GB pair reluctantly withdrawn from World qualifier PDF Print E-mail
Written by John Walsh   
Wednesday, 09 June 2021

drew kemp.pngGREAT Britain Young Lions’ management have taken the heart-breaking decision to withdraw Tom Brennan (below right) and Drew Kemp (left) from this weekend’s World Under-21 Championship qualifier.

The duo were due to race at German venue Gustrow on Saturday, and would have been amongst the favourites to reach the Final.

But an e-mail from the German Federation on Monday evening stated there were no guarantees that riders and support teams travelling to the event would receive exemptions from having to self-isolate for a period of 10 days upon their arrival in the country.

GB Youth boss Neil Vatcher said: “The lead up to this Qualifier has been very stressful as we have tried many different avenues of getting the riders to compete in this competition without having to self-isolate for 10 days once in Germany, as this is the current government regulation for citizens travelling from the UK to Germany.

“It goes without saying that with their British commitments it absolutely was not possible for Tom and Drew to be able to do this.

“Therefore, late on Monday night after consulting with the riders and their families, we unfortunately had to withdraw from this year's competition.”

GLASGOW kept up their 100 per cent start to the Championship campaign with a 51-39 win at Kent.

The Tigers collected all four league points from their trip to Central Park despite trailing by four points on the night after Heat 7.

Both sides lost a reserve with Glasgow’s Jack Smith falling and being collected by Kent’s Dan Gilkes in Heat 2, with the pair suffering arm and foot injuries respectively.

Kings skipper Scott Nicholls racked up a magnificent 19-point haul from seven rides, but the solid Tigers were led by strong displays Broc Nicol (12+2) and reserve Sam Jensen (10+2).

Glasgow boss Cami Brown said: “Broc was the start of the night dropping just one point to an opponent, and Sam Jensen was absolutely brilliant as well – despite having to ride seven times.

“A special mention for Justin Sedgmen, who popped out with two important wins. But everybody contributed, which was really good. We had some fans here too which was really nice to see.”

Nicholls said: “It was always going to be a tough match as Glasgow are most people’s tip to win the title, and then we had to cope with R/R for Cameron (Heeps) and losing Dan to injury right at the start. 

“So I thought we did really well to hang on in there as long as we did and indeed give the Tigers a fright by pulling away into a handy lead in the first part of the meeting.”

PLYMOUTH secured their first win at Championship level with a dramatic late rally to see off Berwick at the Coliseum.

The Bandits led 35-31 with four heats to go but the Gladiators then reeled off four successive 5-1s to take a 51-39 victory.

Reserve Alfie Bowtell starred with 13+2 from seven rides, whilst guest Richard Lawson (12+1) and Bjarne Pedersen (11+1) combined for two of the late maximums. Jye Etheridge scored nine for the Bandits.tom brennan.png

Berwick boss Gary Flint said: “These guys have got an amazing team spirit this year with riders offering bikes to team-mates when needed and full support of each other in the pits, and it shows in the effort they put into these meetings that they all desperately want to win and put everything on the line.

“It seems again to be our finishing skills in a match that are letting us down, which we need to solve quickly, although again overall I can't criticise the effort.”

BIRMINGHAM co-owner David Mason reckons his side come up against one of the Championship's main title contenders, early leaders Glasgow in their Perry Barr league opener tonight .

It comes a week after the Brummies’ return to home action was hit with problems when they faced Redcar in the Knockout Cup - but Mason insists that is now firmly behind them and is keen to focus on what's to come.

He said: “I want to again thank supporters who were there last Wednesday for their patience and understanding - and I'm sure they'll be rewarded against Glasgow.

“It should be a cracking contest between two really strong teams and they should leave having been thoroughly entertained.

“There's no doubt that Glasgow are one of the strongest teams in the Championship with some Perry Barr specialists in their line-up - but our boys are ready to give them a real battle.”

The Tigers have a doubt over reserve Jack Smith, who crashed out of their win at Kent on Tuesday.

Boss Cami Brown said: “Jack has a bad gash in his arm so it’s hard to say how bad he is at the moment. He’s heading to hospital for an x-ray, so we’ll have to wait and see if he’ll be available.

“Tonight will be a harder task, and everyone will need to step it up. Hopefully the track at Birmingham will have improved after last week’s call-off – I’m sure it will be better.”

POOLE newcomer Zane Keleher is relishing the prospect of opening night at Wimborne Road tonight (Wednesday).

The Pirates face Berwick in the Championship having had a long wait to return to their Dorset base, although they have raced two away matches so far.

Keleher said: “I am really looking forward to finally racing in front of our home crowd.

“It has been a long wait but I am sure it will all be worth it when we cross the line for a 5-1 in Heat 1!

“I think Matt (Ford) knows me well and put me at No.2 for a reason. Of course it is tough to go out with the two No.1s without having a real feel for the track. but I am really enjoying the challenge, and like I said, it would be great to open with a 5-1, just to set the meeting up.”

The Pirates have former skipper Hans Andersen on standby to guest for injured No.1 Rory Schlein, whilst Berwick will again use rider replacement for the unavailable Coty Garcia.

What’s on tonight -  CHAMPIONSHIP: Birmingham v Glasgow 7.30, Poole v Berwick 7.30

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