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Elite League Grand Final 2nd leg Brummies V Poole

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Well here it is… the Elite League Grand Final 2nd leg and the final match of the 2013 season. Whatever the outcome of this match I would like to go on record by saying how proud I am of the Selco Birmingham Brummies Speedway Team.
Ending the season at the top of the League is what dreams are made of…

On to tonight’s meeting…
21 points is one heck of a deficit, but it’s not impossible, anything can happen in the next two hours!
Poole are again operating rider replacement for injured Rohan Tungate and Kyle Newman rides at No.7 in place of Mickey Dyer, who according to newspaper reports has quit speedway.

Brummies won the toss and chose gates 1 & 3 for race 1.

Heat 1
Tomas H Jonasson, Jason Doyle, Darcy Ward and Martin Smolinski and the race order into the first bend, Martin Smolinski had engine failure as he exited the 3rd bend of lap 2. Jason Doyle edged past Tomas H Jonasson on the 3rd bend of lap 3 and for the last lap Tomas H Jonasson and Darcy Ward trade places a couple of times with Darcy Ward finally taking 2nd place.

3-3
Doyle, Ward, Jonasson (Smolinski engine failure)

Heat 2
Kyle Newman had a flying start but the referee ignored it, I think the Brummie pair seemed to think the race would be stopped and didn’t seem to be riding a full pace, hence the positions of Kyle Newman in 1st, Josh Grajczonek in 2nd, Nico Covatti in 3rd and Josh Auty in 4th.
The race wasn’t stopped and the Brummies were unable to recover from the slow start giving Poole 5-1 and an early lead in the meeting.

1-5   (4-8)
Newman, Grajczonek, Covatti, Auty

Heat 3
Josh Grajczonek rider replacement for Rohan Tungate.
Into the 1st bend, Greg Hancock, followed by Danny King, Josh Grajczonek and Ben Barker. Danny King chased hard behind Greg Hancock and as he exited the 3rd bend he caught Greg’s back wheel Danny fell and his bike catapulted almost 6ft into the air, thankfully landing away from where Danny had fallen. The race was stopped and Danny was excluded from the re-run.
After an anxious wait Danny got to his feet and was able to walk back to the pits.
Re-run
Josh Grajczonek and Greg Hancock raced into bend 1 with Ben Barker trailing in their wake!
Ben Barker tried every possible line to get back on terms with the Poole duo but all to no avail as they team rode for the entire race, Hancock shepherding his team mate to victory for another maximum heat and an 8 point lead on the night.

1-5   (5-13)
Grajczonek, Hancock, Barker (King fell/excluded)

Heat 4
A very close 1st bend but as the riders exited the 2nd bend Chris Harris emerged the race leader, closely followed by Kyle Newman, Maciej Janowski and Josh Auty. Josh pushed hard behind Janowski and passed him on the 3rd bend of lap 2. At last our first heat advantage!

4-2   (9-15)
Harris, Newman, Auty, Janowski

Heat 5
Nico Covatti replacing Danny King.
Darcy Ward and Tomas H Jonasson in 1st and 2nd with Ben Barker and Nico Covatti in 3rd and 4th into the 1st bend. It looked like an easy 5-1 was on the cards for Poole as the Brummie pair were making no real challenge in this race, but then Tomas H Jonasson fell on the 2nd bend of lap 3, Ben swerved passed him to take up 2nd place, but unfortunately Nico Covatti was not so lucky and collided with the fallen bike, the race was stopped. As the race was more than half way through it was awarded, the positions at this point being Darcy Ward in 1st, Ben Barker in 2nd, Jonasson was disqualified as the cause of the stoppage and Covatti was awarded 3rd place.

