MATCH REPORT: Rockets keep up the chase

Northumbria Vikings 85 – 94 Sheffield Rockets, Northern League One, Sunday 22nd June 2014

Mancunian Viking Mark Mulvey soared to the top of the scorecharts for the first time for his new home northern league club, the rest of the Northumbria top 4 all on form, but they carried too long a tail in a match which saw lots of tactical gating.

Sheffield it was who had the greater strength in depth to edge it, the home side probably needing at least a slice of luck to have triumphed here today despite the visitors missing both their Polish heat leaders. Aiden Owen was impressive as he took 4 wins for the Rockets, Richard Hudson also quietly going about his business in building up a meaningful score, while there was always great interest each time Aussie test star Bobby McMillan appeared on track, he battling Vikings No.1 Gavin Parr three times, the home skipper on top in that particular private duel.

NORTHUMBRIA 85: Mark Mulvey 17+1, Gavin Parr 17+1, Michael Parr 14+1, Jason Keith 14+1, Daniel Wharrier 8, Dan Redshaw 7, John Wilson 4, Terry Kirkup 4
SHEFFIELD 94: Aiden Owen 17, Richard Hudson 16+1, Bobby McMillan 13+2, Niall Morton 13, Matt Parrott 8+2, Zach Smurthwaite 8, Luke Morton 8

Division Two

Once again this match was always going to go the way of the more consistent and stronger visitors, despite an excellent effort from a fast starting Dan Redshaw to top score in the meeting for the Vikings. Sheffield concentrated throughout on quality team riding, a policy which as well as paying dividends here to win the match, will also help bring through young talents like James Bunting and Sam Haines who were well encouraged by their more experienced team mates, Niall Morton leading the way to top score. The day was almost spoiled by a horrible crash for GB Womens international Vicky Brown, she catapulted high into the air as her bike locked up with her opponents machine as they raced hard down the home straight, in the end it however being a great relief that Vicky was more worried that her spectacular and no doubt very painful prang, had been captured properly on video, rather than any serious injuries.

NORTHUMBRIA: Dan Redshaw 17, John Wilson 12+1, Daniel Wharrier 8+1, Keith Oldham 8, Neil Magee 6, Terry Kirkup 4, Norman Carson 3
SHEFFIELD: Niall Morton 16+3, Ed Morton 13+1, Matt Parrott 11+1, Rob Mawhood 11+1, James Bunting 11, Luke Morton 10+2, Sam Haines 8+2, Vicky Brown 4

Division Three

James Bunting rode through the card to a max, Sam Haines and Dan Rushton also tall scorers in the U-13 fixture for Sheffield. Northumbria can still only rely on two youngsters at this level, Lee Redshaw leading the way for the home club with an impressive score, most enjoyable also were the battles between Lewis Petre and Joe Brownell, honours even between the two youngest riders on track. An extra rider of the day event saw Jack Brownell narrowly hold off Sam Haines to take the win, the last bonus race of the day being one of the best.

NORTHUMBRIA: Lee Redshaw 11, Lewis Petre 6
SHEFFIELD: James Bunting 16, Sam Haines 12, Dan Rushton 11, Jack Brownell 9, Niamh Morton 9, Joe Brownell 6