MATCH REPORT: Comets fly to victory

Northumbria Vikings 86 – 93 Bury Comets, Northern League One, Sunday 20th April

Bury’s more experienced youngsters had the edge on their counterparts, the Vikings own young trio often getting themselves into key race positions, only to lose out thanks to a lack of track time racing at this level so far.

The home heat leaders were often on top but also all lost points, Jason Keith with a poor first ride as he allowed Ben Scranage to come barnstorming through and bringing impressive young partner James Elston with him. Gavin Parr dropped it as he locked up when attempting an outside blast on Comets top scorer Chris Parish, while Michael Parr couldn’t manage to run to the line after another titanic tussle with Scranage left both riders on the deck in a do or die heat 17.

With all except team manager Neil Howarth scoring at least double figures, it was the visitors then who ran out winners, they riding as a team very well throughout and deserving the league points in what was another thoroughly entertaining and sporting match for the Vikings supporters massed on the back straight, another decent crowd in attendance today.

NORTHUMBRIA – 86: Jason Keith 17, Gavin Parr 17, Michael Parr 14+1, Mark Mulvey 10+2, Daniel Wharrier 8, Scott Latimer 7, Terry Kirkup 7, Dan Redshaw 6
BURY – 93: Chris Parish 17, James Elston 12+3, Will Owens 12+2, Kris Ramsden 12+2, Ben Scranage 11+1, Danny Taylor 10+2, Dawid Renc 10, Neil Howarth 9+1

Division Two

There was a terrible start to the match as Vikings debutant Daniel Hepple crashed out in his very first cycle speedway ride, suffering a badly dislocated finger (note: a brave Daniel still finished the race to score his point for the team), with worse to come as Steve Mann piled into the fence in heat 3, the Bury veteran suffering facial injuries including losing at least three teeth – both riders naturally ruled out of the rest of the meeting. That meant more rides for Bury’s under 13 riders, Adam Turnbull putting himself about and getting a good last heat third place, but he and Louis Turner were always going to struggle against a home outfit with included plenty of vets.

Along with Danny Taylor, James Elston was again the man to beat for the visitors, Dan Redshaw and Daniel Wharrier having to wait until heat 13 for that outcome as they recorded a 7-3 over the Comets top scorer to win the match for the Vikings. Stand in captain Andy Knowles and Keith Oldham formed the engine room of the team, going well until Oldham tired, while Scott Latimer put himself about as usual and finished with a fine win over Dawid Renc.

NORTHUMBRIA – 80: Daniel Wharrier 16+3, Dan Redshaw 16+1, Scott Latimer 13, Keith Oldham 12, Andy Knowles 11+2, Neil Magee 9, Norman Carson 2, Daniel Hepple 1
BURY – 67: James Elston 16+1, Danny Taylor 14+1, Dawid Renc 12, Joe Holleran 11+1, Adam Turnbull 10, Louis Turner 6, Steve Mann 0

Division Three

Adam Turnbull rode unbeaten for the young Comets, with Louis Turner only beaten by his team-mate in another highly entertaining match to finish a fine afternoons racing. There was always plenty of action and battles amongst the Northumbrian quartet, the highlight being debutant Ryan Graham who had only sat on a cycle speedway bike for the first time the day before, racing from last to first on the final lap of his first ever ride. Mitchell Grey was also making his competitive debut and along with Lee Redshaw looks a fine prospect, but it was again 7 year old Lewis Petre who caught the eye with several well taken inside passes for extra points. Northumbria Go-Ride supremo Terry Kirkup presented Easter Eggs to all the competitors in the Division Three meeting, they all deserving them for giving such a pleasurable end to the day with their efforts.

NORTHUMBRIA – 40: Rhys Graham 12, Lee Redshaw 11, Lewis Petre 10, Mitchell Grey 7
BURY – 30: Adam Turnbull 16, Louis Turner 14