3-3   (12-18)
Ward, Barker, Covatti (Jonasson fell/excluded)

Heat 6
Maciej Janowski, Jason Doyle, Josh Grajczonek and Martin Smolinski the race order into the 1st bend, but Jason Doyle came around the outside of Janowski to take the lead down the back straight, a few wheel turns later Janowski passed Doyle who in turn re-passed Janowski to reclaim the lead just before the end of the second lap. Smolinski meanwhile was hot on the back wheel of Grajczonek and passed him on bend 3 of the 2nd lap.  Only the 2nd heat advantage for the Brummies, with the overall deficit still a whopping 25 points!

4-2   (16-20)
Doyle, Janowski, Smolinski, Grajczonek

Heat 7
Josh Grajczonek rider replacement for Rohan Tungate.
Greg Hancock out of the tapes like a steam train! Followed by Chris Harris, Josh Grajczonek and Nico Covatti. Chris Harris powers out of the 1st bend to steal the lead from Hancock as they exit bend 2. For the rest of the race Greg Hancock and Josh Grajczonek regularly traded places as the team rode in 2nd and 3rd place, hardly necessary though as Nico Covatti was too far back in last place to be a threat to their positions!

3-3   (19-23)
Harris, Grajczonek, Hancock, Covatti

Heat 8
Into bend 1, Josh Auty, Tomas H Jonasson, Kyle Newman and Jason Doyle, Tomas H Jonasson edged passed Josh Auty on the back straight of lap 1. Jason Doyle now making up for his poor start closes up behind Kyle Newman and succeeds in passing on the 3rd bend of lap 2. Josh Auty raced hard behind Jonasson and reclaim the lead on the back straight of the last lap. Another 4-2 to close Poole’s lead to just 2 points on the night, but still with their home lead buffer of 21 points untouched.

4-2   (23-25)
Auty, Jonasson, Doyle, Newman

Heat 9
Josh Auty replaces Danny King who has been withdrawn from the meeting with a shoulder injury.
From the tapes, Josh Grajczonek, Ben Barker, Maciej Janowski and Josh Auty, but not for long… Maciej Janowski passes Ben Barker on the back straight of the 1st lap and that was that! The Brummie pair offered no real challenge and by the end of the race they were literally miles behind!
Another 5-1 to Poole and the writing is on the wall, the only way we could win now is if all the Poole riders went home!

1-5   (24-30)
Grajczonek, Janowski, Barker, Auty

Heat 10
Kyle Newman rider replacement for Rohan Tungate.
A closely fought 1st bend and as they exit bend 2 Jason Doyle leads, Greg Hancock in 2nd, Nico Covatti in 3rd and Kyle Newman in 4th and with no position changes also the result of the race.
A heat advantage, but we can do no more Poole will win.

4-2   (28-32)
Doyle, Hancock, Smolinski, Newman

Heat 11
Darcy Ward, Chris Harris, Nico Covatti and Tomas H Jonasson the race order into the 1st bend, Jonasson passed Covatti on the back straight and just as it looked likely that Poole were heading for another maximum points win to seal their victory, Jonasson fell coming out of the 4th bend of the second lap, he tried his hardest to get off the track but failed, the race was stopped and he was excluded from the re-run.
Re-run
A replica of the original start of this race except no Jonasson to split the Brummie pair, Ward extended his lead with every lap and Harris and Covatti were way back!
Poole are confirmed as winners… all the Poole riders, management and photographers pour onto the track to celebrate… and although it’s a bit academic now there are still 4 heats to complete.

3-3   (31-35)
Ward, Harris, Covatti, (Jonasson fell/excluded)

Heat 12
Nico Covatti replaces Danny King.
Nico Covatti has a superb gate and leads into bend 1, Josh Grajczonek in 2nd, Josh Auty in 3rd and Greg Hancock in 4th. As they exit the 2nd bend Josh Auty storms around the outside to pass Grajczonek and Covatti to take the lead down the back straight. The first Brummie 5-1 of the night… it all looked too easy for them, but I suspect that Poole weren’t trying too hard!

5-1   (36-36)
Auty, Covatti, Grajczonek, Hancock

Heat 13
From the tapes Darcy Ward, Maciej Janowski, Martin Smolinski and Chris Harris. The only change in race order was Chris Harris passing Martin Smolinski on the back straight of the first lap.

