MATCH REPORT: Stars end Hammers’ 20 match unbeaten run

Horspath’s long unbeaten record spanning 20 matches since May 2013, finally went down to a strong Sheffield side 87-90. The Stars took full advantage of the disarray in the home pits and the weaker-than-has-been line up to blast into a 42-27 lead after 7 races, clearly taking to the slippy grids better than the home octet.

Sheffield got off to a flying start. Picture by Peter Payne.

Sheffield got off to a flying start. Picture by Peter Payne.

Whilst there was a case of being at the right place at the right time and the odd rub of the green, Horspath themselves have often been the benefit of the very same over they years, and take nothing away from a class Sheffield performance that deserved the spoils on the day.

Yes, there was a little bit of good fortune when Boaler came off his pedals on a 7-3 with a heavy fall, resulting in his exclusion, with Stars exacting a 6-3 advantage over Zac Payne in heat 6, but the Yorkshire men were good value for their 38-51 half lead.

Hammers flew out second half, two 7-3s got them back into the match, but the only mini controversial incident in heat 12 stemed that as Chris Timms was excluded for taking Andy Angell off track, whilst many felt the British Champ had got away with moving at the start, however it was a good day at the Village for him with one of hiis best returns there.┬áHorspath did get a 6-3 when Gavin Parr was excluded in the 15th and raced to a last heat 7-3, but the dust had settled in Stars’ favour by then.

Timms (l) and Angell (r) clash in heat 12. Picture by Peter Payne.

Timms (l) and Angell (r) clash in heat 12. Picture by Peter Payne.

Once again Lewis Osborne was in fine form for Hammers, making mockery of his non inclusion in not only Team GB 32 but even the next 8, if anyone can name eight GB riders round Horspath better than him this term, this reporter can’t! Hammers had to draft in the just out of suspension Dave Carmichael out of the crowd, as Shaun Rudman failed to show, and with their two Ostrow riders in Polish league action and Marcin Paradzinski on holiday in Egypt, the fragility of the Hammers policy for once bit them.

Sheffield on the other hand will rue the non availability of Andy Angell in their last match as they could easily be the team unbeaten on this performance.

HORSPATH 87: Chris Timms 9, Wayne Hutt 10, Lukasz Nowacki 14+1 Lewis Osborne 18, Zac Payne 13+1, Mark Boaler 11+2, Dave Carmichael 8, Andy Johnson 4+1.

SHEFFIELD 90: Damien Zareba 14, Radek Handke 15, Andy Angell 17+1, Myke Grimes 10, Pavel Idziorek 14, Mikey Hewitson 11, Gavin Parr 6, Jason Burke 3.

Combination

Horspath 73: Will Jeffrey 7, Zac Payne 14+1, Andy Johnson 9+1, Nathan Loveridge 13+1,Martin Glover 8, Brendan Campbell 12+2

Sheffield 85: Mason Phillips 18, Col Morton 8+1, Gavin Parr 12, Jason Burke 8+3, Matt Parrot 9+1, Kyle Holland 13+1

Referee Mike Legge