MATCH REPORT: Team green take 3 wins from 5 matches

Report by Mike Hack

Astley & Tyldesley opened the North & Scotland League season with a marathon bill of racing at Gin Pit on Sunday. A&T won all three divisions last year, but fielded much changed line ups, as part of the club’s policy this year to blood their young talent in all three teams, so as not to stifle their development.

In the day’s only Division 1 match, A&T and Edinburgh fought out a real thriller, before the visitors took the spoils with a narrow 91-88 win. Eleven of the heats were shared, but the visitors had four heat wins, to the home team’s three. A&T took the lead with a Matt Snell/ Pawel Idziorek 7-2 over Gavin Parr, after Niall Morton shed a chain in heat 4. The visitors immediately hit back with a 7-3 to the Jason Keith/ Mikey Hewitson pairing over Reece Pollitt and Emily Burgess. A&T still led at the interval, 40-39. Edinburgh were
sharp away and started the second half with two successive 7-3 heat wins, to move into a 53-46 lead after heat 10. A&T narrowed the gap with a 6-4 and then a dramatic 7-3 in heat 16, when race leader Jake Slight fell on the last bend, after 13 year old John White had hunted him down for the entire race. This reduced Edinburgh’s lead to one point. A 6-4 to Ed Morton/ Parr over Idziorek and Burgess extended the lead to three points. Edinburgh captain Hewitson raced away to take the win and the match points in heat 18.

North & Scotland League Division 1 result

Astley & Tyldesley 88 Edinburgh 91

A&T: Reece Pollitt 21, Pawel Idziorek 20 (2), Matt Snell 15 (1), Steve Harris 14 (3), John White 10, Emily Burgess 8, Mark Grantham dnr.

Edinburgh: Ed Morton 18 (3), Gavin Parr 17 (1), Mikey Hewitson 14 (1), Jason Keith 11 (1), Jake Slight 11 (1), Lewis Foxley 10 (1), Niall Morton 8 (1), Craig Newsome 2 (1),
Neil McPherson dnr.

Referee – Lee Phillips.

In the Division 2 match, Edinburgh conceded 49 penalty points for fielding two ineligible riders. Despite this, A&T’s youngsters put in a great showing to “win on the track” by 23
points, to run out 135-63 winners. World u-16 Girls Champion, Emily Burgess, raced unbeaten, with solid scores from all her team mates.

North & Scotland League Division 2 result
Astley & Tyldesley 135 Edinburgh 63

A&T: John White 16 (2), Tom Morrissey 15 (3), Emily Burgess 15 (1), Mark Grantham 14, Charlie Burgess 12, Duncan Whalley 10, Frank White 4 (2).

Edinburgh: Craig Newsome 15, Neil McPherson 13 (1), Stevie Gilroy 11, Shane Gray 10, James Foxley 9 (1), Ben Foxley 5.

Referee – Lee Phillips.

A&T rode to a big win, 110-10, in the Division 3 match. Duncan Whalley and Frank White both raced unbeaten in the u-13 and u-10 matches respectively.

North & Scotland League Division 3 result

Astley & Tyldesley 110 Edinburgh 10
A&T: Frank White 16, Duncan Whalley 16, Lucy Grantham 14, Oscar Belt 13, Lewis Skitterall 12, Harriet Belt 10, Levi Edwards 9, Stephen Warn 8, Blake Jeffery-Leyland 8, Myles Grantham 4.

Edinburgh: Ben Foxley 10.

Referee – Catherine White.

Next up were two matches against Sheffield, as the second part of the double header. In the Division 2 match, Sheffield took the lead in heat 1, with a 6-4 from Kielan Burton/ Laura Watson over Mark Grantham/ Duncan Whalley. The Stars never lost the lead after that and eventually ran out 80-70 winners. Kielan Burton rode to a maximum score, with good support from a solid scoring team. Captain Mark Grantham was best for A&T, but the third match of the day for both John White and Emily Burgess, on the opening day of the season, proved to be a tall task.

North & Scotland League Division 2 result

Astley & Tyldesley 70 Sheffield 80

A&T: Mark Grantham 18, Emily Burgess 14, John White 13 (4), Tom Morrissey 13, Charlie Burgess 6 (1), Duncan Whalley 5 (1), Frank White 1.

Sheffield: Kielan Burton 18 (2), Luke Morton 16 (2), Will Banyard 15, Steven Webber 9, Niamh Morton 8 (2), Laura Watson 7 (1), James Morris 6 (1), Edward Balfour 1.

Referee – Lee Phillips.

Sheffield gave defending champions A&T a good run in the Division 3 match, before A&T ran out 101-74 winners. Oliver Banyard and Frank White both raced unbeaten in the u-10s match,
whilst Edward Balfour and Duncan Whalley beat each other once in the u-13s match.

North & Scotland League Division 3 result

Astley & Tyldesley 101 Sheffield 74

A&T: Frank White 16, Duncan Whalley 15, Oscar Belt 13, Levi Edwards 13, Lucy Grantham 11, Stephen Warn 9, Blake Jeffery-Leyland 9, Myles Grantham 8, Harriet Belt 7.

Sheffield: Oliver Banyard 16, Edward Balfour 15, Charlie Priest 14, Laythan Sharp 13, Lacey Ackroyd 9, Charlie Taylor 7.

Referee – Catherine White.

A big thank you to all riders, officials and volunteers, who worked hard to put on a long day’s racing on a cold day.