CLUB NEWS: Sheffield in Northern KO Cup action
Sheffield headed up to Northumbria to see if they could add the Northern Junior title to the British Team title won last week.
After the euphoria of that title winning performance the Stars riders knew they would be in for a tough ride. So it proved. After another tense final, it was the Bury Comets who successfully defended the title they won last year at Gin Pit.
The competition rules are that the team should be made up of under 16s, with two under 18s permitted. Therefore, Sheffield had to choose two from Ed Morton, Niall Morton and Adam Watson. Ed willingly stood down, he has imminent exams that needed revising for, with his sister Niamh stepping in to a team berth.
Bury looked very strong on paper, naming a five who are all potential match winners. Stockport had the twin threat of Devon Campbell and Michael Preston. While the Vikings, with a distinct lack of experience, had home track advantage.
Stockport took the early lead with Devon Campbell and Michael Preston winning heats 1 and 2. Adam Watson won heat 4 to give Sheffield 12 points and the lead at the end of the first quarter. Bury held second spot on 11 points, after gaining only one race win (from Kaysor Mohammedi) from their grid ones.
Stockport were back in third on 10 points, after Dan Mason was excluded from heat 4. The Vikings were on 6 points, and now knew they were in for a rocky afternoon. Sheffield maintained their lead at half time, picking up another 12 points in the second quarter (Adam and Niall both winning races).
The Comets stayed just one point adrift after also picking up 12 points, with four second places from their grid 4’s. Devon and Michael both won again to leave Stockport poised to challenge the top two on 21 points. The Vikings were now racing for pride as they well back on 11 points.
Bury then surged into the lead during the third quarter, picking up 14 points to move onto 37 (which included race wins for Adam Turnbull and Danny Taylor). Stockport moved into second place, Devon and Michael both keeping up their unbeaten afternoon with further race wins.
Sheffield had a disastrous run of races from their grid 4’s, picking up only nine points (the best a second place from Niamh in heat 10), as they slipped down to third place with 33. The Vikings could muster only 4 points from their grids 1s and were now out of the equation on 15 points, but could still play a part in the destination of the trophies.
The final series of races began with James Elston taking the chequered flag in heat 13, to give Bury a nice 5-point cushion. Sam Haines finished ahead of Dan Mason to put Sheffield and Stockport level on 36 points.
The Comets then got one hand on the cup with Adam Taylor winning heat 14. Louis Wright was second for Stockport and with Lee Redshaw relegating Niamh to last place it left Sheffield in third place on 37 (and now unable to win outright – barring two exclusions for Bury). Niall inflicted the only defeat on Michael Preston in heat 15 for Sheffield to claw a point back on Stockport. Bury winning the Cup as Adam Turnbull came home in third place.
The last race and Adam Watson (as with last week) needed the race win. This he safely achieved from grid one, but with Devon Campbell finishing in front of Danny Taylor, to leave Sheffield and Stockport tied on 45 points. Bury were outright winners on 49, with Northumbria in fourth place on 20. The run-off for silver medals saw Michael Preston again out pace Adam (as he had done in heat 12) to give Stockport the runners up place, with the Stars having to settle for third place.
SHEFFIELD – Sam Haines 10, Niamh Morton 8, Niall Morton 13, Adam Watson 14.
STOCKPORT – Devon Campbell 15, Michael Preston 15, Louis Wright 9, Dan Mason 6.
NORTHUMBRIA – Lee Redshaw 5, Dan Thompson 5, Bradley Stansfield 4, Jordan Smith 6.
BURY – Adam Turnbull 8, Danny Taylor 12, Kaysor Mohammadi 7, Adam Taylor 10, James Elston 12
The Northern Senior KO Cup was a one off final for the first time in a number of years. With the sad demise of Heckmondwike reducing the number of League One teams to seven, the decision was made to run as a straight final.
Then League Champions Edinburgh had to withdraw from the meeting after being unable to raise a team. The six teams remaining raced through 24 heats of a very peculiar format (it was devised years ago, and was meant to be over 30 heats with each rider racing five times).
This time the riders got four programmed rides, and there were some strange anomalies. Andy Angell would race Reece Pollitt twice, similarly Adam Watson raced Kyle Holland twice. Mick Knowles had four races and never faced a Sheffield rider.
