-
Martyn and Ed returned home after their long trip to the N/E coast at Newcastle weary and a tad disappointed. They were met with an unfavourable north east wind, and a track that was dry, dusty and had a deep surface in places. The field consisted of eleven riders, mainly from the midlands which included last season's winner Craig Marchant from Leicester and 3rd placed Mark Winwood from Birmingham. Of course, Martyn is the current runner up.With all the riders gathered for the start at 1pm the draw for riding order was made. Not good news for Martyn I'm afraid. He was drawn at no;9 with Ed at no;10. That meant he had two starts from gate 4, not quite so bad for Ed but could have been a lot better. Even worse was to come when the names were added to the race card in draw order . Each time Martyn met rider likely to win the meeting, he was always on gate position to their outside, making that brick wall a lot harder to climb.With the 20 heats complete, all riders having 5 rides each the hand of fate dealt another blow.Martyn finished on
15 pts and Ed on 14 pts, which meant both only made the "B" final . With Mark Whitehead from Leicester finishing on 17 pts which gave him gate 1, Martyn on gate 2, Ed gate 3 and Mick Knowles from Astley & Tylesley (Manchester) . That was also the result of the "B" final with Martyn earning 18 GP pts and Ed earning 17 GP pts.The "A" final was won by Kevin Burns (Leic) 25G Ppts, 2nd Mark Winwood (Birmingham) 23 G Ppts, 3rd Craig Marchant (Leic) 22G Ppts 4th Jason Keith (Newcastle) 21 GPpts . As Martyn and Ed said, it is what it is, we’ll take what we've got and move on to round 2 at Stoke.
The South East Grand Prix. First round at Kesgrave Sat 8th April.
Under 8’s – 13 riders were in this age group with our own Harry Ridley taking part. At the tender age of 7yrs at his first meeting and in strange surroundings, he did very well to finish 7th. Well done to Harry.
Under 14's - 7 riders in this one, Ethan Page and Issac Westwood took part for Hellingly. Ethan finished 5th and Issac 6th. Both were first time visitors to Kesgrave and faced very strong opposition. Nevertheless, both were happy to get the experience under their belts.
Under 18’s - 12 riders. George Morley was the Lions rep in this age group. He finished in 10th, but the field did contain a couple of riders who have ridden for England at junior level. With the opposition a little too hot to handle at times, I'm sure he treated it as a learning curve.
Girls - Only 4 riders for the girls with Rebbeca Hollebon wearing the Lions colours. Somewhat outclassed was to be expected as the other 3 riders have all rode in league matches before, whereas this was Rebbeca's second full meeting, so to finishing in 4th is no disgrace.
Seniors - Only 5 riders, Neil Hollebon and Steven Archer were on show in this one. Neil won the event with his track craft and skill showing up big time. Steven also made the A final finishing 4th.
Vets - Yet another Hollebon at the top of the score sheet with Martyn this time winning the event. To be fair, he is the no2 in the Eurovets from last season. There were 8 riders contesting this group, so Martyn had to work hard to win it. Also in this group was Eddie Ridley who also made the A final to finish in 4th place.
Great Blakenham - 9th April
First Team - Great Blakenham 93 Hellingly 65
As expected the Lions took a drubbing at the big, fast Great Blakenham circuit. Martyn was the only Lion to show any sort of form by being the only Hellingly rider to win a race which he managed twice late on in the meeting.
The second team fared a little better but still ended up on the losing side.
Martyn Hollebon 20 (6r) - Eddie Ridley 8 - Jesse Moore 10 - Steven Archer 9
Neil Hollebon 9 - Jim Cox 8 - George Morley 1 (1 race)
Second Team - Great Blakenham 83 - Hellingly 73
Ethan Page 12 - Steven Archer 10 - Issac Westwood 6 - Neil Hollebon 19+1 George Morley 18 - Eddie Ridley 11
Hethersett - 23rd April
First Team - Hellingly 88 - Hethersett 71
A great start to the home season with an emphatic win by 17 pts. Hethersett, from Norfolk, travelled down the previous day to take in the sights of sunny Eastbourne, ice creams as well. They arrived at the race track with a full strength side expecting a victory. After 2 matches, and yet to be beaten, their hopes were high? Unfortunately the Hellingly circuit being a more technical rather than just raw speed was their undoing. Nevertheless they gave it a go in good spirit. A special mention to Eddie and Steven for their efforts, as for sure they were the reason for winning by such a margin. For Eddie, this was by far his best meeting in a long while. The second team once again ended up on the losing side, but did manage to run them close.
Neil Hollebon 18 - Jesse Moore 18 - Martyn Hollebon 18
Steven Archer 14 - Eddie Ridley 13 - Jim Cox 7
Second Team - Hellingly 78 Hethersett 81
Jim Cox 22 - Steven Archer 15 - George Morley 10 - Ethan Page 6
Issac Westwood 9 - Eddie Ridley 9 - Jamie Morley 7