MATCH REPORT: Hat-trick for A&T

Astley & Tyldesley have won the North & Scotland Regional Play-off Final for the third successive year. Team Green saw off a strong challenge from an Edinburgh side, which pushed them all the way, to win by 7 points.

As Division 1 champions, A&T had the benefit of home track advantage and they made it count early on, winning three of the opening B grade races. Edinburgh top scored from their grid 1s in the first round of A grade races. After heat 8, A&T led on 25, from Edinburgh on 24, Bury on 18 and Hull on 13. The next round of races saw Edinburgh’s B grade riders off grid 1s and they moved into a 39-37 lead over A&T. Back came A&T, as their A grade riders won all four of their grid 1s, although Edinburgh kept in touch off their grid 4s, as two Hull riders collected gate exclusions in this round of races. At the halfway stage the scores were: A&T 53 Edinburgh 48 Bury 36 Hull 21.

Edinburgh hit back in the next round of B grade races, with two last places to A&T’s junior reserves. A&T were dismayed that heat 19 wasn’t stopped after Matt Snell ended up in the fence on the back straight, after clashing with Edinburgh’s Neil McPherson. This brought the scores back to 62-61 in A&T’s favour at the end of heat 20. A&T’s A grade riders went off grid 2 against Edinburgh’s grid 3 in the next round of races, and after 24 heats the scores were A&T 74 Edinburgh 71 Bury 55 Hull 38.

The match was really decided in the next round of races. A&T’s B grade riders went off grid 1 and won all four heats, including two wins by junior reserve Matt Snell. Edinburgh’s Craig Newsome collected a gate exclusion in heat 28, as A&T moved into a 90-79 lead, with just four races remaining. A&T’s A grade riders were off the unfavourable grid 4s for the last round of races. A great gate by Pawel Idziorek saw him win heat 30, from Edinburgh’s Ed Morton, to clinch the overall match victory for A&T.

This was a great team effort by an Astley & Tyldesley side that had to dig deep to defeat a determined Edinburgh team that pushed them hard all the way. After a season ravaged by illness and injury, A&T’s Ciaran Collins turned in a terrific performance to record a 16 points maximum in the B grade races. In the A grade races, Pawel Idziorek lost only to Edinburgh’s Mikey Hewitson in heat 21, who in turn lost only to A&T’s Reece Pollitt in heat 15, which was the fastest time of the day, 41.40 seconds.

A&T will now face Coventry, Ipswich and Poole in the CS National Cup Final, at Gin Pit, in a fortnight’s time.

The victorious Astley & Tyldesley team

Cycle Speedway Cup – North & Scotland Play-off Final

Astley & Tyldesley 100 Edinburgh 93 Bury 70 Hull 53

As – Pawel Idziorek 15, Steve Harris 12, Reece Pollitt 12, Tomek Wlodarczyk 11.
Bs – Ciaran Collins 16, Kyle Holland 14, Mark Grantham 6, Mick Knowles 3.
Reserves – Matt Snell 10, Emily Burgess 1.

As – Mikey Hewitson 15, Ed Morton 12, Jake Slight 11, Niall Morton 8.
Bs – Neil McPherson 13, Lewis Foxley 12, Jason Keith 11, Craig Newsome 11.

As – Kaysar Mohammadi 12, Kris Ramsden 8, Neil Howarth 6, Adam Turnbull 6.
Bs – Danny Taylor 13, Harry Radford 9, Eryk Motala 9, Steve Mann 3.
Reserve – Dawar Mohammadi 4.

As – Andy Angell 10, Nathan Everett 10, David Cooper 5, Jack Lister 4.
Bs – Matt Eglen 8, Frank Auffret 6, Dan Teal 5, Regan Stubbs 5.

Referee – Graham Lush (Stockport).