East London 75 Ipswich 103
Ipswich came to London needing a win to keep their title hopes alive and went home happy with a convincing victory. East London began brightly with a 6-4 heat win in the first race. Thereafter, it was largely one-way traffic with a young and fast Suffolk squad winning from the start and from the back with equal confidence.
The home side battled hard and there was plenty of exciting racing. However, the overall result was never really in doubt once Ipswich had opened up a significant lead during the first nine races. Dennis Hubble was the individual star for East London, dropping just two points. His main support came from Les Stevens, Nick Gunkel and Dave Tulloch, whose last race tussle with Dan Pike ended the Ipswich rider's chance of a maximum.
Scorers: Dennis Hubble 18, Dave Tulloch 14, Nick Gunkel 12, Les Stevens 10 (plus 1 bonus point), Steve Woodroof 7, Neil Lester 6 (plus 1), Steve Myhill 6, Kevin Smith 2.
East London B 66 Ipswich B 94
Ipswich B were crowned league champions after this emphatic victory, but the scoreline does little justice to the efforts of the East London squad - nor gives an indication of the closeness of the racing. Virtually every heat served up fast, aggressive racing with both sides totally committed to winning. Ipswich's youth and fitness were the telling factors but everyone in the home team fought for every point and inch of track. The visitors were in front by only eight points at the half-way stage, but younger legs and some good fortune saw the Suffolk side pull away in the latter stages to clinch victory on the day and the league title overall. For East London, Steve Woodroof top scored, Dave Hughes and Kevin Smith served up some vintage team riding, while Nick Gunkel and Steve Myhill (aka the Dangerous Brothers) kept excitment levels high. Special mention must go to Alan Smith who worked incredibly hard for scant reward; no doubt this will change as his fitness returns.
Scorers: Steve Woodroof 16, Dave Hughes 12 (plus 1), Nick Gunkel 10 (plus1), Kevin Smith 10 (plus 1), Steve Myhill 9, Alan Smith 5.
HUBBLE EUROVETS HAT-TRICK - posted 4 September 2011
Local London legend Denis Hubble completed a full house of victories at the East London Eurovets GP Series Round Six which also incorporated the sixteenth running of the London Old Masters. With an oversubscribed entry of 19 riders present, Eurovets organiser Fred Rothwell and his East London deputy Kevin Smith were forced to run the event in two matches.
Denis, the recent national over-50s winner at Edinburgh a fortnight ago, clinically won with a full maximum from fellow Redbraes Park runner up Steve Woodroof with Colin Wheeler finishing ahead of Rothwell in the A final. Sandwell’s Phill Hemmings won the B version ahead of EastLondon team mates Les Stevens and Dave Hughes from once a year racer Chris Riches formerly of Hawbush.
The organisational pressures of match promoter Kevin Smith affected his performance but the two over-60s finals provided major challenges for the eight Grandvets present. Edinburgh’s Dave Baxter came good in the B version from debutant Pat Cousins, the irrepressible Chic Mackie and a tiring Riches whilst the A final produced the race of the day which saw three different leaders before the foursome cascaded over the finishing line in a blanket finish with Rothwell getting the win from Wheeler, Hughes and a not so lucky Les Stevens.
1st Denis Hubble (East London) 25 GP points, 2nd Steve Woodroof (East London) 23, 3rd Colin Wheeler (Southampton) 22, 4th Fred Rothwell (Pedal Sport) 21, 5th Phil Hemmings (Sandwell) 20, 6th Les Stevens (East London) 18, 7th Dave Hughes (East London) 17, 8th Chris Riches (ex Hawbush) 16, 9th Dave Baxter (Edinburgh) 12, 10th equal Chick Mackie (Edinburgh) and Kevin Smith (East London) 11 and12. Pat Cousins (Southampton) 9.
1st Fred Rothwell 25 GP points, 2nd Colin Wheeler 23, 3rd Dave Hughes 22, 4th Les Stevens 21, 5th Dave Baxter 20, 6th Pat Cousins 18, 7th Chic Mackie 17, 8th Chris Riches 16.
Referee: Nicky Gunkel (Greater London)
Over 40s / (16th “London Old Masters”)
With the younger 40 somethings joined by the best of the rest, the second individual would count as the London Old Masters prior to the two GP finals at the end.
With the pace of racing upped accordingly in the now stifling conditions, Denis continued with another four straight wins, only coming second to GP leadership rival and defending LOM champion Mark Griffiths in his final outing. Usual podium favourite Norman Venson triumphed over big guns Griffiths, who surprisingly lost out to newcomer Pete Chant in that heat too, and 2010 winner Gary Brown and only dropped a point to Denis in his first race meant they tied on 19 points necessitating a run off. Winning the toss Denis chose the inside and led from the gate despite Norman’s usual overtaking challenges.
