Ipswich Eagles and Kesgrave Panthers are British champions

Ipswich Eagles under-16s, British Team champions: Left to right: Matt Hill, Pierce Bacon, Ritchie Fe

Ipswich Eagles under-16s, British Team champions: Left to right: Matt Hill, Pierce Bacon, Ritchie Fellgett, Ben Harvey and Dan Knights, with team manager Les Fellgett. - Credit: Archant

Two of Suffolk’s top cycle speedway clubs are today celebrating British title glory.

Kesgrave Panthers, British Youth and Junior League champions 2013

Kesgrave Panthers, British Youth and Junior League champions 2013 - Credit: Archant

Ipswich Eagles and Kesgrave Panthers are British team champions once more after both won two of the sport’s biggest club competitions.

Ipswich retained the British Club Championship – the biggest club competition in the sport – while Kesgrave won the British Youth and Junior League for the first time in their history, having won the under-12 section for the past three years.

All in all it is a fantastic achievement for both clubs.

The British Club Championship that Ipswich won is a combination of all the British team finals – under-10s, 13s, 16s, 19s, men’s, women’s and Vets. The Eagles were victorious in the under-16s and 19s, as well as runners-up in the 10s and 13s.

Coupled with solid points scoring in the other categories Ipswich scored 128 points, with nearest rivals Exeter on 105, in a competition that attracted 20 clubs nationwide.

Ipswich chairman Jamie Goldsmith enthused: “Last year’s title was special because it was our first time winning it, but this year it was another real club effort and my thanks goes to all the team managers, parents, committee members and of course the riders for once again making it possible. Everyone can quite rightly can feel proud of their efforts.”

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Meanwhile, Kesgrave Panthers were dominant throughout in the British Youth and Junior League which caters for riders 16 years and under. Having won all the regional rounds, they repeated their success in the national rounds too.

The club’s conveyor-belt of youngsters continues to be the envy of the cycle speedway world and again the club won the British under-10 team title – for a fourth year in a row.

“When I took over the club four years ago one of our targets was to try and become the biggest youth and junior club in the country,” said Kesgrave chairman Robert Gifkins.

“And I am so proud now that we have achieved our goal.

“We are trying to build a solid base at the club and lay foundations for success in future years and this is a good starting point. Credit needs to go to the coaches and the parents for their commitment and the riders for their support.”

On the British individual front both clubs also enjoyed success.

At under-10 level Kesgrave’s Lewis Brinkhoff was crowned British U-10 champion for a second time, with Oliver Wright, his team-mate in second place at Bretford.

Ipswich’s Pierce Bacon was third at Swindon in the British under-13 final, while Ritchie Fellgett was third in the British under-16 final at Leicester and then second in the under-19s at Newport. In the women’s final Lauren Jacobs from Ipswich was third, at Coventry.

In the British Youth and Junior Grand Prix series, Fellgett and Daniel Knights completed an Ipswich 1-2 in the under-16s, while Ben Harvey from Ipswich was third in the under-14s.

Tyler Brinkhoff was runner-up in the under-12s, while his brother Lewis Brinkhoff won the under-10s and Panthers’ team-mate Ollie Reynolds won the under-8 series.

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