Speedway: Cruel luck denies Somerset's Atkins

PUBLISHED: 09:01 20 April 2019 | UPDATED: 17:08 20 April 2019

Henry Atkins (pic Colin Burnett)

Henry Atkins (pic Colin Burnett)

CBMXI.co.uk

Cases Somerset Rebels reserve Henry Atkins suffered the cruellest of misfortunes when set to complete a perfect night's work at the British Under-21 semi-final on Friday.

With Somerset's Oaktree Arena hosting the action, Atkins made the most of local track knowledge and looked to be heading to Berwick for the final as he chalked up five unbeaten rides and then stormed into the lead in the final.

But he then suffered mechanical failure to his bike, due to a clutch problem, which saw passed by his rivals, as Mildenhall's Jason Edwards took the chequered flag.

Somerset's Debbie Hancock said: “Really cruel luck on Henry. He had been absolutely brilliant all night and showed real class to put together five unbeaten rides and then storm into the lead in that final.

“I am so devastated for him and I just can't begin to think how he must be feeling right now. But he can certainly leave here with his head held high knowing that all at Somerset are immensely proud of his efforts.”

Somerset, celebrating their 20th anniversary season in 2019, are set to reeturn to action on Wednesday (April 24) for their final Southern Group match in the SGB Championship Shield as they host Eastbourne.

British Under-21 semi-final: 1. Jason Edwards (Mildenhall); 2. Luke Harris (Cradley); 3. Harry McGurk (Cradley); 4. Henry Atkins (Somerset).

Qualifying scores: Henry Atkins 12, Luke Harris 10, Jason Edwards 9, Harry McGurk 6, Charlie Brooks 6, Jamie Halder 5, Sheldon Davies 5, Macauley Leek 5, Saul Bulley (Res) 4, Elliott Kelly 3, Kean Dicken 3, William O'Keefe 3, Lewis Whitmore 0.

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