MATCH REPORT: Edinburgh take division two title in fiery play off

Edinburgh Falcons took the Northern League Division 2 title in a play off against Sheffield at Northumbria’s Cramlington race track. Here’s an independent match report submitted by Northumbria Cycle Speedway, which poses an interesting question about play offs and regional racing, send us in your views!

This was by some way the best meeting yet staged on the new Cramlington track, two totally committed teams going at it hammer and tongs from the off in a cracker of a finale to the Northern League season. Edinburgh’s opening pairing of Neil Swanson and Ewan Kennedy were the match winners for their team, Swanson involved in some fine racing from the back with some tremendous outside passes thrown in for good measure, while young Ewan held his nerve throughout and was always in the right place at the right time to pick up plenty of points, as the duo scored crucial 7-3’s in both heats 8 and 11 to put their team in front.

It had been too close to call up until the latter stages, with James Bunting leading the Rockets scoring despite having only four races, with some very skilful and determined riding, perhaps Stevie Gilroy of the Falcons winning the tactical battle with some skilful deployment of Mark Lee from reserve, Gavin Kennedy also providing solid backup and surviving a nasty incident when he was forced into the starting gate in the worst crash of the day. While congratulations go to Edinburgh who celebrated their win with drinks blasting off everywhere and no little noise, both teams and must be commended for providing such a thrilling spectacle of cycle speedway racing at it very best. The high drama and quality of the days action almost begs the question? Should it be a play-off every year for the top two in our league racing?

SHEFFIELD 70: James Bunting 14, Matt Parrott 12+1, Niall Morton 12, Luke Morton 11+1, Mick Knowles 9+1, Vicky Brown 6, Ed Morton 5, Sam Haines 1

EDINBURGH 79: Neil Swanson 17+2, Ewan Kennedy 16+1, Marcin Czarkowski 13+1, Gavin Kennedy 12+2, Mark Lee 10+1, Dougie Morgan 8, Paul Kelly 2, John Murphy 1

EDITOR: In answer to the play off question, it’s certainly one that will no doubt trigger a debate around the tracks. Do you think having a play off for the top two (or top 4) teams in the league is a good idea? Email with your views. For what it’s worth, we like the idea!

Edinburgh cilnch victory

Edinburgh cilnch victory (Photo by George Swanson)