MATCH REPORT: A&T maintain title challenge

Report by Mike Hack, photo by Len Priestley

Astley & Tyldesley kept up their North & Scotland League Division 1 title challenge. with a hard fought win over Hull at Gin Pit on Sunday. It was a very tight, tactical match ridden on a dry, dusty track on a hot afternoon. It was nip and tuck in the early heats, with the scores level after 6 races at 30-30. Hull’s Jack Lister fell whilst leading heat 7, and A&T gratefully took a 7-3 heat win. A&T maintained their four points lead at the interval. A 6-4 heat win in heat 9 extended that to six points, before three shared heats followed. A&T effectively sealed the match with successive 7-3 and 6-4 heat wins in heats 13 and 14, to move 76-64 ahead. Hull replied with their second 7-3 heat win of the match, but A&T held on to take a valuable 95-85 win. Reece Pollitt won five of his six races to top score for A&T, with 21 points. There were solid scores from Steve Harris, Joel Partington and Paul Graham. Young British Champions Emily Burgess and Tom Morrissey stepped up with excellent scores to cover for two missing regular riders. Nathan Everett won three races for Hull, with good support from Lewis Foxley, Jason Keith and Jack Lister. With Sheffield also winning by 10 points, at Fife, the Sheffield v A&T match on 25th September will determine the outcome of this year’s Division 1 championship. Both teams have lost one match this season, having won all the rest.

Close first bend action in heat 9, before Emily Burgess came through to take the race win. l-r Jack Lister, Joel Partington, Emily Burgess, Richard Gibson

North & Scotland League Division 1 result

Astley & Tyldesley 95 Hull 85

A&T: Reece Pollitt 21, Steve Harris 16 (2), Joel Partington 16 (1), Paul Graham 12 (2), Emily Burgess 12 (1), Tom Morrissey 10, Charlie Burgess 4, Duncan Whalley 4.

Hull: Nathan Everett 19 (2), Lewis Foxley 18 (3), Jason Keith 16 (1), Jack Lister 14, Richard Gibson 9 (1), Liam Bennett 9, Jacob Francis dnr.

Referee – Lee Phillips.

Five A&T riders raced unbeaten as A&T romped to a massive 93-57 win in the Division 2 match that followed. First year rider Caspar Ellis recorded his first full house, accompanied by Tom Morrissey, Emily Burgess, Charlie Burgess and Duncan Whalley.

North & Scotland League Division 2 result

Astley & Tyldesley 93 Hull 57

A&T: Tom Morrissey 20, Caspar Ellis 20, Charlie Burgess 16 (4), Duncan Whalley 16 (4), Emily Burgess 15 (1), Oscar Belt 3, Harriet Belt 3.

Hull: Liam Bennett 12, Richard Gibson 11 (1), Jacob Francis 11, Kacey Bennett 9 (3), Harry Gibson 8 (1), Will Holich 6 (1).

Referee – Chaz Whalley.

A&T kept up their Division 3 title challenge with a comfortable 78-52 win over Hull in the Division 3 match. Hull’s Harry Gibson and Kacey Bennett raced to maximum scores in the u-10 and u-13 matches respectively. However, A&T’s numerical advantage proved decisive. Amelia Harrison-Jones impressed on her debut for A&T, with special mention for Ukrainian Elijah Rechembei and 4 years old Jonah Warn. Again, the outcome of this championship will be decided at Sheffield on 25th September.

North & Scotland League Division 3 result

Astley & Tyldesley 78 Hull 52

A&T: Josh Pilkington 14, Amelia Harrison-Jones 13, Oscar Belt 13, Alex Lawless 11, Harriet Belt 7, Elijah Rechembei 6, Lincoln Davies 6, Jonah Warn 4, Chloe Bassett 4.

Hull: Harry Gibson 16, Kacey Bennett 16, Alexis Woodcock 10, Will Holich 10.

Referee – Lee Phillips.