MATCH REPORT: Narrow defeat for A&T at Stockport

Astley and Tyldesley suffered a narrow defeat in their opening Northern League Division 1 match of the season on Sunday. Team Green travelled to last year’s league runners-up, Stockport, and put in a determined showing, to go agonizingly close, losing 88-86.

Stockport got off to a maximum 7-2 heat win in heat 1, after Kyle Holland, on his A&T debut, moved at the gate. The home side never surrendered that lead, but A&T snapped away and a 7-3 heat win by Damian Zareba and Ciaran Collins in heat 12 reduced the deficit to 1 point.

The home team immediately banged in a 7-3 from the Jake Read/Devon Campbell pairing to restore the cushion and ran out narrow winners.

Zareba was in brilliant form for A&T, unbeaten by an opponent in his six races, with solid support from Reece Pollitt, Max Evans and Holland. Stockport fielded a solid scoring team and this just gave them the edge, despite Read suffering two machine failures.

Michael Preston 16 (2), Ben Higham 16 (1), Louis Wright 15, Jake Read 14 (1), Devon Campbell 12 (1), Jack Lush 8, Terry Norman 7.

Damian Zareba 23 (1), Reece Pollitt 16, Max Evans 13 (1), Kyle Holland 12, Ciaran Collins 9 (1),Paul Graham 6 (1), Mick Knowles 5, Mark Grantham 2.

Referee – Graham Lush

Stockport fielded an ineligible rider for the Division 2 match, so conceded 20 penalty points. Remarkably, the home team overcame this disadvantage to run out 87-80 winners, the first time A&T have ever lost a match after starting with such a points advantage.

Emily Burgess top scored for A&T in this match. Devon Campbell raced unbeaten for Stockport, with three others dropping a point apiece.

Devon Campbell 18 (2), Jack Lush 17 (2), Michael Preston 17 (2), Louis Wright 17 (2), Daniel Mason 13, Lance McCabe 5.

Emily Burgess 13, Mark Grantham 10 (2), Max Evans 10 (1), Matt Snell 10, Mick Knowles 9, John White 5 (1), Ben Forshaw 3.

Referee – Ben Higham

A&T began their defence of the Division 3 league title, with an emphatic 100-10 win. Emily Burgess top scored in the U13 category, losing just once to team mate John White. Duncan Whalley, on his A&T debut, raced unbeaten in the U10 category.

Jarvis Yates 10.

Duncan Whalley 16, Josh Parkinson 15, Emily Burgess 15, John White 13, Aiden Green 12, Frank White 11, Charlie Burgess 8, Sabrina Evans 6, Jack Murray 4.

Referee – Ben Higham