MATCH REPORT: Honours even at Cookson in Yorkshire League
A tremendous nights racing ended with Hull and Heckmondwike tying for top spot in the second round of the Yorkshire League fixtures. Hull were led by new North and Scotland Individual champion Nathan Everett, with Terry Kirkup (Edinburgh) drafted in to complete the four man team. Heckmondwike again used former rider Adam Watson (Coventry) and were further bolstered by another former rider Kyle Holland (A and T) named at reserve. Frank Auffret won heat one, Sheffield’s GB Women’s riders Laura Watson and Niamh Morton relegating Terry Kirkup to last place. Hull moved into the lead when David Cooper won heat two, Darren Kent holding off Nathan Everett to prevent a 7 point heat score. Everett and Cooper further increased Hull’s advantage with a 7 point maximum score in heat 4 over Sheffield’s Laura Watson and Niamh Morton. Kyle Holland joined Adam Watson to spring Heckmondwike into a challenging position with a 7-3 result over Auffret/Kirkup in heat 8, the veterans outpaced by the youngsters. Laura Watson led Darren Kent for three laps in heat 9 before the Heckmondwike rider sped round the outside to keep the Saints challenge in tact. Kielan Burton then registered Sheffields first race winner in the new League, after chasing down and passing Auffret on the third lap. Everett then had to use all of his new found confidence to repass Holland and then fend off Holland and Adam Watson to share the points in heat 11. Darren Kent won the final race of the pairs racing, but with Burton and Luke Morton keeping Tom Kent in the rear the scores after 12 races were : Sheffield 38, Hull 41, Heckmondwike 41.
The new race format then pits the three teams into individual races, with each race featuring riders of a equal ability. With Sheffield trailing they had the fortune of grid one’s for the extra four races. Stars Will Banyard led heat 13 until he got in a tangle on the first bend , Kirkup and Justin Naylor away and finishing in that order (giving Hull the advantage). Niamh Morton made a fast start from grid one in heat 14, leading around the first two corners before bring passed by Cooper. Hull extending their lead to three with Tom Kent back in third place. Again the Sheffield rider made the most of grid one, Laura Watson away and holding the lead in heat 15. Darren Kent though overhauled the Stars captain, passing on the inside going into the pits bend on lap three. Auffret though was unable to capitalise, Hull’s lead now just one point. The final race saw Burton line up on grid one, with Everett on two and Adam Watson on three. The crowd were provided with the most entertaining race of the night. Burton made a nuisance of himself from the start, allowing Watson to draw level and take a slight lead on lap one. Everett made a great move to take the lead on lap two, only for Watson to show all of his Cookson track experience to execute the perfect pass on lap three. His race win meaning that Heckmondwike and Hull tied on 54 points, Sheffield finishing with 48.
Round Three moves to Heckmondwike on Wednesday June 19th, the current league standings being Hull 5.5, Heckmondwike 4.5, Sheffield 2.
Sheffield Stars – Laura Watson 12+2, Niamh Morton 9+3, Kielan Burton 15, Luke Morton 6+3, Will Banyard 6.
Hull – Frank Auffret 14, Terry Kirkup 10+2, Nathan Everett 17, David Cooper 13+1.
Heckmondwike Saints – Adam Watson 18+1, Justin Naylor 5, Thomas Kent 6, Darren Kent 19, Kyle Holland 6+1.
Referee – Rob Mawhood.