Heavy overnight Dew made for a slippy start to the day on most sections but once the Sun appeared it shone once again on the righteous for Oxford's Good Friday Trial at Steeple Hill Folly Farm Beckley. This was the venue for Ixions 3rd club champs where a good entry of 50 plus riders set off to tackle ten sections four times with a mix of mud roots climbs ditches and rocks that sorted an outright winner in each class.
Ageing Expert Sean McCullagh 250 Sherco showed all his years of experience to claim best expert including four brilliant cleans on section 1 ' Jakes Stump ' a series of sandy cambers and roots culminating with a second gear uphill four foot stump outcrop to hit almost flat-out Sean's tally was 43 for the day.
Best intermediate on the hard route was Ryan Tomkins 300 Beta losing 51. Section five was a cracker where a good crowd had gathered to witness thirty yards of marsh before a testing turn up around a large oak Ryan recorded the lowest score of the entire entry here with three cleans and a steadying prod last lap. If you could hold it flat in third then it was on anything less you were on a three.
Dean Basford 250 Sherco aced the middle Yellow route taking best Clubman on 28. Section eight was tough a water splash to a polished-up camber then a fast flowing stream with rocks after which a heavily rooted turn had to be navigated. Basford had a steadying prod first lap then three excellent cleans. Close on the heels for second spot was Adrian Steele with mud meister Alan Taylor third but surprisingly struggled to get grip on section four a splash through a gully then a soft loamy turn over an awkward branch then shift up to third for a forty yard slick sandy climb.
James Edwards 156 Beta pushed on for Twinshock glory albeit the little Fantic needed it's neck wrung on most sections today. Justin Cookson was enjoying a days sport although machine gremlins took him over the 100 mark barrier but this didn't detract his good will as he handed out Easter Eggs to observers one and all before helping to clear the route marking and sections.
The White sportsman route was attended by twenty three riders with a variety of machines ranging from TRS 280 immaculate Honda TL200's to 1950 Villiers.Ultimately the final outcome was on the cards the TRS 280 conquered all with that man Steve 'Rambo' McHugh piloting her around for a miserly 10 loss. Section ten took 3 from Steve an innocuous looking ditch crossing with a turn though a tangle of undergrowth then a slick descent to a fast flowing brook and this is where the necessary prods were deployed.
Over from the Western Centre traveled Richard Smith tooled up with 260 Montesa power ample for all the hazards on offer today. Richard lost 16 and runner-up spot after the tie-break rule was deployed.
Report Ken O'Brien
Expert Sean McCullagh 250 Sherco 43
Tom Hawthorne 300 Sherco 84
Luke Hora 300 Mont 86
Inter Ryan Tomkins 300 Beta 51
Lee Sullivan 300 Beta 100
Clubman Dean Basford 250 Sherco 28
Adrian Steele 250 Beta 34
Alan Taylor 250 Beta 44
Brian Tomkins 250 Beta 53
Grahame Grove 250 Beta 83 m/c
Ben Owen 250 Beta 83
Mark Woodburn 250 Beta 87
Twinshock James Edwards 156 Fantic 111
Blue Easy Course
Steve McHugh 280 TRS 10
Richard Smith 260 Mont 16
Ian Breakwell 260 Mont 16
Brian Ayres 200 Honda 16
Mark Davidson 200 Fantic 19