MATCH REPORT: 2014 Yorkshire Championships from Heckmondwike

The 2014 Yorkshire Championships were held at Heckmondwike’s Firth Park circuit, early morning rain clearing well before the start time, leaving a sunny autumn day (clear but chilly). The track quickly drying out to leave a testing surface. The home clubs riders were joined by Hull and Sheffield to have a record turn out of 43 over the afternoons competition.

First up was the under 8/10 combined. Hull’s Charlie Wade taking the under 10 crown with a flawless 16 point maximum, repeating his success of 2013. Jack Brownell finished runner up, losing just to Wade, with Ed Lister (Wade’s Hull team-mate) completing the podium. Sheffield’s Logan Perkins took the under 8’s title, defeating his main rival and training partner Joe Brownell. The award for girls under 12 champion (brought in 2013) went to the home club’s Bella Naylor. Declan Summersgill, Charlie Cottam and Kielan Burton completed the line up, and all were involved in some competitive racing.

Scorers – Charlie Wade (Hull) 16, Jack Brownell (Sheffield) 15, Ed Lister (Hull) 14, Charlie Cottam (Sheffield) 13, Declan Summersgill (Heckmondwike) 12, Kielan Burton (Sheffield) 11, Logan Perkins (Sheffield) 10, Joe Brownell (Sheffield) 9, Bella Naylor (Heckmondwike) 8.

Next up was the under 13/16 combined event. Here the racing was getting very tasty. At the halfway stage, three riders were tied on maximum 12 points. Adam Watson had been head and shoulders above his rivals, on the track and in stature, with Josh Bellis putting together a well polished three races. However , the most impressive display had come from Sheffield’s James Bunting (competing for both titles), his determination taking him to a great ride to pass and get the better of Ed Morton in heat 10. Heat 13 saw Ed Morton enter the podium fray with a from the back win over Bellis. With Bunting and Watson both riding to untroubled fourth race wins the scene was set for their meeting in heat 18. Before we reached that race we had Tom Whitwam defeat Niamh Morton in a match race heat 17, Whitwam confirmed as a podium finisher for the under 13’s. So the title decider had Bunting sprint clear from grid one with Watson (from three) in hot pursuit. Watson was using all of his track knowledge to find a way past, only for Bunting to be equally cagey in blocking every move. Entering turn three on the third lap and Watson crashed as he attempted an inside pass. Bunting punching the air as he crossed the finish line having completed a brilliant 20 point maximum to take both under 13 and under 16 championships. Watson had remounted for fourth place and was happy to see that Sam Haines had got the better of Bellis, leaving us with run-offs to decide the other podium finishes in both age groups. The second and third place run-off for the under 13’s had Whitwam the comfortable winner, holding his grid 2 from Haines. The third place run-off for the under 16’s saw Bellis lead from grid 2, but again Watson used track knowledge to drop from grid 4 and pass down the back straight on the first lap to at least finish with third place for his efforts. The unlucky Bellis finishing empty handed despite being involved in some cracking races.

Scorers – James Bunting (Sheffield) 20, Ed Morton (Sheffield) 18, Adam Watson (Sheffield) 17, Josh Bellis (Hull) 17, Tom Whitwam (Heckmondwike) 16, Sam Haines (Sheffield) 16, Jack Lister (Hull) 14, Niamh Morton (Sheffield) 14, Daniel Rushton (Sheffield) 12, Will Naylor (Heckmondwike) 11, Connor Hinde-Marsden (Heckmondwike) 10, Jay Moreton (Hull) 9, Ben Summersgill (Heckmondwike) 8.

The womens event saw a clear-cut winner in Ellie Sullivan, who finished unbeaten in her four races. The Sheffield youngster has only just returned to the sport, following 10 months off, and has quickly found the form that saw her crowned as British under 16 champion in 2013. Sullivan was defending her title from last year and showed her intentions to keep it with a very forceful first race when she came off grid two to shoulder charge main rival Laura Watson (who was on three). When the two met again in the last race Sullivan was made to pull out all of the stops to complete a maximum score, with Watson edging the race for three laps. Niamh Morton won the battle with Katie Greaves to claim third place.

