photos: Ian Rispin.
The Newcastle Diamonds’ 15-year-old burgeoning star, Archie Freeman completed a hectic couple of days on Bank Holiday Monday afternoon at Scunthorpe in a very rare team challenge in a season decimated thanks to Covid-19, however the sports’ governing body with Government approval are allowing some youth development events.
Scunthorpe Stags put a side together to tackle the visiting Leicester Lion Cubs and invited Freeman to take a reserve place for the home side, in this his first season exclusively on the full sized 500cc machines after excelling in the 150cc class in previous years he found himself up against several established young names in a match run over 19 heats with nine riders per team, including two 250cc racers at eight and nine.
Following an opening 3-3 in Heat One won by Jordan Palin over Joe Thompson and Connor Mountain, (who of course would have been a regular Newcastle Diamond in 2020 had the season gone ahead), but Freeman’s first race came in Heat Two which saw the young Geordie roar from the tapes and take full control to take a good win for three points ahead of his Stags’ partner Harry McGurk to take a maximum 5-1 over the Lion Cubs’ Kean Dicken and Tom Spencer who took a fall on the last bend of the race.
Joe Lawlor and Dan Thompson reversed that with a Leicester 1-5 over Wayne Carter and Jamie Halder in the third to level the match 9-9, and following a 3-3 in the first 250cc heat, Freeman was back out again in Heat Five but took a fall, however he remounted to finish the race at the rear as his Scunthorpe partner Ryan Kinsley took the win over Danyon Hume and James Chattin in a shared race, the score now still tied 15-apiece.
Mountain and Joe Thompson took a maximum over the home lads Halder and Carter pushing the away side into a four-point lead, instantly nullified in Heat Seven by Stags Palin and Simon Lambert (who raced for Newcastle last season) to again tie the scores 21-21, and going into Heat 10, the scores were still locked at 27-all with Freeman taking his place at the tapes to partner Palin who again roared from the tapes to take a big win as Freeman battled well to take third place behind his 500cc British Youth Championship rival, Joe Thompson, but ahead of Chattin in a home 4-2 as the Stags eased ahead 31-29.
A 2-4 in the 11th again levelled the match with the next 250cc heat ending up all square, the scores moved on to 36-36, however Joe Thompson’s Heat 14 win with his partner Mountain racing some great team riding skills to keep the Stags’ Harry McGurk and Kinsley at the back despite young McGurk trying to race up the air fence to get past, the 1-5 put Leicester four up, 40-44 with five heats remaining.
Freeman’s final race came in the 15th and blasted the field to pieces taking the three points for the win over the much more experienced Joe Lawlor as Halder held out Chatting to form a home 4-2, narrowed the home deficit to two points, but a Mountain/Hume 1-5 over Lambert and Kinsley in Heat 17 and a Heat 19 win for Dan Thompson and a third for Hume, split by Stag Palin with Lambert at the back, that 2-4 ended the match an away win for Leicester 53-61.
Individual Riders’ Score Chart:
Scunthorpe Stags 53
1. Simon Lambert 0,2*,2,1,0 = 5+1
2. Jordan Palin 3,3,3,1*,2,2 = 14+1
3. Jamie Halder 0,1,FD,1 = 2
4. Wayne Carter 1,0,2,1* = 4+1
5. Ryan Kinsley 3,3,0,0 = 6
6. Harry McGurk 2*,0,1 = 3+1
7. Archie Freeman 3,0,1,3 = 7
8. Luke Harrison 250cc 3,3,3,3 = 12
9. Sam McGurk 250cc R,0,NS,NS = 0
Leicester Lion Cubs 61
1. Connor Mountain 1*,3,2*,3 = 9+2
2. Joe Thompson 2,2*,2,3 = 9+1
3. Joe Lawlor 3,1*,0,2 = 6+1
4. Dan Thompson 2*,2,3,3,3 = 13+1
5. Danyon Hume 2,1,3,2*,1 = 9+1
6. Kean Dicken/James Chattin D1,D0,D1,C0, C1*, C0,D0 = 3+1
7. Tom Spencer F, NS,NS, NS = 0
8. Max James 250cc 2,2,2,2 = 8
9. Ashton Vale 250cc 1*,1*,1*,1* = 4+4