GREAT Britain boss Neil Vatcher said he’d been moved to tears by some of the performances of his young Lions as they booked their place in the final of the FIM Team Speedway U21 World Championship.
The home riders racked up 50 points to win the semi-final against Australia, Czech Republic and Germany in a thrilling meeting at the Peugeot Ashfield Stadium in Glasgow.
The Aussies’ 33-point haul didn’t fully reflect their contribution to the meeting, while Czech 16-year-old Jan Kvech proved he had a massive future in the sport by scoring 15 of his nation’s 26 points.
Dan Bewley was the star of the show, bagging a 15-point maximum for GB, with new Glasgow man Nathan Greaves getting 13.
But it was the Australians who provided most of the thrills – Jaimon Lidsey leading their charge by winning his first three heats before Zaine Kennedy walked away from a spectacular crash which saw him thrown clear of the safety fence.
Luckily, he landed on tyres and was unscathed by the accident.
GB now take on Poland, Sweden and hosts Denmark in next month’s final.
Vatcher, who had to call on reserve Connor Mountain after Zach Wajtknecht was hurt in his third ride and had to withdraw, said: “It’s a new breed of Australian team and they pushed us really well with some guys that haven’t raced in Britain or even Europe before.
“We didn’t have Robert Lambert, and guys like Adam Ellis and Josh Bates are now too old, so it’s a new breed for us. We’re fortunate to have a bigger pick of riders. All credit to the boys who did a good job.
“I’ve been with Dan a few times across Europe this year and he’s definitely stepped up to the plate.
“He’s an absolutely top-quality rider now and deserves all the credit he’s been getting. This is just his third season in speedway now which is quite amazing.
“Zach doesn’t seem to get much luck and prior to his injury he had two great rides. That ride from third to first actually brought me to tears – and he was looking good to win his next one but got caught up with the Australian rider.
“He’s banged his head but he seems to be all right, just a bit shaken up.”
Great Britain 50 (Dan Bewley 15), Australia 33 (Jaimon Lidsey 12), Czech Republic 26 (Jan Kvech 15), Germany 13 (Niels Oliver Wessel 4/Dominik Moser 4).
Photo courtesy of George Mutch