Scorers – Ellie Sullivan (Sheffield) 16, Laura Watson (Heckmondwike) 13, Niamh Morton (Sheffield) 10, Katie Greaves (Hull) 7, Alice Unwin (Sheffield) 4.

Finally then to senior championships. With Andy Angell rushing from work to make the start line (and his first Yorkshire Individual) we had an intriguing line up, that also included Pawel Idziorek, Bobby McMillan and Damian Zareba. With the under 19 and vets titles also at stake the crowd were treated to some top class racing in every heat. Idziroek passed Angell (whose pre meeting prep had been about 2 or 3 laps warm up) in heat 1 to set the wheels in motion. McMillan was also quickly into his stride with a win from grid 4 in heat 2. The action was happening behind him however with Kyle Holland flying round the outside on the last corner to snatch second place from Jason Burke. Darren Kent had to pass Matt Parrott for his heat 3 win, while Zareba had to pass the quick starting Richard Hudson to claim the win in heat 4. Angell’s title hopes disappearing in heat 6 as he slipped to a third place finish behind Zareba and Adam Watson, sliding badly on successive corner s on lap 2. Holland again picked on the experienced riders waiting until the very last corner to blast round the outside and snatch a win on the line, this time over home favourite Kent (this win would prove crucial later on).

McMillan then beat Idziorek in heat 8, leaving the Aussie test star and Zareba as the only unbeaten riders. Angell got his first win in heat 10, after an entertaining scrap with Burke. Then Zareba came from grid 4 to defeat McMillan to the first bend and place him in pole position for the title. Idziorek and Zareba both also won their fourth race, with McMillan staying in the hunt by defeating Angell in heat 14. First to be in the clubhouse was McMillan. His win in heat 17 taking him to 19 points, leaving him waiting on what would happen with his rivals. Angell won his final race, entertaining the crowd with an exhibition race against Holland (who played his part by continually trying to pass round the outside), the second place giving the Sheffield rider runner up in the under 19’s. Hudson made a good start to race 19 to streak away for the win that would confirm him took home third place in the under 19’s. Heat 20 lined up from the inside with Idziorek, Kent, Zareba and Burke. The two Polish riders, unsurprisingly, sprinted from the tapes with Idziorek leading. Zareba made a couple of moves on the first two laps, but then settled for second place and another opportunity in the run-off. Both having finished with 19 points.

Kent won the battle of the vets to force a run-off for the overall title. The Vets run-off saw Burke, from grid two, ride the perfect race in always keeping Kent on his outside, they eventually crossed the line with just a bikes length separating them. Burke claiming the title and preventing Kent from a four-timer. The senior title run-off had Zareba on one, McMillan (two) and Idziorek (three). McMillan made the big start but was just squeezed out on the first turn. Idziorek riding between the two down the back straight to move into second place behind Zareba. Lap 3 turn one saw Idziorek go for the hail mary pass, which failed and saw him have to bail out. Zareba keeping upright and has he came out of turn two he collided with McMillan (who hit the deck to audible groans from the crowd). Zareba then finished unchallenged to take home the top prize. Idziorek remounted before McMillan to take second place, and the under 19 top prize. While McMillans efforts had given him third place.

Just to finally thank the volunteers at the Heckmondwike club for helping stage the event (2015 will have a lot to live up to), CRA consultancy firm for providing the trophies and Andy Schofield and Rob Mawhood for doing the hardest job (refereeing), but when meetings are ridden in the spirit of today that job becomes a whole lot easier.

Scorers – Damian Zareba (Sheffield) 19, Pawel Idziorek (Heckmondwike) 19, Bobby McMillan (Sheffield) 19, Andy Angell (Hull) 16, Kyle Holland (Sheffield) 16, Richard Hudson (Sheffield) 15, Adam Watson (Sheffield) 14, Jason Burke (Sheffield) 13, Darren Kent (Heckmondwike) 13, Chris Cooke (Hull) 10, Matt Parrott (Sheffield) 10, Luke Morton (Sheffield) 9, Justin Naylor (Heckmondwike) 7, Chris Summersgill (Heckmondwike) 7, Ryan Summersgill (Heckmondwike) 7, Lee Cottam (Sheffield) 5.

Editor: Thanks once again to Rob Mawhood for another fantastic report.