HORSPATH Hammers made history as they retained their Open title at the British Club Championships.

The Oxfordshire outfit claimed 50 points in Poole, eight ahead of the host team, as they held on to the trophy they captured in Great Blakenham last year.

With world champion Ben Mould and British champion Mark Boaler among their number, Horspath were always going to be tough to beat and they retained the title for the first time in the club’s history.

The top ten teams in the country lined-up in the semi-finals, with two progressing to the final.

Ex-British champion Zac Payne, current junior world pairs champion Will Jeffery and the returning Steve Beesley completed the Hammers line-up alongside Mould and Boaler, making them favourites to qualify – and they did just that.

Horspath settled for second behind Poole Comets, with Ipswich and Great Blakenhem also progressing.

Every rider raced off each of the four positions on the starting grid in the final, with Hammers on the outside.

Those gates are often hardest to score from but Hammers ended the round only one point behind Great Blakenham, who had the inside gate.

Horspath moved to grid two in the next round and steadily chipped away at the scoreboard to leave themselves three behind the Comets at the halfway stage.

Whatever Hammers put in their tea at half-time worked wonders, as they came out all guns blazing in the second half of the meeting.

All four riders raced to heat wins off the inside grids, before adding a trio of triumphs from the respective grid threes.

It saw them romp to victory over a shell-shocked Poole in second, with Blakenham completing the podium in third.

Horspath also entered the Under 16s and Ladies competitions, finishing fifth in both.

Jeffery managed the teenagers, who were represented in the final through Tyler Seabright and Connor Legg.

The duo thrived in probably their biggest meeting to date, scoring 14 and nine points respectively.

Kesgrave’s tally of 41 was enough to win the title.

Meanwhile, Horspath’s ladies were just two points off the podium.

Rachel Lammin and Emma Johnson scored 16 and seven respectively to leave them just short of Exeter’s two, and nine off host team Poole.