Speedway

Young local speedway star stuns more experienced rivals

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Eighteen year old Newcastle speedway rider Sam Masters scored a stunning victory in the Johnnie Hoskins Plate meeting at the Newcastle Showground Speedway last Friday night. Masters led all the way in the A Final holding off two vastly more experienced opponents in Chris Holder of Sydney and another Newcastle rider Jason Doyle. Holder topscored in the 20 heats with a maximum score of 15 points, finishing one ahead of Masters and two ahead of Doyle to ensure that trio a start in the A Final. The other rider to contest the A Final was decided by the B Final which brought together the next four top scorers - Sydney rider Jay Herne (12 points) and a trio of Newcastle teenagers in Alex Davies, Daniel Begley and Michael Penfold, all of whom score nine points in their heats. Although Penfold had scored just a string of minor placings from his heats, he produced a great ride to comfortably win the B Final ahead of Davies and Begley while Herne fell. By the time the A final came around the crowd had really warmed to Masters, who was interviewed on track before the start of the meeting to talk of his recently signed deal to race in the UK in 2010. Masters did lose to Holder in the heats but reversed that result when it mattered - after a great start he rode clever lines to block anything that Holder could throw at him. It was the second time in seven days that Masters had beaten Holder, who is to contest the Speedway Grand Prix series for the World championship in 2010. At the presentation Masters was almost lost for words to explain his victory, but he certainly did plenty right to achieve it. Doyle also took heart from his performance as he moves closer to full race fitness after a long layoff. Masters, Holder and Doyle can now prepare for the Australian Championship as they have been seeded directly into the line-up, while Penfold and Davies will be in the field to contest the Qualifying meeting for the championship. There are three rounds in the Championship starting at Gillman in Adelaide on January 2, the following night at Mildura and culminating in the third and final round at the Newcastle Showground on January 9. Darrin Treloar and passenger Allan Griffiths dominated in the sidecar events on Friday night while teenager Jackson Jeffrey defeated his far more experienced rivals in the Twin Cylinder class.

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