MATCH REPORT: Northern Area KO Cup
Report & photos by Andy Schofield
Hull staged the Northern Area KO Cup Final on a warm sunny day at The Hessle Raceway. The meeting was a part replacement for the Northern League KO Cup that was due to be staged in Edinburgh but was postponed due to concerns around covid.
Astley & Tyldesley started in great style with four wins from inside gates with the rest of the teams all left to play catch up. The track held up well to the hot conditions and provided some good racing with Bury and Sheffield making progress in the next section to see them and Astley covered by just three points.
Hull came to life with their inside gates but Bury slightly increased their lead to 3 points from Sheffield and Astley who were tied on 30 with the hosts 3 points back. Astley suffered a tape exclusion in heat 13 which left them looking over their shoulders to maintain third place.
Sheffield took the lead in the final set of programmed riders, on 44 points, with Bury just two points behind and Astley on 39 points five up on Hull. A new innovation for this final saw a set of four nominated races with Sheffield closely marking Bury to deservedly take the honours from a very competitive Bury side. Hull took advantage to record 3 wins and snatch third place from Astley & Tyldesley who were unfortunate to be missing a fifth rider.
Sheffield’s Ed Morton was in top form and received good support from the rest of the side including Darius Pilas who was taking his first rides for a few years. Bury were strong throughout the side with Kris Ramsden and Eryk Motala racing well while Hull took a while to get going but finished strongly with Nathan Everett and David Cooper taking some good wins. Astley & Tyldesley were unable to maintain their great start but can consider themselves a little unlucky not to make the podium with Reece Pollitt and Steve Harris adapting well to the Hessle track.
Sheffield 56 Bury 50 Hull 48 Astley & Tyldesley 43
In a junior individual meeting held after the KO Cup a ‘ladder’ format was used to allow all junior riders to compete in the same meeting. Sheffield’s Kielan Burton took the under 18’s from Astley’s Duncan Whalley while Sheffield’s Oliver Banyard won the under 12’s despite a strong challenge from Hull’s Kacey Bennett with team mate Will Hollich in third. The under 9’s group was won in in fine style by Hull’s Harry Gibson with fellow Hull rider Josh Geering runner-up.