MATCH REPORT: Three maximums for Sheffield

Sheffield arrived Heckmondwike wanting to bounce back from the away loss at Hull in their last Northern League fixture, while the home side were looking for their first win of the season, despite running several teams close. However, they would have to take up the challenge without star rider Pawel Idzioreck, but still featured British U16 number three Adam Watson, former womens world champion Laura Watson, and speedy vet Darren Kent in their line up. For the Rockets, Damian Zareba, Jason Burke & Mick Knowles all returned to the side, and Daniel Rushton made his first appearance in the team.

Sheffield set straight off with two well worked 7-3s from the McMillan-Morton and the Holland-Zareba pairings over the Kent-Whitwam and the Watson-Naylor pairings, before Adam Watson was able to split Burke & Knowles in heat three to put the Rockets ten up. Holland had to pass Laura Watson but was unable to catch Whitwam while Ed Morton took the win in heat four for another 6-4, while Adam Watson held McMillan at the back in heat five for a drawn heat, Heckmondwike now twelve in arrears. Burke took his second win in the next ahead of Kent, with Knowles beating Whitwam, before two further maximum heat advantages for the Holland-Zareba and the McMillan-Morton pairings from the Watson-Summersgill and the Watson-Naylor, with Zareba being forced to go around Adam Watson in the former, gave Sheffield a formidable twenty two point lead at the interval.

Ed Morton was occupied by Whitwam to allow Summersgill to collect second behind Holland straight back out in heat nine, but Zareba & Burke continued their unbeaten scores with their own 7-3 in heat ten. McMillan won from the gate while Adam Watson & Niall Morton battled for second behind in heat eleven, the latter eventually taking it for another maximum heat advantage, Sheffield now thirty two clear & cruising, before Knowles had to go round Laura Watson in heat twelve while Rushton could only pick up fourth for only the second drawn heat of the match. The final three heats finished as 7-3s for Sheffield, the Holland-Zareba, Morton-Knowles and Burke-McMillan pairings taking the points from the Kent-Whitwam, Watson-Summersgill and Kent-Watson pairings to give the Rockets victory, by 97 to 53 points.

Darren Kent, Adam Watson and Laura Watson pushed all the way for the home side to provide several exciting races, but couldn’t stop Damian Zareba, Jason Burke and Niall Morton all completing maximum scores, although they did have several good races with Bobby McMillan and Kyle Holland. The home side must take the positives that without their top riders Pawel Idzioreck & Jake Wood they rode admirable well, while the away side will be pleased to have taken another win as they push for the league runners up spot and continue to apply pressure to league leaders Stockport.

Heckmondwike 53
Darren Kent 11 (5), Thomas Whitwam 7 (5), Adam Watson 10+1 (5), Chris Summersgill 7 (5), Justin Naylor 9 (5), Laura Watson 9+1 (5), Will Naylor DNR

Sheffield 97
Bobby McMillan 16+1 (5), Niall Morton 13+3 (4), Damian Zareba 17+3 (5), Kyle Holland 18 (5), Jason Burke 15+1 (4), Mick Knowles 11+1 (4), Ed Morton 6 (2), Daniel Rushton 1 (1)

Northern Division Three

Heckmondwike 45
Thomas Whitwam 16, Will Naylor 12, Declan Summersgill 8, Bella Naylor 5, Ben Summersgill 4

Sheffield 75
Niamh Morton 15, Daniel Rushton 13, Jack Brownell 13, Charlie Cottam 13, Kielan Burton 8, Joe Brownell 7, Logan Perkins