Friday December 14, 2018 at 12:35pm
The eleven round series has been a cliff hanger for no particular reason. The organisers have faced up to inclement weather conditions and apart from the West of England Motor Club event all have run on schedule but the same cannot be said of the competitors.
Travelling conditions prevented new champions Josh and Luke Golding and outgoing champions Jon Tuck and Matt Sparkes from contesting the Mansfield Maun club’s opening event in March. The bonus though was a straight point battle at the top of the expert class.
Manx crew Oliver Lace and Ealish Baxter did make the Doncaster Cup Trial and won. Josh Golding, now a twenty-two-year-old electrician and his brother Luke, a plasterer and two years younger, won five trials and kept their nerve in the final confrontation with Jon Tuck and Matt Sparkes knowing that a finish in the Normandy Cup finale would be rewarded with the title. Tuck and Sparkes were ever present and but for mechanical problem in the Andy Smith Trial in March dropped them to fourth place. The Yate crew won three trials and six second places, and of course that damaging fourth.
Intermediate winner Nigel Scott was the class act in the Intermediate category with his fourteen-year-old daughter Gracie-Mae. Invalid carriage retailer Scott, based in Keighley, rode Robin Luscombe’s 300cc Beta outfit throughout the year. Nigel’s main concern in every event was the safety of his daughter. Their end of season ride was in the Ray Thomas trial where they were third, but winners Jack Corlett and Beth Thomas topped the results but were out of class and not eligible for points as were Daryl Dale. Throughout the year he has competed in solo trials on his pristine RTL Honda and become a leading light within the Spen Valley Motor Cycle Club assisting in organising and running motorcycle trials.
The Clubman category was a Manx affair with Jack Corlett and passenger Beth Thomas invincible, well eight victories and a second place on home ground on the Isle of Man was enough to miss the final two events. They ended the year ten point ahead of consistent Paul Fishlock who had either Debbie Merrell or Sam Atherton in the hot seat.
Devon father and son Elliott and Graham Tickner ran away with the Newcomer class after a shaky start on a 250cc Fantic. The struggle was settled when a 290cc Sherco was attached to the sidecar. Even competing on the Fantic yielded class victories. The seven victories and one second place against a small entry was rewarded with the class title. Maybe next year more Newcomers will surface and hopefully more entries right across the classes.