MATCH REPORT: A&T take big step towards title

Astley & Tyldesley took a big step towards retaining the Northern League Division 1 title, with a 96-83 win at Stockport on Sunday afternoon(15th July). Racing took place on a hot, sunny afternoon, on a dry, dusty track.

It was a very tight affair early on, with the scores level at 30-30 after heat 6. Then the Pawel Idziorek/ Kyle Holland pair took a 7-3 for A&T, after Jake Read fell in heat 7. A&T held a 4 points lead at the interval.

The visitors’ lead stretched to ten points by heat 12, when a 6-4 to the Idziorek/ Steve Harris pairing over Jack Lush, after another Read fall, in heat 11, was followed by a great 7-3 from outside grids by Reece Pollitt and Kamil Bielica, over the Michael Preston and Devon Campbell pairing.

Stockport hit back in the next race, when Ben Higham dived inside Idziorek on the pits bend and both riders came down. Idziorek was excluded from the re-run and Stockport halved the deficit with a 7-2 win over Ciaran Collins. A&T virtually sealed the match with an excellent 7-3 heat win to Pollitt and Harris over Higham and Lush in heat 15. The Idziorek/ Bielica pair clinched victory for A&T with a 7-3 win in heat 17 over Lush and Mason, with the other two nominated races shared.

Stockport pulled off some passes in the first half to stop A&T from pulling away, but the visitors held on to record their heat advantages in the second half and pull clear for a 96-83 win. Michael Preston was impressive for Stockport, with five race wins, but his only real back up came from Ben Higham, with Jake Read falling twice and failing to win a race.

A&T’s top four of Steve Harris, Reece Pollitt, Kamil Bielica and Pawel Idziorek all impressed, with solid support from the rest of the team. This was A&T’s first ever Division 1 win at Stockport and puts them four points clear at the top of the table, with three matches remaining.

Stockport 83
Michael Preston 22, Ben Higham 16 (3), Jack Lush 12 (1), Jake Read 11 (1), Louis Wright 11, Devon Campbell 5 (1), Lance McCabe 4, Daniel Mason 2.

A&T 96
Steve Harris 19 (2), Reece Pollitt 18, Kamil Bielica 17 (3), Pawel Idziorek 16, Kyle Holland 8 (3), Max Evans 8, Ciaran Collins 7 (1), Paul Graham 3, Mark Grantham dnr, Emily Burgess dnr.

Referee – Graham Lush.

Despite fielding only five riders, Stockport overcame their younger opponents to win the Division 2 match 77-68, with A&T fielding four U13 riders in the main line up. A&T led by 1 point after heat 3, but two successive 7-3 heat wins put the home team in control and they took three more maximum heat wins late on to seal the points. A&T’s only success was a 7-3 win in heat 14.

Both Michael Preston and Max Evans, deployed as a tactical reserve, raced unbeaten. The five Stockport riders all scored well, to take the match points and inflict defending champions A&T’s second defeat of the season.

Stockport 77
Michael Preston 19 (1), Devon Campbell 16 (3), Lance McCabe 16, Louis Wright 15, Daniel Mason 11 (4).

A&T 68
Max Evans 19 (1), Emily Burgess 13, Mark Grantham 9, Tom Morrissey 8, John White 6 (2), Charlie Burgess 6 (2), Cooper Davies 6 (1), Duncan Whalley 1.

Referee – Ben Higham.

A&T recorded a whitewash 112-0 win over Stockport in the Division 3 match. Duncan Whalley raced to a 16 points maximum in the u-10 category, with Tom Morrissey losing once to Charlie Burgess in the u-13 races. This win maintains A&T’s 100% record at the top of the table.

A&T 112
Duncan Whalley 16, Tom Morrissey 15, Aiden Green 14, Charlie Burgess 13, Frank White 12, Lewis Skitterall 12, Freddy Warn 10, Sabrina Evans 8, Lucy Grantham 7, Chloe Warn 5.

Referee – Graham Lush.