MATCH REPORT: Pile ups galore as A&T win at Northumbria

What a meeting full of incident this was, Astley pulling ahead early on and battling hard throughout the contest which was fought in a no holds barred but utterly sporting manner throughout.

Where do we begin with this report ? Perhaps rather than the usual concise flavour of the days racing, we’ll this time just re-cap and list the myriad events of this epic meeting.

Michael Parr almost predictably lost his no crash record for the season after clashing with Mark Mulvey in heat 1, but little did we know then that would be the least of the days pile ups.

After a stong start for the visitors to lead 18-12, crash 2 saw Lee Phillips lose it when front in heat 4, Keith Oldham’s front whell right up his jacksy the reward! This heat followed a superb one lap dash from third to first by Gavin Parr in heat 3. Paul Graham was excluded for moving at the start of heat 5, but the returning former Viking Mark Mulvey won to maintain his new side’s advantage. Gavin Parr then just made it through inside Radek Handke in heat 6, Handke having forced the home skipper over the kerb and both riders doing a remarkable job to stay on board in a typically forceful corner by Parr. A win for the very quick looking Reece Pollitt was then followed by a 7-3 for Paul Graham and Damien Zareba as Astley looked to take control of the meeting, a 43-35 lead being racked up by this point.

Gavin Parr then repeated his inside move on Handke in heat 9, with more grass (or astro turf at this venue) tracking needed to make it through however, both riders giving there all, but in a totally fair manner it must be said.

Paul Graham won the first race after the interval to keep his team’s 9 point lead, Pollitt winning the next as the Vikings other than their skipper struggled for heat wins.

Heat 12 saw another big clash as Michael Parr raced around the outside of Handke, both riders crashing big time in a very spectacular pile up, all four the eventual decision, but Parr forced out of the meeting after being shaken by his latest heavy fall.

Michael Parr gave us last season’s best photo, courtesy of Sue Tydd. Linda Kirkland caught this seasons over the bars acrobatics!

Next up was the big showdown between Gavin Parr and Damien Zareba, the Pole eventually finding the extra speed to manoeuvre inside of Parr, but then slipping off bring both down before he could complete the turn, the Astley man excluded being the final outcome.

Heat 14 saw another massive get off, Astley team manager Paul Graham this time on the receiving end as Keith Oldham’s bike locked up with his, throwing him face first at considerable force into the hard packed shale down the back straight. We were all pleased to see him get up from that one after some delay, Lee Phillips having to replace in a re-run which was won by Jason Keith.

Gavin Parr completed his maximum in heat 16, this time with slightly less drama to see off Zareba, but with a 9 point gap and 2 heats remaining Astley could now relax in terms of the league points.

Jason Keith produced an excellent pass in heat 17 on Pollitt as the afternoon’s entertainment continued, Dan Redshaw then gaining some consolation also for the home side with a heat 18 win.

It really must be said on this occasion, well done to all involved for producing such a competitive meeting, with absolutely no problems at all ever between the two teams riders, everything the sport should be about.

NORTHUMBRIA 83: Gavin Parr 20, Jason Keith 14+1, Daniel Wharrier 12+1, Dan Redshaw 10, Terry Kirkup 9, Andy Knowles 7+1, Michael Parr 7, Keith Oldham 4+1

ASTLEY & TYLDESLEY 94: Radek Handke 17+1, Reece Pollitt 16+1, Damien Zareba 14+1, Mark Mulvey 13+1, Luke Jamson 11+1, Ciaran Collins 9+1, Paul Graham 8, Lee Phillps 6+1

Northern League Division 2

Astley were again the stronger side in the Div 2 encounter, but sadly again the Northumbria treasurer will have to dig deep into the clubs funds, to replace a now sadly depleted first aid kit after yet more big crashes! Heat 5 saw the worst of the falls, Paul Thompson having only to cruise round for the points after Ciaran Collins returned to pits having moved at the start, but Thompson instead sliding off in front of team mate Liam Robinson who injured his arm in the latest bash up, having ridden over his stricken team mate. Archie Freeman then joined in the days crash-a-rama, being excluded following a painful looking fall in heat 6.

The visitors had two riders on maximums by the end, Gareth Paine riding to a full 20 points and a very impressive and again sporting Max Evans also unbeaten. In support Jon Quarmby was only headed once, while Collins other than his heat 5 miss out was also never headed and young John White was also very impressive.

For Northumbria, Shane Gray enjoyed a return to competitive team action in the sport after a gap of over 30 years, while motor speedway rider for Newcastle’s junior team Dean Douglas top scored beginning with a very fast ride for a win and then chasing hard on the top visitors thereafter.

NORTHUMBRIA 56: Dean Douglas 13+1, Shane Gray 12+1, Keith Oldham 10, Dan Thompson 7+1, Paul Thompson 7, Lee Redshaw 3, Archie Freeman 3, Liam Robinson 1

ASTLEY & TYLDESLEY 90: Gareth Paine 20, Jon Quarmby 18+1, Max Evans 17+3, Ciaran Collins 14+2, John White 14+1, Joe Quarmby 7

Northern League Division 3

An enjoyable end to the day saw the two club’s youngest serve up another treat of excellent racing, the four lads of Astley getting the win against the Vikings junior trio. Joe Quarmby and John White lead the scoring for the visitors, with Max Evans just losing out after being pipped on the line by Archie Freeman in his final ride. Lee Redshaw was his usual consistent self at this level for Northumbria, while Lewis Petre took three third places including a great effort to stay ahead of Max Quarmby in his final ride.

NORTHUMBRIA 29: Lee Redshaw 11, Archie Freeman 11, Lewis Petre 7
ASTLEY & TYLDESLEY 47: Joe Quarmby 15, John White 14, Max Evans 10, Max Quamrby 8