MATCH REPORT: A&T secure Division 2 and 3 titles against Bury
Sunday was the final day of the main North and Scotland League season and a crucial day for Astley & Tyldesley.
A&T welcomed Bury to Gin Pit for a local derby clash. Title chasing A&T knew that rivals Stockport faced a weakened Sheffield team, so nothing less than a win was required in the Division 1 match.
A&T held an early 4 points lead after four races, before taking two successive maximum 7-3 race wins, to open up a commanding 36-24 lead after heat 6. The match continued to be tightly contested, but A&T extended their lead with a 7-3 heat win in heat 11, to run out comfortable 96-81 winners.
Reece Pollitt top scored for a solid scoring A&T side, losing only to Adam Turnbull in heat 9. Przemek Binkowski made his first appearance of the season for A&T and scored well, 15 years since he made his debut for A&T.
Bury were strengthened by the return of Chris Parish and Will Owens and they were the visitors’ two top scorers. Stockport won 110-69 at Sheffield, so the Division 1 Play-off, between Astley & Tyldesley and Stockport, will take place at Bury on Wednesday, 7.30 pm start, to determine the 2017 Northern League Division 1 champions.
Reece Pollitt 23, Max Evans 18 (1), Przemek Binkowski 15 (2), Paul Graham 14 (1), Kyle Holland 14, Mark Grantham 7 (1), Mick Knowles 5.
Chris Parish 19 (1), Will Owens 14, Adam Turnbull 13, Neil Howarth 11 (2), Kris Ramsden 10 (1), Adam Taylor 8 (1), Kaysar Mohammadi 5, Louis Turner 1.
Referee – Chas Whalley.
The Division 2 match was a title decider. Bury started the match holding a one point lead over A&T, so once again, nothing less than a win would suffice for A&T.
The first four races were shared, before Bury took a 7-3 heat win in heat 5 to take the lead. A&T took a 6-4 next time out, but with the next four races all shared, Bury still led.
An A&T 6-4 in heat 11 levelled the scores. The next two races were shared, so with tension mounting the score was 65-65, with just two races left. A&T took a 6-3 in heat 14, as Harry Radford fell and didn’t finish and followed this with a last race 6-4 to take a slender 77-72 win and the Northern League Division 2 title for the first time ever.
Max Evans top scored for A&T, losing only to Adam Taylor in heat 1, with solid support from the rest of the team. Kaysar Mohammadi was best for Bury, with good back up from Adam Taylor and Adam Turnbull.
Max Evans 18 (1), Mick Knowles 15 (2), Mark Grantham 14, Lee Phillips 12 (2), Matt Snell 10 (1), John White 8.
Kaysar Mohammadi 17 (1), Adam Taylor 15 (1), Adam Turnbull 15, Louis Turner 10 (1), Asim Hussain 6 (1), Harry Radford 5 (1), Steve Mann 4.
Referee – Kyle Holland
A&T had already won the Northern League Division 3 title for the fifth successive year, but were looking to complete the season with a 100% record. This was achieved with a convincing 109-44 win over Bury. A&T’s Duncan Whalley raced unbeaten in the u-10s match, with John White top scoring in the U13s match.
Duncan Whalley 16, John White 15, Frank White 14, Aiden Green 13, Fraser Brundrett 12, Oscar Belt 10, Lucy Grantham 9, Sabrina Evans 8, Charlie Burgess
8, Jack Murray 4.
Harry Radford 12, Rowan Neath 11, Josh Neath 11, Kaci Neath 10.
Referee – Chas Whalley