MATCH REPORT: Sheffield gain advantage with away victory
Report by Rob Mawhood
A full strength Sheffield Stars won by 98-80 at Hull’s Hessle raceway, taking an 18 point lead in to the home leg of their North and Scotland Division One play off push.
Hull were without three time British champion Andy Angell and were unable to hold the winning power of Ed Morton, Niall Morton and Kyle Holland.
Stars took the lead in heat one following the exclusion of Liam Bennett, who fell when in last place. Sheffield got a big 7 points in heat three from Kielan Burton and Kyle Holland over Jack Lister. A 6-4 win in heat 9 put Sheffield ahead by 51-38 at the interval. Hull got a maximum 7-3 from David Cooper/Matt Eglen in heat 12, following a crash from Kyle Holland, to reduce the gap to nine points. Despite Hull having the race winner in four of the last six races, three by top scorer Nathan Everett-Atkinson, Stars increased their advantage with 7-3 maximums in the other two races (both featuring Ed Morton, one with Kyle Holland and the other with Niall Morton).
Hull had relied heavily on Nathan Everett-Atkinson, winning five of his six races (losing to Niall Morton) while Ed Morton was beaten just the once for Sheffield (losing to Nathan in heat one).
Nathan Everett-Atkinson 22+1, Liam Bennett 3, Andy Knowles 6, Jack Lister 12+1, David Cooper 19+1, Matt Eglen 13+1, Rich Pawson 3, Regan Stubbs 2.
Sheffield Stars 98
Laura Watson 9+3, Ed Morton 22+1, Niall Morton 21+1, Luke Morton 12+3, Kielan Burton 15+1, Kyle Holland 18+1, Sam Stansfield 1, Niamh Morton DNR.
Hull provided ten of the 15 race winners in the Division Two fixture to run out winners by 77-73, leaving the two legged fixture poised for a close encounter at Cookson Park.
There was very little between the teams, who were trading 7-3’s and 6-4’s which left Sheffield with a narrow 46-44 lead after nine heats. Jack Lister and Matt Eglen swung the match in Hull’s favour with a 7-3 in heat 10. This was followed by 6-4’s in heats 11 and 12 and suddenly Hull led by six. A drawn heat 13, with Jack Lister holding off Luke Morton and Sam Stansfield left the match in the balance. David Cooper won heat 14, coming from last place on the first corner, to complete an unbeaten score and secure the match with one race to go. The final race saw Sheffield claw back four points with a maximum 7-3 from Laura Watson/Kielan Burton over the Hull veteran pairing of Barry Ashton and Rich Pawson. Those four points may be crucial come the second leg.
Jack Lister 15+1, Regan Stubbs 7, Rich Pawson 8, David Cooper 19+1, Matt Eglen 16, Liam Bennett 4, Andy Knowles 5+1, Barry Ashton 3.
Sheffield Stars 73
Kielan Burton 17+1, Laythan Sharp 3, Sam Stansfield 13, Luke Morton 13+4, Laura Watson 13+1, Niamh Morton 11, Oliver Banyard 2, Lacey Ackroyd 1.
Hull won the Division Three match, for under 13’s by 68-52, tracking seven riders to Sheffield’s five.
Noah Lyon won his first two races in the under 13’s before having to withdraw following a crash in his third race. Sheffield’s Lacey Ackroyd and Laythan Sharp winning the other two races.
Stars Oliver Banyard raced unbeaten in the under 10’s, with Hull’s Harry Gibson and Will Hollich both having double race wins.
Hull – Noah Lyon 8, Kacey Bennett 8
Sheffield – Lacey Ackroyd 11, Laythan Sharp 11.
Hull – Harry Gibson 14, Will Hollich 14, Raylan Durkin 10, Jayden Bennett 8, Josh Geering 4.
Sheffield – Oliver Banyard 16, Lincoln Ackroyd 8, Charlie Taylor 6.