Other riders in the individual impressed with EL’s Woodroof picking up a brace of heat wins, team mate Steve Myhill beating Midlander Steve Mullinder in a thriller and Fred and Les accumulating points as well whilst tiring legs diluted the older riders some who had done 13 races by the finish.
Lack of racing this year for Norfolk rider Tim Grimes showed and spectating vets like Ivan Darby, Tony Johnstone or Alan Busby could not be tempted to fill the one blank space in the programme.
The B final saw Woody win from Les, the impressing Chant and co-ordinator Fred whilst the A version containing the forecasted powerhouse foursome did not disappoint. Hubble, off of one, ledprimarily but hard close racing in the first two laps saw the others jockeying for the lead which resulted in a brilliant pass by Gary Brown on Denis which saw the Suffolk rider streaking away for certain victory only for disaster to strike on the second bend of the final lap when he lost his front wheel in the drying shale (pictured below), leaving Hubble doing well to avoid a collision and win and Griffiths second although Gary remounted to secure third place from a now tiring Venson.
This result now ties Denis and Mark at the top of the standings with three rounds remaining.
London Old Masters (Run Off)
Dennis Hubble beat Norman Venson (Leicester) after both riders tied on 19 points in the individual scores prior to the GP Finals.
1st Denis Hubble 25 GP points, 2nd Mark Griffiths (Wednesfield) 23, 3rd Gary Brown (Kesgrave) 22, 4th Norman Venson 21, 5th Steve Woodroof 20, 6th Les Stevens 18, 7th Peter Chant (Southampton) 17, 8th Fred Rothwell 16, 9th equal Colin Wheeler and Steve Myhill (East London) 12, 11th Steve Mullinder (Wednesfield) 11, 12th Phill Hemmings 10, 13th Dave Hughes 8, 14th Tim Grimes (Hethersett) 7, 15th Chris Riches 6.
Referee – Nicky Gunkel (Greater London)
This was another successful LOM meeting, despite a long drawn out afternoon. Thanks must be recorded for referee Nicky Gunkel who presided over 46 actual races with little decision making required, few actual crashes to employ the St John’s staff present and gratitude as well to Martin Jarvis’ announcing, starter flag man Sid Stanley, departed EL sponsor Nick Stevens for trophies, photographer Brian Barnett as well as Sarah Smith’s sterling work in the tea bar keeping the spectators as usual fed and watered whilst Jock Harvie was relieved it is no longer his responsibility to organise the event. Thanks Kevin (Smith) for all the behind the scenes work you have done to continue this tradition successfully.
Hethersett 90 East London 88
East London narrowly lost out in a tight but ultimately frustrating battle in Norfolk. Despite fielding only seven riders, the Londoners fought for every point and with
three heats to go were still level.However a lack of luck and manpower finally caught up with the team, allowing the home side to snatch a two-point victory.
Hubble and Neil Lester led the scoring, but all seven riders made valuable
contributions to ensure the fight went down to the wire.
East London can take comfort from the knowledge that with a full squad, they would have almost certainly won.
Scorers: Lester 17, Hubble 16 (plus 2 bonus points), Gunkel 14, Stevens 12 (2), Woodroof 10 (3), Myhill 10, Smith 9.
Hethersett B 89 East London B 101
fixture saw East London claim its first win of
the season, despite giving away 30 points with the inclusion of Les Stevens and
Neil Lester in the line-up.
From the start, everyone weighed in with strong rides and at the interval East London was just eight points adrift. By heat 11 the lead had been
taken but with
no one letting up the pressure, the Capital squad passed the century
mark. Stevens, Lester and Nick Gunkel went through
the card unbeaten and
should have joined by Steve Myhill who inexplicably fell on the last bend of
heat 10 while comfortably ahead.
Nevertheless, this was another strong team effort that this time was rewarded.
Scorers: Lester 20, Gunkel 19 (5), Woodroof 19, Stevens 17 (3), Myhill 16 (1), Smith 10 (1).
SE Division 1
East London 103 Hethersett 77
On a rain sodden track, East London raced to their second consecutive win with a fine victory over visitors Hethersett. The East Anglian side were always on the back foot due to this year’s exodus of top talent to the Premier league, and duly found it hard going against the fired up Londoners. A first heat advantage to Hethersett very briefly raised concerns to the home team, however by heat six a ten point advantage to East London, confirmed that the outcome would be as predicted. Two home riders were only headed once by the opposition, Hubble and Woodroof, and they were well backed up by Tulloch and Gunkel. Once again Alec Briggs impressed with a fine 15 points despite a nasty tumble, and the team hope that he will be a regular fixture this season.
