We haven’t had a grassy dual for a long while. Swinny’s field is currently unavailable for use but Farmer Jack came to our rescue with the offer to use one of his grazing fields. Plans were all set and the crew were ready to get slideways when the chuffin white stuff decided to pay us a visit again. The roads were probably passable, just, but conditions up on the farm were miserable and we may never have got out of the parking yard again. Therefore, last minute, we changed back to old faithful and rendezvoused at Endcliffe park.
Now, not that many folk turned out. It was probably the smallest attendance we’ve had in a couple of years which was a real shame; because it was one of the best duals we’ve had in a couple of years. I laid out a pretty simple course with a long start straight which go so chewed up you could barely make headway. This led in to a right hair pin which was the most fun corner we’ve had in a long while. It got axle deep in mud but was still rideable, just. The fast lads were almost making it through without a paddle but the rest of us were coming together with our feet off and our elbows entwined. After a fast traverse it was in to fast lefts and then tight tree lined corners to finish. The left lane was a little faster and made you feel like a hero as you caught your opponent.
With only 14 racing JoBo and I ended up with a bye to the 2nd round which meant we could take care of early timing duties. Once we were racing we handed the watches over to Jolley and Jack Read who took care of the rest. Thank you very much lads, your interpretation of the rocking out syncing technique was sublime. The first round saw Foxy beat Joe ‘Splatshop’ Spivey by 0.01 seconds, Joe had an amazing second leg but a stumble in the first let him down. Baybutt was on fire and comfortably dispatched Jack Read to make the second round for the first time in a long while. Baybutts form ended in the second round where he came off work with a coming together with Foxy who had his best performance to date (did anyone check him for spikes? ;). Bowman showed me a clean pair of pedals and smashed me in to submission as did Chay to James ‘Bike Garage’ Irwin. The really interesting battle was between series leader Timmy and FAF Craig Evans. Normally meeting in the finals these two sized each other up on the line. Timmy won the first leg on the quicker left lane by just over a second then Craig took the second leg. However, not by enough. In the quarters JoBo kissed the final tree a couple of times but amazingly stayed upright and took Chay by over a second. This setup a small final of old mates Foxy and Chay. It was a proper grudge match and anything but clean with Foxy pressing any advantage he could but he came off worse in one of the tangles and sat in the mud for 10 seconds giving the win to Chay. The Big final was more of a love match than a grudge match with Joe and Timmy hugging it out on the line. They both won in the fast lane with exactly equal times but Timothy managed to press the advantage in the right hand lane putting down the fastest time of the night and taking half a second out of Joe.
The other highlight of the night was a little impromptu eye surgery performed on Rich Baybutt. He’d got a huge chunk of loam trapped under his eye lid during practice and just couldn’t get it out. So he held a bike light pointed at his eye while pulling down his lid. JoBo then poured in water and I rammed a filthy finger in to get it out. It truly was a torture scene from some kind of Hollywood movie.
The overall point’s situation is looking a bit sewn up now. Timmy has showed up to every round and virtually dominated. He’s only dropped 7 points all season finishing either first or second every round but the last one. Chay is looking very comfortable in 2nd spot but Chris Pearson could take him in the final rounds. Ruari is coming up fast from 5th and will doubtlessly get the better of me if he keeps turning up. Its going to be a great fight to the finish.
Jacks offered his field again for the next round, so hopefully we’ll get some back to some grassy action without any of the white stuff.