Exeter Aces edged out by Horspath

The Exeter Aces took on Horspath at home last weekend with the visitors tracking a strong 1 to 8.

The Hammers were favourite but Exeter soon took the lead after four heats when Aaron Herbert took the race win in the third, followed by a maximum heat advantage of 7-3 as Robert Croal continued to improve by making a quick gate for Craig Nethercott to then team ride him home for the win.

Horspath soon hit back with their own first and second finish from Stoke-based Lewis Bates and Errol Thaw, with Simon Munden getting the better of Will Tidball in the following race to take the Oxfordshire side back in front by two points.

A couple more shared races at five points a piece were followed by the final race of the first half, where Nethercott and Tidball scored maximum points to give the Aces a very slim lead going into the break.

All was to play for entering the second half and Horspath knew that when they opened up proceedings again with another impressive seven points from Munden and Thaw. From this point on, Exeter struggled to gain much of an advantage over the Hammers until the final stages with another win from Nethercott in heat 16 and a 7-3 from Thomas Reed and Croal.

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Final score: Exeter 83, Horspath 92.

Robert Croal 16+1, Craig Nethercott 13+3, Aaron Herbert 12+1, Will Tidball 12, Dan Winchester 9+1, Andrew Yard 9, Thomas Reed 7+2, Joe Avery 5+1

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In Division 2 the Aces found it tough, with Horspath only able to field the same riders as division 1 with the addition of youngster George Horsley due to the lack of riders available on the day.

For the first four heats, Horspath grabbed first and second, but Andy Riddle came in from reserve in the fifth race of the match to block out Leighton Bates and give the Aces a 5-5 shared heat, with Owen Tidball grabbing second.

Lauren Hookway then defeated George Horsley to give the Aces some hope but Horspath continued to score big points until Hookway and Riddle split them again for 5 points just before the end.

Horspath gave away several penalty points for using the first team riders in the second division, so Exeter claim the win and remain in a healthy position in the top half of the league table.

Final score: Exeter 93, Horspath 79

Lauren Hookway 8, Sam Riddle 8, Owen Tidball 7, Charlie Jane Herbert 6, Andy Riddle 4+2, Connor Tucker 4, Jack Herbert 4

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