East London 103
Tulloch 14(3), Briggs 15(1), Woodroof 17(2), Gunkel 14(1), Stevens 11(2), Hubble 19, Myhill 8(1), Smith 5
Collins 10(1), Grimes 13(1), Martin 15, Buxton 7, Adams 17, Chambers 7, Grimes 5(1), Larwood 3
SE Division 1
East London 94 Ipswich 86
On an overcast afternoon, East London pulled off the shock of the season so far by defeating Premiership side Ipswich at the Canning Town Raceway. Although the visitors turned out an under strength team, the assumption was that they still had enough fire power to handle the leagues bottom club. This assumption proved to be their downfall, with a magnificent team effort from East London. The first half of the match was even with the teams reaching the interval at 45 points apiece. After the break, fortune smiled on the brave, with a a couple of arguable refereeing decisions going the London sides way. That said, only one side had the desire to complete the job, and East London ran out winners 94 to 86.
Steve Woodroof top scored with a fine 17 points, backed fully by Denis Hubble who showed once again his mastery of race craft against younger opposition. The rest of the team all contributed to this first victory of the season, but none more so than Les Stevens, who got off his sick bed to compete, taking three vital third places when East London most needed the points.
"I'm proud of what the lads did today" said Team Manager Nick Stephens. "They competed, never gave up and once they realised that a victory was possible, closed it out with great determination"
East London Scorers (BP)
Dave Tulloch 13(1), Alec Briggs 14(1), Denis Hubble 15(2), Neil Lester 12(2), Steve Woodroof 17(1), Nicky Gunkel 13(1), Steve Myhill 4, Les Stevens 6(1)
SE Division 1
East London 83 Great Blakenham 95
East London welcomed visitors Great Blakenham to the Canning Town raceway for their latest SE Division 1 league match, which delivered an entertaining afternoon for the few supporters who turned up to watch. Blakenham were always favourites to take the victory with their quartet of Premier League riders, and this increased when East London went down to seven riders with the late withdrawal of Neil Lester. That said, a fine team performance by the home side kept the margin of defeat to a respectable level, eventually going down by 12 points. The meeting didn't start well with Kevin Smith suffering a technical problem in the first race, leaving Denis Hubble to hold off the two Blakenham riders unsupported. By the interval, the visitors trailed by 10, but rallied during the second half to hold the scoring pretty much even. There were fine performances throughout the squad with Hubble and Tulloch scoring well and Stevens/Woodroof team riding impressively, however the standout performance was put in by the returning Alec Briggs. Having not raced for several years, youngster Briggs was instantly on the pace from his first ride, and but for a fall in his second, would have top scored for the home team. The highlight of the afternoon was the sight of newly crowned national over 40's champion Jason Ashford, having to defend his lead for two laps in race 9 from the hard charging Briggs. " Another good team effort from the lads" said Team Manager Nick Stephens, " Hopefully soon we will field a full team and then we will be in a position to challenge for a win!"
East London Scorers (Bonus Points)
Denis Hubble 15(1), Dave Tulloch 13(1), Nicky Gunkel 11(1), Steve Woodroof 12(2), Les Stevens 9(3), Alec Briggs 14, Kevin Smith 9(1)
SE Division 1
Hethersett 92 East London 85
On a hot and sunny afternoon, East London completed their trip to East Anglia with a visit to Hethersett. Missing two key riders, and after racing in the morning at Ipswich, some tired legs were always on the back foot against younger and fresher opposition. That said, a very competitive match ensued with the result unsure until the final few races. East London ultimately contributed to their own downfall with some costly exclusions for movement at the start, and with several questionable referring decisions not going the visiting teams way, this winnable match was lost by 7 points. Top scorer Nicky Gunkel recorded a fine 17 points with good wins over the oppositions top riders. He was backed up by solid middle order scoring from Stevens, Lester and Hubble, but perhaps the highlight of the day was the return to form of old by Veteran Dave Hughes. Riding in his first competitive match for some time, Dave rolled back the years with a fine win in heat 10, and was unlucky not to add to this when brought down by the opposition whilst in second place. “ We didn’t help ourselves today” said team manager Nick Stephens, “however you cannot complain about the commitment and passion from the guy’s. Having already raced one meeting earlier in the day, to come out and achieve what they did is outstanding. I’m particularly impressed with two things, the level of fitness (down to our new trainer) and seeing Dave Hughes ride like he was 20 years younger!!”
