It was state v state, mate v mate as teams racing made a triumphant return to Brisbane, with the revival of State of Origin Speedway ending in a 45 all draw.
Not deterred by the inclement weather, a large crowd turned out for the free event which featured U.K. experienced riders: Ellis Perks, Ryan Douglas, Hugh Skidmore and local flyer, Zaine Kennedy.
Trailing QLD by 10 points after 10 heats, former Australian team manager, Craig Boyce, rallied his troops to stage an impressive fight back, with the NSW pairings of Skidmore/Perks, and Brandan Coglan/Mitch Cluff firing off successive 5-1’s to draw level on 42 points.
With scores locked up heading into heat 15, QLD team manager, Dave Watt, opted for the Kennedy brothers (Zaine and Declan) to face-off against Perks and Skidmore. Zaine Kennedy made the jump and held off a fevered challenge from the experienced NSW pairing to take the win and secure a 45-45 draw.
Boyce and Watt declined the offer of a race-off to decide the meeting, agreeing instead to let the results stand. The 45-45 draw was a fitting end for a meeting that featured quality racing and 7 tied heats.
“It was great to get the win over Perks and Skidmore in heat 15, especially doing it from the gate. Ellis got me in the Queensland U21 final so it was good to get one back over him” said Zaine Kennedy.
While the Zaine Kennedy/Perks showdown didn’t fail to deliver, it was two teenagers: 17-year-old Declan Kennedy (7+1) and 18-year-old Mitch Cluff (10+1) from Lake Macquarie who Impressed many. In particular, Cluff’s three heat wins and 5-1 in the penultimate heat proved pivotal in saving the meeting for NSW.
Top scoring with 13+1, it was the last meeting in Brisbane for Zaine Kennedy before he heads to Europe to join up with the Australian U21 team and explore his options for 2019.
Referee: Michael Anderton
Team Manager – Dave Watt
1.Ryan Douglas – 2,1,2*,1 = 6+1
2.Declan Kennedy – 1*,0,3,3,0 = 7+1
3.Zaine Kennedy – 3,2*,2,3,3 = 13+1
4.Tyson Snow – 2*,3,1*,1 = 7+2
5.Joel Coyne – 2,2,2,0 = 6
6.Aaron Jackson – 2,1*,0,0 = 3+1
7.Jayden Goodsall – 1*,1*,1,0 = 3+2
NEW SOUTH WALES 45
Team Manager – Craig Boyce
1.Hugh Skidmore – 0,1,3,3,2 = 9
2.Josh Macdonald – 3,0,2,1 = 6
3.Kane Lawrence – 1,3,0,2, = 6
4.Brandan Coglan – 0,0,1,2* = 3+1
5.Ellis Perks – 3,2*,3,2*,1* = 11+3
6.Mitch Cluff – 3,3,0,1*,3 = 10+1
7.Jesse Thompson – 0,0,0 = 0
Report and fantastic pics with thanks to Steve Hope.