1-5   (37-41)
Ward, Janowski, Harris, Smolinski

Heat 14
Josh Auty replaces Nico Covatti and Josh Grajczonek takes rider replacement for Rohan Tungate.
Ben Barker in 1st into bend 1, Josh Grajczonek in 2nd, Josh Auty in 3rd and Kyle Newman in 4th, Kyle Newman passes Josh Auty into bend 2 and Josh Auty falls off. The race was stopped and I presumed that it would be all 4 back as an unsatisfactory start, but no, Josh was excluded as the cause of the stoppage!
Re-run
Ben Barker again 1st into the 1st bend, followed by Josh Grajczonek and Kyle Newman, the four laps were concluded without any changes and Ben had opened up a sizeable lead by the end of the race, but once again I suspect Poole weren’t needing to race.

3-3   (40-44)
Barker, Grajczonek, Newman (Auty fell/excluded)

Heat 15
Line-up: Jason Doyle, Chris Harris, Greg Hancock, Darcy Ward
Poole choose gates 1 & 3
Jason Doyle leads from the tapes but as they exit the 2nd bend he has been relegated to 2nd place by Darcy Ward, Chris Harris in 3rd and Greg Hancock in 4th.
For the final race of the meeting Greg seemed contented not to offer a challenge as the race concluded with the 6th shared heat.

3-3    (43-47)
Ward, Doyle, Harris,Hancock

Match summary.
This was the hardest match report I have ever typed! For a whole week I have been upbeat and hoping we could turn things around, but deep down I knew that 21 points would be a tall order, and it was! At the start of this evening I typed ‘Anything can happen in the next 2 hours’, it did, but regretfully not in our favour.
By heat 3 it was obvious we were off the pace, Danny’s fall and subsequent withdrawal from the meeting just adding to our woes! Hope Danny is ok.
I’m not going to elaborate anymore, someone had to lose… just wish it wasn’t the Brummies.
I’ll try to be gracious in defeat…Congratulations to the Poole Pirates.
The firework display didn’t do anything to pull me out of my misery, it was also very sad not to have the end of season good-byes from the riders, the cruel ban on Chris Simpson put paid to that! I’m not about to get mixed up in the politics of the situation, but the evening was a total lack-lustre affair, the centre green presentation was the worst I have seen anywhere! The best Brummies war-cry of the night was led by one of our track officials, thanks GA!
Well here’s to 2014, who knows how many of the current team we will retain, but I will end this report by sincerely thanking all 7 riders for their commitment to the Brummies team, I wish you all the very best for next year whichever team you are racing for, and… I will remember with great pride your achievements of this season!
Finally, thank-you to everyone for reading my reports, they might not always been as precise and accurate as they should have been, but I hope at least I have managed to portray my passion for the Brummies team and the truly wonderful sport of Speedway!

Martin Smolinski    0, 1, 1, 0  = 2
Jason Doyle           3, 3, 1, 3, 2 = 12
Danny King      f/ex, Withdrawn from meeting
Ben Barker             1, 2, 1, 3 = 7
Chris Harris         3, 3, 2, 1, 1 = 10+1
Nico Covatti            1, 1, 0, 1, 2 = 5 + 3
Josh Auty              0,1, 3, 0, 3, ex = 7

Darcy Ward           2, 3, 3, 3, 3 = 14
Tomas H Jonasson 1, f/ex, 2, f/ex = 3 +1
Greg Hancock        2, 1, 2, 0, 0 = 5 + 2
Rohan Tungate      rider replacement
Maciej Janowski     0, 2, 2, 2 = 6 + 2
Josh Grajczonek     2, 3, 0, 2, 3, 1, 2 = 13 + 1
Kyle Newman         3, 2, 0, 0, 1 = 6 + 1

 

Many thanks to Sheila Bowen for her excellent reports throughout  this season

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