East London Scorers (Bonus Points)
Stevens 13 (1), Gunkel 17 (1), Myhill 10, Woodroof 9 (1), Lester 13 (2), Hubble 13, Smith 4, Hughes 6
South East Division 1
Great Blakeneham 99
East London 80
With two first team riders missing, East London made the trip to Great Blakenham expecting a tough afternoon, and so it proved to be. The Ipswich based side fielded four Premier league riders, three of whom finished the match unbeaten by an opponent. That said, East London proved they were a team, by keeping the score to a very respectable level. Three maximum heat wins by Great Blakenham hit east London hard before they managed to steady the ship by sharing the points in the next three. With a lead of Fourteen points at the half way stage East London never looked like troubling the opposition, however fine maximum heat wins from Gunkel and Lester, and Stevens and Lester rallied the team in the second half. Hubble, Gunkel, Stevens and Lester all scored thirteen points each, and were well backed up by the rest of the team. A word needs to said for Kevin Smith who, when heading for his highest 1st team score for some time, shed his chain when holding a strong second place in his fourth ride. Team Manager Nick Stephens said "On the way here this morning I thought the long drive home would have been a depressing one, that thankfully couldn't have been further from the truth. It was a great team effort and I'm proud of the attitude and commitment shown by the lads".
East London Scorers:
Hubble 13+2, Myhill 9+2, Gunkel 13+1, Woodroof 11+1, Stevens 13m Lester 13+2, Smith 8
South East Division 1
East London 73
East London entertained current league leader Norwich at Canning town Rec. on Sunday, in what turned out to be a very 1 sided affair, with only the home side winning 2 races. Things started well for East London with Dave Tulloch carrying on with his good form winning heat 1, heat 2 was a disaster for the home team when Steve Woodroof suffered a machine failure leaving Dennis Hubble to battle through for a 2nd place.The writing was on the wall now as Norwich pilled on the pressure getting 5 x 6 4 ‘s heat wins and a 7-3 bringing the half time score East London 38 Norwich 54 a 19 point lead. Norwich continued the pressure in the 2nd half with 2 x 7-3’3 and 3 x 6-4’sand 2 x 5-5, the only highlight was Nick Gunkle in heat 16 with a fine win after coming through the field from 3rd place.
East London scores:
Denis Hubble 15, Dave Tulloch 14, Neil Lester 11 Nick Gunkle 9,Les Stevens 7 Steve Woodroof 6, Steve Myhill 6, and Kevin Smith 4.
South East Division 2
East London 77
With East London only having 1 fresh rider racing for the division 2 side the Londoners had an up hill struggle the first few heats drawn the early showings looked promising for the Londoners , but as each race passed the very much younger Norwich side edged their way in front winning by 5 points 77-82.
As the SE leagues uses a grading system for Division 1 riders East London had to give away 15 penalty points so the final score was East London 77 Norwich 97.
On a more positive note East London has now enrolled the services of BCF level 2 coach Mike Beasent to help train the more experienced East London squad to get the squad much fitter & sharper and hopefully compete with the much younger opponents that they now race from week to week
East London scores:
les stevens 16,Dave Hughes 8 ,Nick Gunkel 19, Steve myhill 12
Steve Woodroof 16,Kevin Smith 6
East London next home fixture at Canning town Rec Prince Regent Lane E16 3JJ, 15th May V Gt Blakenham, Suffolk.
Division 1: Ipswich 112 East London 65
East London made the trip to Suffolk to kick off their 2011 South East League season, with matches in Divisions 1 and 2. East London were worried that the result would be a forgone conclusion, with Ipswich's recent inclusion in Premier League racing meaning they have strengthened their side significantly this year. On a bright and clear day, unfortunately these fears were realised from the first race where Ipswich raced to a strong maximum heat win. This was to be repeated in 11 of the 18 heats, with East London only taking two heat advantages during the Division 1 match. Without leading rider Dennis Hubble, East London were powerless to stop the much younger and stronger Ipswich team, although a spirited performance by veteran Dave Tulloch saw him net 16 hard earned points.
East London Scorers:
Tulloch 16, Woodroof 11+1, Lester 10, Gunkel 8, Stevens 7, Ridgewell 6, Smith 4+1, Myhill 3
Division 2: Ipswich 114 East London 75
With the "B" team made up entirely of riders who participated in the "A" match, East London started with a burden of 30 penalty points, plus tired legs! East London did well to keep the match competitive, with the youthful and energetic Ipswich squad always snapping at their heels, however youth prevailed over experience with Ipswich running out the eventual winners. Good performances were noted from Neil Lester and Nicky Gunkel, with solid support from the rest of the team.
East London Scorers:
Lester 15, Gunkel 15, Woodroof 14, Myhill 13, Stevens 11, Smith 7