MATCH REPORT: Stockport make it six titles in a row

Astley & Tyldesley staged their final home match of the season when they took on Stockport in a Northern League fixture at Gin Pit on Sunday.

In the Division 1 match, A&T took an early lead after Chris Eaton was excluded at the gate in heat 1 and were 11-8 up after two races. Race exclusions followed to Reece Pollitt and Lee Phillips in the next two races and Stockport took a lead that they never surrendered.

Damian Zareba turned in a great performance for A&T, starting from the less favourable grids and pulling off some superb passes. His only defeat was at the hands of former British Champion, Terry Norman, in the last heat. Zareba’s best support came from Pollitt and team manager Paul Graham.

It was a hard fought match throughout, but Stockport were solid throughout their line-up. Norman lost only to Zareba in heat 11, with Grand Veteran Brian Eaton unbeaten at reserve. Stockport ran out comfortable winners, 99-76, as they clinched the Northern League Division 1 title for the sixth successive year.

A&T 76
Damian Zareba 18 (1), Paul Graham 11 (1), Reece Pollitt 11, Mark Mulvey 9 (1), Mark Grantham 9, Max Evans 8 (1), Lee Phillips 5 (1), Gareth Paine 5.

Stockport 99
Terry Norman 18 (1), Jack Lush 15 (1), Dylan Radcliffe 13 (3), Ben Higham 13 (2), Jake Read 13, Brian Eaton 12, Chris Eaton 9 (1), Michael Preston 6.

Referee – Mike Hack

Stockport fielded three ineligible riders for the Division 2 match, thereby conceding 57 penalty points. A&T’s youngsters quickly piled up the points necessary to secure the match victory, running out 123-84 winners.

Matt Snell top scored for A&T, making a welcome return to form after an injury hit season, with good support down the line. British u-13 Champion Michael Preston raced to a fine 20 points maximum for Stockport. As always, Stockport’s ineligible riders entered into the spirit of this division, riding with and encouraging their younger opponents.

A&T 123
Matt Snell 15 (2), Mark Grantham 14, Max Evans 12, John White 10 (1), Emily Burgess 6, Charlie Burgess 5, Jack Murray 4.

Stockport 84
Michael Preston 20, Louis Wright 15 (1), Jack Lush 14 (2), Devon Campbell 14 (1), Ben Higham 12 (1), Jake Read 9 (2).

Referee – Bill Phillips

A&T ran out convincing winners in the Division 3 match, easily seeing off Stockport by 134-26. Charlie Burgess and newcomer Bliss Meakin top scored for Team Green, with the others all chipping in with valuable points. A&T remain at the top of the table and will clinch the league title for the third year running if they win their final match at Heckmondwike next Sunday.

A&T 134
Charlie Burgess 13, Bliss Meakin 13, Emily Burgess 12, Jack Murray 11, Jay Jay Meakin 10, John White 10, Kalon Lees 10, Finn Boland 10, Max Evans 9, Matt Snell 9, Frank White 8, Lucy Grantham 8, Jake Walsh 6, Aiden Green 5.

Stockport 26
Devon Campbell 14, Louis Wright 12.

Referee – Catherine White