MATCH REPORT: Bury go top after last heat decider
Report by Rob Mawhood, photos by Clair Dunphy
Bury Comets won this North & Scotland League Division One fixture by 90-89 following a last heat decider, a victory that takes them to top of the league (with Fife not having a fixture).
The Graves track had been damaged by the Saturday thunderstorms, with 2 hours of track maintenance required to provide a reasonable race surface. Bury opened with a 6-4 result in heat one, Mike Baldock/Eryk Motala keeping Pawel Idziorek and
Chris Turner at bay (Chris in his first Stars match for 5 years, but second of the weekend having ridden for the ROW Vets in the Derek Garnett memorial on Saturday). The teams were so evenly matched that eight of the next nine races ended with 5-5 drawn heats. The other exception was heat 5, when Mike Baldock/Ben Higham got the better of Kieland Burton/Kieran Hale for a 6-4.
The match came to life in heat 11 when Kyle Holland passed Mike Baldock and was joined by Kielan Burton for a Sheffield 7-3 that tied the scores at 55-55. Ed Morton and Reece Pollitt won the next two heats, with the opponents happy to keep the second string rider in last place for two more drawn heats. Heat 14 saw Sheffield take the lead for the first time, a 6-4 from Ed Morton (now unbeaten in five races) and Kielan Burton over Ben Higham/Tom Dunphy. Bury bounced back
immediately, with a 6-4 from Will Owens/Mike Baldock (who had been involved in all of Bury’s race advantages) to tie the scores as the teams entered the three nominated races.
Mike Baldock struck again in the first nominated race, gaining a 6-4 with Tom Dunphy to put Bury back in front by two. Controversy surrounded the penultimate race when Will Owens was excluded (adjudged to have caused Kielan Burton to crash as the riders were just a few metres from the finish line). The resulting 7-2 giving Sheffield a three point lead with one heat to go. Sheffield lined up with the unbeaten Ed Morton and Laura Watson against Reece Pollitt and Ben Higham for Bury. The Bury pair made the ‘gate’ and led around turn one. Reece kept Ed’s efforts at bay and the 7-3 win secured
the match points and top of the table.
Last heat. Reece leading from Ed with Ben about to do an outside sweep for the match winning 7-3
SHEFFIELD STARS (89) – Pawel Idziorek 18+1, Chris Turner 10+2, Kielan Burton 18+1, Kyle Holland 15+2, Laura Watson 5, Ed Morton 21, Kieran Hale 2, Oliver Banyard, Lacey Ackroyd, Joe Brownell DNR.
BURY COMETS (90) – Mike Baldock 19, Eryk Motola 9+2, Mark Radford 5, Reece Pollitt 20+2, Will Owens 15+2, Tom Dunphy 11, Ben Higham 11+1.
Referee – Rob Mawhood
The victorious Bury team
Bury were short of riders for the Division Two match, with Sheffield announcer (Chris Bingham) and chair (Rob Mawhood) filling two spots as guest riders. Tom Dunphy rode to an excellent five ride 20 point maximum to stop any Sheffield rider from achieving that feat. Sheffield riders made the most of improving their averages, each having at least one race win as they all returned double figure scores. Sheffield scoring eight maximum 7 point heat scores over the 15 races.
SHEFFIELD STARS (91) – Joe Brownell 16+2, Kieran Hale 17+2, Lacey Ackroyd 15+2, Oliver Banyard 15+4, Laura Watson 16+2, Lincoln Ackroyd 12.
BURY COMETS (54) – Tom Dunphy 20, Bobby Dunphy 9, Mark Radford 10, Rob Mawhood (guest)
7+1, Chris Bingham (Guest) 8.
Referee – Kyle Holland
Five riders lined up for the Division Three match, with the under 13 and 10’s riding together and having the scores adjusted. Oliver Banyard was unbeaten in his four races to record a 16 point maximum. Lacey Ackroyd winning the other race. The under 10’s of Bobby Dunphy and Lincoln Ackroyd were in close attendance during the races, with Bury newcomer Carson Derbyshire getting better with each race.
SHEFFIELD STARS (43) – Under 13 – Oliver Banyard 16, Lacey Ackroyd 13, Under 10 Lincoln Ackroyd 14 (adjusted).
BURY COMETS (25) – Under 10 – Bobby Dunphy 15 (adjusted), Carson Derbyshire 10 (adjusted)
Referee – Rob Mawhood