MATCH REPORT: Hull secure Yorkshire League title in dramatic last race
Hull dramatically won the Yorkshire League on home shale at the Hessle raceway last night. Hull and Heckmondwike Saints entered the final round of matches level on points after five enthralling rounds of racing. Hull were missing Jack Lister, with Dan Teal coming in for his first rides in the competition. Heckmondwike were also short of Adam Watson, preparing to leave for the World Championships in Poland, but were unable to find a replacement (former Saints rider Pawel Idziorek was unfortunately working).
What was not on the script was for Sheffield Stars to come and spoil the party, but that’s just what they did. Sheffield took a surprising lead with a 7-3 in the first race from Niamh Morton and Niall Morton (guesting for Laura Watson, also Poland bound) over Hull’s Dan Teal and Matt Eglen, Dan just failing to get past Niall with some outside bursts of speed. The Hull pairing were on the end of another 3-7 against, when both riders fell while perusing Heckmondwikes Kyle Holland and Justin Naylor. With three team races to go Sheffield and Heckmondwike were tied in the lead on 31, with Hull back on 28. Nathan Everett then inspired Hull’s comeback. First he sped past Niall Morton in heat 10 and then completed the reverse of fortune by assisting David Cooper to get a maximum 7-3 over Darren and Thomas Kent (Heckmondwike) in heat 12. This put Hull as joint leaders with Sheffield on 41, Heckmondwike dropping to third with 38 (having also seen Kyle Holland fall while challenging Luke Morton in heat 11.
So it was on to the individual races, with Heckmondwike having the favoured grid one’s, Hull and Sheffield sharing grids two and three as they were level at the end of the pairs racing.
Luke Morton put Sheffield ahead on the night by winning heat 13 from grid three, Matt Eglen defeating Thomas Kent to increase Hull’s lead over Heckmondwike to four. The Saints came back into contention with race wins from Justin Naylor and Kyle Holland in heats 14 and 15, but Hull’s Dan Teal and David Cooper claimed second places to stay two points clear. The league title now down to the final races, after six rounds and 95 races. The top scorers race had Darren Kent (1), Niall Morton (2) and Northern Individual champion Nathan Everett (3). All the top scorers races have produced thrilling races, and this one didn’t disappoint. Niall sped from the gate, but Nathan produced a supreme burst of speed to go around the Stars rider on lap two to go on and win the race and the title as Hull finished on 54 points.
The league has been a tremendous success and plans are in hand to expand next year with a GP series for all age groups.
Hull (54) – Dan Teal 10, Matt Eglen 8+1, Nathan Everett 19+1, David Cooper 13, Frank Auffret 4.
Sheffield Stars (52) – Niall Morton 16+1, Niamh Morton 10+1, Kielan Burton 14+1, Luke Morton 12+1.
Heckmondwike Saints (50) – Kyle 15+1, Justin Naylor 13, Thomas Kent 7+1, Darren Kent 15.
Referee – Terry Kirkup
Hull 14.5, Heckmondwike Saints 12.5, Sheffield Stars 9.