Review: 2013 Halesowen Track League


Final evening of the 2013 Halesowen Friday Night Track League on September 6 rained off

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Thanks Will for the report …

The final evening of Halesowen Friday Night Track League on September 6 was rained off, but that was a rarity in one of the best summers in recent years and it barely affected the final outcome in most of the individual tables, which had been decided the previous week, with Tom Gregory overhauling second year under-16 Charles Walker to take the A league, Brad Simkin assured of victory among the Bs, and Ben Healy and Ryan Brookes dominant in the Youth and Freewheelers.

In what proved a well-supported A league – on occasions including women’s junior world team pursuit champions Emily Kay and Emily Nelson – the 2012 winner Gregory left his challenge late, appearing only once in the first five rounds of racing, permitting Walker to gain a substantial lead by mid-June. But once Gregory did get going, as the summer progressed his experience told as he picked up close to maximum points on several evenings.

He gained inexorably on the younger rider – tending to come out on top when the pair went head to head – and the League was decided on the penultimate evening, when the 2012 winner Gregory moved 22 points ahead, by which time Walker was 75 points clear of the rider in third place, junior Callum Ferguson, reflecting the pair’s dominance week-in, week-out.

There was no such suspense in the B league, where first year under-16 Brad Simkin took the lead on the first night and was never threatened, turning up almost every week and scoring regularly to the extent that he had the League in the bag by mid-July, which was reflected in his final lead of over 40 points from his club mate Sam Dighton. Over 30 riders turned up to race the B-league over the summer, but few turned up consistently, although veteran sprinter Martin Pocket showed a late rush of form to finish just one point behind Dighton in third.

It was a similar picture among the youth riders, where under-14 Ben Healy led from the first night to the very end, although pushed on occasion by eventual runner-up Massimo Di Vito, while under-12s Lorna Sharples and Josh Field both punched above their weight throughout the season for third and fourth place respectively.

The most dominant performance of the season, however, came from Freewheeler Ryan Brookes, who was top scorer on eight of the 12 evenings when he rode, and who ended up with a 66-point lead from his clubmate Alex Barker with the promoting club taking the top five placings. Behind Brookes, it was a close contest for second, with only 12 points separating Barker, Joseph Brookes, Matteo Di Vito and Nathan Burnes. A total of 33 Freewheelers rode during the season, mainly from Halesowen and Redditch, which bodes well for the future.

The vets league proved the tightest of the whole summer, with a single point dividing Harvey Jackson of the promoting club, Alan Davies (PSUK) and William Fotheringham (Halesowen). The league was decided by the final event, a devil where Jackson gained his single point advantage, with Davies awarded second on countback by virtue of his winning four of the rounds he contested over the season.

Final standings:

A League: Tom Gregory (Halesowen) 155 points; 2, C Walker (Halesowen) 133pts; 3, C Ferguson (Halesowen) 58 pts; 4, J Hibberd (V-Sprint) 57pts; 5, T Lane (Stratford) 51; 6, H Jackson (Halesowen) 45

B League: Brad Simkin (Halesowen) 94 points; 2, S Dighton (Halesowen) 53pts; 3, M Pocket (Halesowen) 52pts; 4, L Hardman (Halesowen) 51pts; 5, E Davies (Halesowen) 44pts; 6, W Fotheringham (Halesowen) 43pts

Youth: Ben Healy (Halesowen) 112 points; 2, M DiVito (Halesowen) 81pts; 3, L Sharples (Halesowen) 59pts; 4, J. Field (Halesowen) 56pts; 5, G Richardson (Redditch) 49pts; 6, M Shaw (Solihull) 45pts.

Freewheelers: Ryan Brookes (Halesowen) 135 points; 2, A Barker (Halesowen) 69pts; 3, J Brookes (Halesowen) 62pts; 4, M Divito (Halesowen) 61pts; 5, N Burns (Halesowen) 57pts; 6, J Nash (Redditch) 53pts.



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