MATCH REPORT: Stars make winning return to the Graves
Sheffield Stars made a victorious return to league racing at the Graves Centre with three wins over visitors Hull in the North and Scotland League, as they had done the last time the teams met in 2013.
Sheffield were at full strength for the Division One match, whereas Hull were missing four riders (including England international Nathan Everett). Dariusz Pilas won the first race of the new season from Lewis Foxley. Kielan Burton was last after shedding a chain (which would cost him dearly again later in the match). When Niall Morton was a non finisher in heat two, after crashing and damaging his front forks, it left Hull 10-9 in the lead.
Sheffield got the first of seven point maximum heat scores in race three, from Kyle Holland and Luke Morton, to move ahead by 16-13.
Jack Lister and Lewis Foxley were causing the Stars riders plenty of problems, the racing being very exciting when they were on the track.
But the youngsters and veterans could not contain the Sheffield riders.
Hull’s second race advantage came in heat 13 when Kielan Burton was excluded, shedding his chain for a second time while leading and bringing down both Darius Pilas and Jack Lister. Jack having to withdraw from the meeting with a wrist injury.
David Cooper won heat 14, before Sheffield finished strongly with three 7-3’s and a final race 6-4 to run out 109-69 winners.
Dariusz Pilas, Ed Morton and Laura Watson were all unbeaten for Sheffield.
Hull’s race winners were Jack Lister (2) and David Cooper. Lewis Foxley being unlucky in that he came up against Ed Morton four times and Dariusz Pilas twice.
Dariusz Pilas heads for victory in the first race of the year
Sheffield (109) – Dariusz Pilas 20+4, Kielan Burton 15, Kyle Holland 16+2, Luke Morton 13+1, Laura Watson 11+1, Niall Morton 9+2, Ed Morton 23+1, Sam Stansfield 2+1.
Hull (69) – Lewis Foxley 16, David Cooper 10+1, Rich Pawson 6+2, Jack Lister 13, Jacob Francis 10, Liam Bennett 7, Barry Ashton 3, Josh Geering 4.
The Division Two match saw Sheffield record their biggest ever win, by 103-47, gaining the maximum seven points in 13 of the 15 races.
The score though didn’t reflect the racing as the quick starting Liam Bennett, Kacey Bennett, Barry Ashton and Rich Pawson posed problems for the Stars riders, who often had to pass from the back. Sam Stansfield and Patrick Oshea both had to make last to second rides while Oliver Banyards heat 9 race with Rich Pawson had the crowd on their feet.
Sheffield (103) – Luke Morton 9+3, Oliver Banyard 16, Sam Stansfield 17+3, Wil Banyard 18+2, Lacey Ackroyd 14, Laura Watson 16+4, Patrick Oshea 13+1.
Hull (47) – Liam Bennett 9, Will Hollich 6, Jacob Francis 8, Kacey Bennett 8, Barry Ashton 6, Rich Pawson 8, Josh Geering 2.
The Division Three match saw both teams field eight riders each, that were evenly matched over the under 10 and 13 age categories. All the riders put on a great show of racing, showing both clubs will have an exciting future.
Sheffield’s pair of Oliver Banyard and Lacey Ackroyd top scored in the under 13’s, each winning a race apiece when they met. Hull’s Kacey Bennett and Harvey Mclachlan managed a race win each.
Sheffield (38) – Oliver Banyard 15, Lacey Ackroyd 15, Danny Cowley 8.
Hull (34) – Kacey Bennett 12, Harvey Mclachlan 12, Will Hollich 10.
Two riders raced unbeaten in the under 10’s, Harry Gibson for Hull and Eddie Owolabi-Oshea for Sheffield. The other race winners were Lincoln Ackroyd (3) for Sheffield and Elwood Harrison for Hull.
Sheffield outscored Hull by 61-52 to win the Division Three match by 99-86.
Sheffield (61) – Eddie Owolabi-Oshea 16, Lincoln Ackroyd 15, Phoebe Cromwell 11, Charlie Taylor 11, Aiden Cromwell 8.
Hull (52) – Harry Gibson 16, Elwood Harrison 13, Josh Geering 8, Alexis Woodcock 8, Polly Gowans 6.