MATCH REPORT: Strong Sheffield defeat Hull in close encouter
Glorious weather welcomed the two teams to Cookson Park for this Northern League One Yorkshire Derby.
Sheffield were looking for a fourth straight win to cement a fourth place finish in the table. Hull, who have improved of late, were also harbouring claims on fourth spot but knew that a loss would end those chances.
Neither team was at full strength, though the Sheffield line up looked to have more depth despite team captain Vicky Brown riding though unwell through illness.
The first two races were drawn 5-5 as Niall Morton and Kyle Holland took the victories with Dominic Bent making a good strong pass on Luke Morton in the opening heat.
The third heat provided probably the best race seen at Cookson this season, as Andy Angell had to get the better of both Rich Hudson and Adam Watson to claim victory. Hudson made a quick start with Watson keeping his Coventry Elite League team-mate busy.
Watson briefly held second spot round turn one on lap two, Angell getting second place back entering turn three. Again Angell was held up by Hudson and Watson was back in
second place on turn one of the final lap. As the three riders headed down the back straight to the final corner, Angell pulled out a great manoeuvre has he threaded his body and machine between the two Sheffield riders to take the chequered flag to roars of approval from the watching spectators.
Things returned to normal in the next race as the Stars took the lead following a 6-4 from Ed Morton/Luke Morton. Ed making a very good pass on Dominic Bent as he continues his improved racing that saw him take silver in the British under 16 final.
The next four races ended in 5-5 drawn heats. With regulation wins for Niall Morton and Angell, sandwiched between a great win for Nathan Everett over Watson/Hudson and a trademark pass by Holland on Bent.
Sheffield moved into a four-point lead by 47-43 as the teams reached the interval. Hudson taking a good win over Everett with an always-trying Ed Morton just being squeezed for room on the run from turn four to the finish line.
Watson won heat 10 and with Sam Haines filling third spot, the Stars increased their lead to six. The meetings first maximum 7-3 came in heat 13 and it was Sheffield’s Watson/Hudson pairing that recorded the score to put the Stars now ten points ahead.
This was another great race as Bent kept Watson at bay for 3 ½ laps, before the Sheffield youngster made a great outside sweep entering the final corner. Angell got his fourth win in heat 14 before Sheffield put further distance between the teams with a second 7-3 maximum from Haines/Holland in an eventful heat 15.
Josh Bellis led for two laps but had to give way to Holland as the pair entered turn 1, both riders then fell independently on the exit of turn two. Holland remounted quickest to give chase and pass Rich Pawson on the last lap.
Bent won heat 16, but a drawn heat meant Sheffield had secured the League points and a fourth successive win.
Hull finished strongly with two 7-3 maximum wins in heats 17 and 18 to bring some respectability to the final score of 93-87 in Sheffield’s favour.
Bellis/Everett gaining their maximum over Luke Morton and an out of sorts Vicky Brown who was obviously suffering with her illness.
The final race brought another classic from Mr Entertainment Andy Angell. With Lewis Aylmer making his quickest start of the match to lead around turn one, it was left to
Angell to deal with Holland and Watson (both youngsters are fairly rapid around the Cookson bowl).
As Angell was dealing with the outside passing attempt from Watson he left the slightest of gaps on the inside going in to turn one of lap two. Holland is never one to turn down any opportunity and he steamed into the gap that was left. Quick reactions saw Andy move to avoid any collision and drop back under to sprint away for an unbeaten score.
Sheffield had scored solidly, with two race wins each for Hudson, Holland and Niall Morton. While Haines, Ed Morton and Watson also gained race wins.
Seven of the Stars riders gained an assist, with only the under the weather Brown missing out on a good score.
For Hull, Andy Angell was pure class with Nathan Everett providing solid back up.
Dominic Bent and Lewis Aylmer were also good value, but it was the middle order and reserves where Sheffield were the strongest, outscoring Hull by 35-26.
Kyle Holland 16+1, Niall Morton 16+1, Rich Hudson 13+1, Ed Morton 13+2, Adam Watson 13+2, Luke Morton 10+2, Sam Haines 7, Vicky Brown 5+1.
Andy Angell 19+1, Nathan Everett 16+2, Dominic Bent 14+1, Lewis Aylmer 12+2, Dave Lister 9, Josh Bellis 8, Jack Lister 6, Rich Pawson 3.
Bottom of the table Hull tasted victory for only the second time this season, coming out on top by 76-74, after a last heat decider in the League Two match.
The opening four races all ended in 5-5 drawn heats. The stalemate broken in heat 5 when a Josh Bellis/Katie Greaves 6-4 put the visitors ahead by two.
Sheffield tied the scores with their own 6-4 in the next heat. Luke Morton getting the
better of Dave Lister, with Joe Brownell filling the third place position. Jack Lister produced a monumental ride in heat 7 as he blasted round the outside of both Niamh Morton and Kielan Burton to gain a win that was very popular with the crowd.
The Bellis/Rich Pawson pairing came good in heat 8 as Hull re-gained a two-point lead with another 6-4.
Hull moved further ahead in heat 9 with their third 6-4 heat win. Jack Lister sped away for his third race win, while Lilly O’Neill managed to split the Sheffield pairing of Niamh Morton and Alice Unwin.
The Stars halved the four-point deficit in heat 10 as Luke Morton once again got the better of Dave Lister while Jack Brownell kept Katie Greaves at bay. Heat 11 saw the only maximum 7-3 of the match, with Hull pairing of Bellis/Pawson putting the visitors well in the driving seat.
Sheffield provided the race winner in each of the next three races (two for Sam Haines and one for Luke Morton) as they clawed back the deficit.
Hull had a slender two-point cushion as the teams went into the last race. Bellis sped away from the tapes to win the race comfortably and confirm the League points for Hull.
Sheffield had relied too heavily on Luke Morton and Sam Haines who were the Stars only race winners. Josh Bellis, Rich Pawson and Dave Lister led the Hull attack well, but their star rider was undoubtable Jack Lister who lost just twice in five races.
Katie Greaves and Lilly O’Neill also played their part in the Hull victory, both getting vital third places when it mattered.
Despite the win Hull remain rooted to the bottom of the League Two table, while the loss for Sheffield means a top three place is now out of reach.
Luke Morton 19, Sam Haines 17+1, Kielan Burton 13+1, Niamh Morton 10+2, Jack
Brownell 7, Joe Brownell 4, Alice Unwin 4.
Josh Bellis 19, Jack Lister 18, Dave Lister 14, Rich Pawson 12+3, Katie Greaves 7+1, Lilly O’Neill 6.
Just four riders lined up for the Under 13’s League Three match. Three from Sheffield; Kielan Burton with Jack and Joe Brownell, while Lilly O’Neill was the solitary Hull rider.
The result was never in doubt as the Stars won by 35-5. Kielan Burton was in confident mood, particularly after his fine third place finish in the final round of the Under 12 BYJL at Great Blakenham on Saturday, winning the first
two races in style.
Jack them woke to his task and led heat three going into the final lap. Kielan made a good inside pass entering turn one but lost the front wheel and wiped out in front of the following trio, all of whom managed to avoid the sprawled out body.
Kielan recovered enough to win the final race and give him a share of first place with 13 points.
Jack Brownell 13, Kielan Burton 13, Joe Brownell 9
Lizzy O’Neill 5.
Next up for Sheffield is a home double header against Glasgow and Edinburgh Falcons on Sunday 2nd October. The Falcons could make history, as a victory will almost certainly seal their first ever Northern League One Championship title.
On the same day, Hull will entertain A & T at their Hessle Raceway. The Green machine are looking at winning titles in the League Two and Three competitions.