MATCH REPORT: Northern Fours & Junior League Round 1

On a cold, but dry day, Heckmondwike staged the opening round of the Northern Fours & Junior League series. It was a welcome return to official Regional racing at Firth Park, since the club withdrew from league racing in 2016.

In the Fours League match, defending champions Stockport led Astley & Tyldesley by a single point at the end of the first round of races. The lead stretched to 2 points at the half way stage. However, A&T drew level at the end of the third round of races, after Jake Read failed to finish in heat 13. Heat 19 effectively decided the outcome, as Read came through to take the race win and Steve Harris fell whilst trying to regain second place from Neil Howarth.
Stockport saw out the match, to finish 3 points ahead of A&T.

No riders raced unbeaten, the top scorers were Dave Hemsley, who lost only to a classic Steve Harris first bend cut back in heat 12, and Reece Pollitt,
who lost only to Hemsley in the re-run of heat 16, after leading the first run.

Northern Fours League Round 1 result
Stockport 52 Astley & Tyldesley 49 Hull 44 Bury 41 Heckmondwike 25 Sheffield 24.
Stockport: Devon Campbell 14, Louis Wright 13, Ben Higham 13, Jake Read 12.
A&T: Reece Pollitt 15, Pawel Idziorek 13, Steve Harris 12, Matt Snell 6, Mick Knowles 3.
Hull: Dave Hemsley 15, Nathan Everett 11, Jack Lister 10, David Cooper 6, Matt Eglen 2.
Bury: Kaysar Mohammadi 13, Adam Turnbull 10, Neil Howarth 7, Danny Taylor 6, Eryk Motala 5.
Heckmondwike: Darren Kent 10, Frank Auffret 7, Justin Naylor 5, Steven Webber 3.
Sheffield: Kielan Burton 7, Ed Morton 7, Niamh Morton 4, Laura Watson 4, James Morris 2.
Referee – Graham Lush.

There was a good turn out of riders for the younger age categories, with numbers dropping for the older categories. Defending champions Astley & Tyldesley took the overall team win in the Junior League, finishing just two points clear of Sheffield.

Sheffield’s Edward Balfour and A&T’s Aiden Green both scored maximums in the u-10s match. Stockport’s Ewan Ferreira and Sheffield’s Kielan Burton raced unbeaten in the u-13 and u-16 matches respectively. Bury’s Eryk Motala and A&T’s Matt Snell both scored maximums in the u-19s and Division 2 matches.
Sheffield’s Laura Watson top scored in the Women’s match, losing only to A&T’s Emily Burgess last time out. A&T’s Reece Pollitt won all four races in the stand alone Division 1 match (not part of the Junior League scores).

Northern Junior League Round 1 result
Astley & Tyldesley 138 Sheffield 136 Bury 53 Hull 41 Stockport 24 Heckmondwike 22.
Individual Grands Prix results
u-10s: Edward Balfour (Sheffield) 16, Aiden Green (A&T) 16, Charlie Priest (Sheffield) 14, Freddie Cox (A&T) 14, Sam Dunphy (Bury) 13, Harriet Belt (A&T) 11,
Kacey Bennett (Hull) 11, Oscar Belt (A&T) 10, Oliver Banyard (Sheffield) 9, Levi Edwards (A&T) 9, Erin Balfour (Sheffield) 9, Bobby Dunphy (Bury) 7,
Aliesha Green (A&T) 6, Ada Cox (A&T) 6.
u-13s: Ewan Ferreira (Stockport) 16, Duncan Whalley (A&T) 12, Charlie Burgess (A&T) 11, Tom Dunphy (Bury) 11, Alfie Sutherland (Sheffield) 11,
Owen Simcock (A&T) 7, Lewis Skitterall (A&T) 7, Tyler Mills (Hull) 4.
u-16s: Kielan Burton (Sheffield) 16, James Morris (Sheffield) 12, Harry Hulme (Stockport) 8.
u-19s: Eryk Motala (Bury) 16, Steven Webber (Sheffield) 12, William Alvey (Hull) 8.
Division 2: Matt Snell (A&T) 16, Darren Kent (Heckmondwike) 14, Luke Morton (Sheffield) 14, Matt Eglen (Hull) 11, Justin Naylor (Heckmondwike) 8, Andy Knowles (Hull) 7, Steve Mann (Bury) 6.
Women: Laura Watson (Sheffield) 15, Emily Burgess (A&T) 13, Niamh Morton (Sheffield) 8.
Division 1: Reece Pollitt (A&T) 16, Neil Howarth (Bury) 12.
Referee – Kyle Holland.