Orchid Euro-Vets v Britsh Lions
I really must apologise and admit it's gonna be very hard for me to recall too much detail on the match here, this is now the following Wednesday and I've been tied up until now. Suffice to say it was very well attended with first class racing, even bitter rivalry out on track with team tactics the order of the day. I did manage to grab several first bend/first lap videos which should give you a feel for the atmosphere and general dynamics of the event, taken very seriously by both sides.
The track had seen a good old soaking before the meeting so was a little heavy in places with pools around the inside, particularly around the first and second bends, not helped by the waves of rain encountered at various times throughout the proceedings. As it happens though, the team match ended just in time before the REAL weather descended on Eaton Park for the start of the invitational indy afterwards to completely flood turn one. Several first match crazies even stayed around for this one, already well dampened so why not get a bit wetter?
The victorious British Lions touring team get together to debrief with Team Manager Geoff Gamage after their thrilling win.
With ten drawn heats in the first 11 races it was always going to be a close run thing. While there was a share of bad luck for both sides my somewhat biased view is that the Euro-Vets suffered most from it, Dave Frith in particular definitely not deserving two falls, while "my" team was let down by a lacklustre performance from Jason Keith who could have made amends in his last race but moved at the tapes! With Kev Burns and Steve Harris really firing up the Orchid boys before and all the way through the meeting there was always a chance that the scores could have been reversed.
I lost track of the number of restarts so that may indicate either my memory is even worse than at the last round or that the racing was ridiculously keen and the determination clearly evident. And while the Lions grabbed their solitary 7-3 in the second heat through the Two Marks the Orchids had to wait until the second last when Paul and Glyn were victorious!
For the Lions, Leicester's Mark Whitehead reigned supreme, just one point dropped from his scheduled rides in a wonderful display, his clubmate and World Champion Craig Marchant just one adrift. These two were counterbalanced by a dazzling display from Euro-Vet's Mark Griffith, the Wednesfield rider clocking four wins from his programmed outings in superb fashion. It was great to have E-V "irregulars" Steve Harris and Dave Hemsley taking part to make this arguably as strong a contest as is possible just now. The rest of the sides were fairly evenly balanced score-wise and that made for a great spectacle even if the track did become tricky later on. While the aforementioned were obvious star attractions I must say that there were two more outstanding contributions made lower down the order by Horspath's Andy Johnson and Hethersett's Glyn Morgan who really excelled themselves in this one. I consider myself privileged to have been present to see this meeting for myself, congratulations to everyone for their part in it, and of course to the good folk of Norwich CSC, up front or behind the scenes.
Videos coming as soon as I can sort them.
The Norfolk Jetsprint event followed straight after our individual on a perfect surface.