Despite the strange format, Stockport went on to win the Trophy with 48 points, and like Bury earlier, successfully defended the title they won in 2016. A&T provided a late surge to claim runners up spot, and the six teams finished in exactly the same order that they currently occupy in the Northern League One table (not including Edinburgh).
In the first quarter it was Bury who provided two race winners (James Elston and Danny Taylor), but a tapes exclusion for Kris Ramsden gave the Comets 10 points and fourth place. Other race winners were Andy Angell, Adam Watson, Reece Pollitt and Ben Higham who took Stockport into the lead with 13 points.
Stockport picked up 13 points in the second quarter to lead with 26 at half time (with wins for Higham, Jake Read and Terry Norman). Kris Ramsden won for Bury, who picked up 11 points and moved to joint second with 21. Hull and A&T picked up 10 points (Angell claiming his second win) as Team Green matched Bury with 21.
John Wilson won heat 7 for the Vikings (their only win in the final) as they matched the 8 points scored by Sheffield, Niall Morton’s second place in heat 11 the best for the Stars. Hull were the best team over the third quarter, picking up 12 points with race wins for Josh Bellis and Nathan Everett as Angell lost his rematch with Pollitt.
Other race winners were Neil Howarth (Bury), Higham, and Norman again for Stockport. With Read (Stockport) and Ramsden (Bury) both suffering exclusions it left the scores at Stockport 35, A & T 31, Bury 29, Hull 29, Sheffield 29 and Northumbria 23 as the match entered its final quarter.
A&T now made their late surge, picking up 14 points in the final set of races, with wins for Pollitt and Max Evans. Mick Knowles and Kyle Holland picking up second places. This gave Team Green 45 points and comfortably in runners-up spot.
Higham completed his maximum for Stockport (the only unbeaten rider in the final) by winning heat 23. Norman, Read and Devon Campbell all recorded second places to ensure Stockport would again take top place on the rostrum.
Bury filled the final rostrum place, Danny Taylor taking a crucial win over Niall Morton in heat 19. Hull’s momentum failed in the final quarter, Angell won his third race, but Bellis, Everett and Kai Borman picked up only four points.
Adam gained his second race win for Sheffield in heat 22, to place the Stars temporarily in third spot. Elston and Ramsden though picked up the points required to make sure Bury relegated Sheffield to a fourth place finish. Hull almost crashed the party while the hosting Vikings are obviously missing the scoring power of Gavin Parr and Mick Parr.
BURY – Adam Turnbull 4, Kris Ramsden 6, Danny Taylor 13, Neil Howarth 10, James Elston 6.
HULL – Nathan Everett 10, Kai Borman 4, Josh Bellis 8, Andy Angell 15.
STOCKPORT – Ben Higham 16, Terry Norman 14, Devon Campbell 4, Jake Read 10, Michael Preston 4.
SHEFFIELD – Laura Watson 7, Adam Watson 13, Luke Morton 9, Niall Morton 9, Sam Haines DNR.
NORTHUMBRIA – Jason Keith 6, Shane Gray 4, Dan Redshaw 7, Andy Knowles 3, John Wilson 9
ASTLEY & TYLDESLEY – Mick Knowles 11, Kyle Holland 9, Reece Pollitt 15, Max Evans 10.
The final regional round of the BYJL at Hull was a very poor turn out of just 17 riders competing in the five categories.
It was a good day though for Sheffield riders; Joe Brownell, Jack Brownell and Kielan Burton. Joe was just one race short of going through the four regional rounds unbeaten in the Under 10s, losing out on the day to Duncan Whalley of A&T.
The 18 Grand Prix points picked up by Joe made sure he was crowned regional under 10 Champion. Jack finished in second place in the Under 12s to John White of A&T, the pair also finished in that order in the regional championships.
Kielan also finished second to an A&T rider in the under 14s. This time it was Max Snell who was turning the Hessle raceway green, the A&T club winning all categories and also dethroning the Stars as regional team champions.
To Kielan’s delight the 20 GP points scored on the day made sure that it was he who would be crowned regional champion. The riders who have qualified now move onto the National Grand Prix, which starts at Kesgrave in Suffolk on Saturday 24th June.