MATCH REPORT: Stars clinch North & Scotland Division 2 title
Report by Rob Mawhood, Photos by Nicola Banyard
Sheffield Stars ended a 10 year drought by winning the North and Scotland League Two play off final by 78-71 against 2021 champions Fife Revolution.
Sheffield last won the league two title in 2013, were beaten in play off finals in 2014 (Edinburgh Falcons) and 2021. Fife won League Two in 2018 (their second year of racing) and were beaten in a play off in 2019 (against Astley and Tyldesley).
Both teams were missing star riders as they lined up for the play off at Northumbria’s Cramlington Sports Village track, the neutral venue chosen as both teams would travel about the same distance.
Fife were quickly into their stride with a 7-3 in heat 2, Harry Langdale getting the first of three race wins in the first half of the match.
Stars only race advantage on the first half came from team captain Laura Watson and recent returnee Jack Brownell in heat three.
Fife provided five race winners in the first 8 races, as Kayden Davidson and Harry Langdale were unbeaten at half time, with Fife leading by 41-38.
Sheffield took the lead for the first time in heat 9, a 7-3 from Luke Morton and Laura Watson making it 45-44 in Stars favour.
The lead changed hands in heats 10 and 11 as the teams traded 6-4 race scores.
Sheffield then went further ahead with their second 7-3 heat win, from Laura Watson and Jack Brownell.
Kayden Davidson completed a fine unbeaten 20 point maximum score by winning heats 13 and 15, but they were drawn heats as the Sheffield pairings took the minor placings.
A 6-4 from Sheffield pair Sam Stansfield and Laura Watson (her 4th heat which was a Stars race advantage) in heat 14 put the seal on a Sheffield win, finally overcoming a determined Fife team.
Fife had the individual stars in Kayden Davidson and Harry Langdale, winning 8 of the 15 heats. Sheffield though had the stronger septet, with five riders gaining at least one race win.
Fife Revolution – Kayden Davidson 20, Cailen Cuthbert 5, Jake Ferguson 10, Danny Peoples 9+1, Dougie Morgan 11+2, Harry Langdale 16, Layla Peoples DNR
Sheffield Stars – Wil Banyard 14+1, Sam Stansfield 13+2, Niamh Morton 5, Luke Morton 14+2, Jack Brownell 15, Laura Watson 15+2, Oliver Banyard 2.