Thursday July 25, 2013
OWLERTON played host to one of the most exciting meetings of the year on Thursday as Australia dragged themselves back into the five-match test series with Great Britain.

With the host nation already 2-0 up after the first two matches, at Ipswich and Rye House respectively, the Aussies needed to at least avoid defeat to keep their chances of a series win alive.

Avoid defeat they did, and they in fact stole a last race 4-2 to give themselves a fighting chance going into the final two tests.

There were never more than two points between the teams all evening, with Britain having the edge early on as Ricky Ashworth, Josh Auty, Adam Roynon and Richard Lawson all won races by heat six.

After six races Britain led by just two and then there was a succession of shared heats, until the Kangaroos stole the initiative when Cameron Woodward and Rusty Harrison notched a 5-1 in heat 11.

GB hit back immediately when former Tiger Josh Auty teamed up with Kyle Newman for a 5-1 in the next heat, but it was Woodward who again dragged the Aussies back level with a win in heat 13.

A shared heat 14 meant that going into the last race the scores were locked level at 42-42, and it was two ex-Sheffield riders who represented Britain in Ashworth and Auty.

Woodward hit the front for Australia, trailed by the British pair, but when Ashworth made a slight mistake it allowed Kozza Smith through and the Berwick man held on to secure a vital win for the ‘Roos.

It was an enthralling contest between two ultra-competitive sides, and Sheffield promoter David Hoggart was delighted to see such an exciting battle in front of a strong Owlerton crowd.

He said: “It really was an excellent meeting, the quality of racing was outstanding and both teams put in maximum effort.

“The teams were presented well, there was a good crowd, the atmosphere was fantastic - it was a marvelous night of action. We worked hard to resurrect this test series and so far the meetings have showed that to be totally justified. It was a great night.”

Great Britain: (Ashworth 11, Auty 10+1, Newman 6+1, Lawson 6, Roynon 5, Bridger 4+1, Haines 2+1)

Australia: (Woodward 12, Smith 8, Harrison 7+3, North 7, Gathercole 5+1, Nelson 4+1, Doolan 3+1)

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