MATCH REPORT: Sheffield inflict further woe on Hull

This Northern League basement battle between Sheffield Stars and Hull took place on a dry and dusty Cookson bowl.

Sheffield maintained their unbeaten home start in League One with a 104-76 victory, leaving Hull still looking for their first victory and putting some daylight between the Stars and the points-less duo of Hull and Northumbria Vikings.

Sheffield started strongly, Niall Morton holding off Nathan Everett while Laura Watson took third place with Jack Lister falling on the exit of turn 2 while chasing hard.

The Stars then got the first of five 7-3 maximums from the potent Ed Morton/Adam Watson pairing. Josh Bellis sped from the tapes to win heat 3, with Andy Angell unable to catch Sam Haines after being held up for a nearly two laps by Luke Morton. Andy slipping slightly in the spot where Jack Lister fell.

Heat 4 had both Adam Watson and a very tentative Jack Lister again slip in the same spot. This led a few minutes extra brushing to clear the offending area. Once the action started again there were no further slips by any riders.

Hull got their second (but last) 6-4 advantage in heat 6. Josh Bellis making another
stunning start, but Niall Morton rode the perfect race to keep Andy Angell in third spot.

Everett and David Cooper won the next two races to keep the gap at 8 points. The match’s pivotal race came in heat 9, with Adam Watson/Ed Morton getting a big 7-3 over Andy Angell/Josh Bellis. Ed Morton rode a perfect first bend from grid 4, speeding past the other three down the back straight and away for another race win. Behind Adam and Andy were having a battle royal for second spot.

Adam held the advantage for one lap, before Andy made the surge into turn three of lap 2. Just at the moment of contact Adam pulled away and dropped back inside, accelerating away down the home straight with Andy in hot pursuit. Andy got into position to try another pass entering turn 1 of the last lap. This is where it all went wrong for Andy, not just this race but also the complete match.

He turned sharply to make an inside pass with the biking locking up solidly and buckling the back wheel to the point of no return. Therefore, the teams went into the interval with Sheffield leading by 51-39.

The second half followed in much the same vain, Nathan Everett and Josh Bellis constantly keeping the Sheffield riders on their toes. David Cooper won heat 14, but the Stars were always filling the minor placings.

Laura Watson made a determined ride in heat 17, joining Niall Morton for the Stars final 7-3 of the match. Ed Morton was the obvious stand out for Sheffield with an unbeaten score, while all the other riders played their part (Sheffield only ran two last places over the 18 heats).

Nathan Everett and Josh Bellis were outstanding for Hull, with David Cooper managing two race wins. Andy Angell’s nightmare match saw him run four last places. With his number one bike out of commission after that first half accident, he was forced onto borrowed machinery in the second half. The first one he tried in heat 12 had him struggling to turn left, not getting any lean on the corners. With the match out of reach he came out on Sheffield’s 24” junior bikes in heats 15 and 18.

Heat 15 was going well, too well in fact as he cornered superbly out of turn three on the second lap and ran into the back of Niall Morton. The legs though gave up in heat 18 as he came out of turn 1 on the first lap with the prospect of chasing down the superfast Ed Morton and Adam Watson.

Niall Morton 21, Laura Watson 12+3, Adam Watson 16+2, Ed Morton 23+1, Luke Morton 14+4, Sam Haines 18, Niamh Morton DNR, Kielan Burton DNR, Jack Brownell DNR

HULL 76 
Nathan Everett 20, Jack Lister 6, David Cooper 14, Dave Lister 8, Andy Angell 8, Josh Bellis 20, Katie Greaves DNR, Lillie O’Neill DNR

Ref – Rob Mawhood​

Sheffield also took the match points in League Two with an 89-55 victory.

Another all-round team effort had the Stars run only one last place in the 15 races, with each team member recording a race win (including 9-year-old Joe Brownell – youngest Sheffield rider to win a League Two race, taking that honour from his brother Jack who won a race last year aged 10).

Josh Bellis continued his fine afternoon, racing to a 20 point maximum score. Sam Haines, Sammi Marsh, Laura Watson and Kielan Burton all lost just to the flying Bellis.

The stand out race was heat 14 as Sheffield’s youngsters Jack Brownell and Logan Perkins hunted down Hull’s veteran Dave Lister, both passing on the final lap (as Dave’s legs finally gave up in what was his fifteenth race of the afternoon – including re-runs).

Hull’s Jack Lister also completed an afternoon of love/hate relationship with the Cookson Track. Having fallen twice in the first match the last thing he needed was a heavy spill in his first race, but that’s what happened. He then scored a big win in heat 7, but again fell heavily in heat 9. Jack then had to sit out his last race while nursing his injuries.

Hull’s loss keeps them rooted to the bottom of the table, Sheffield moving up a place after Glasgow lost at Stockport.

Sam Haines 10, Kielan Burton 12+3, Niamh Morton 13+3, Jack Brownell 13+1, Sammi Marsh 12+3, Laura Watson 14+1, Logan Perkins 10+1, Joe Brownell 5, Luke Morton DNR.

Josh Bellis 20, Blank at No.2, Lillie O’Neill 7, Jack Lister 8, Katie Greaves 7+1, Dave Lister 13.

Ref – Dave Shoat

Sheffield completed the hat trick of wins, with the formality of a 40-0 victory in League Three (Hull being unable to field any under 13 riders). Kielan Burton maintained his perfect record by winning all four heats, two of which where he had to fight through from third place. Kielan now has 16 wins from 16 races in League 3, his target is to try a overhaul James Bunting’s record (which was 59 wins from 60 races back in 2013).

Kielan Burton 16, Jack Brownell 11, Logan Perkins 9, Joe Brownell 4.