MATCH REPORT: A&T win remarkable match

Report by Mike Hack

Astley & Tyldesley welcomed Bury to the Gin Pit Raceway for a set of North & Scotland League derby matches on Sunday.

The Division 1 match was a truly remarkable event. A&T manager Steve Harris made his comeback from a broken wrist sooner then planned, to compensate for missing riders. The Bury pair of Kris Ramsden and Harry Radford took a 7-3 over Matt Snell and Emily Burgess in heat 1. Two more heat wins extended Bury’s lead to ten points after heat 5, a lead that the visitors still held after heat 7. However, A&T edged back into the match, with four heat wins out of five, to reduce the deficit to two points after 10. A Bury 7-3 in heat 11 was followed by three successive heat wins by A&T, to take the lead for the first time in the match, 70-68, after heat 14. Bury took a 6-4 in heat 15, to level the scores, going into the final three nominated races. Heat 16 was shared, before a dramatic heat 17 effectively settled the match. Bury’s Danny Taylor led from the tapes, but Harris passed him on the third lap, with Mark Grantham following through. Taylor regained 2nd place, after Grantham slipped, before the riders clashed on the back straight last time round, as Grantham tried to go round a tiring Taylor. The resulting clash saw the Bury rider excluded for forcing his opponent off the track. This put A&T five points up going into the last race. Reece Pollitt sped away from grid one, before both Ramsden and Harry Radford fell off in separate incidents, as they made desperate attempts to pass Pollitt. Charlie Burgess took full advantage to join his team mate for a 7-3 heat win and seal a 93-84 win for A&T.

A&T looked a well beaten side early on, when they trailed Bury by ten points. However, Steve Harris inspired the most unlikely of comebacks, as A&T’s superior fitness paid off in the second half of the match, with some Bury riders visibly tiring. Even so, a draw looked the most likely outcome with just two races to go, before the last two dramatic races. Reece Pollitt top scored for A&T, losing only to Harry Radford in heat 4. Reece also recorded the fastest time of the day, 43.16, in heat 8.

North & Scotland League Division 1 (North West Group) match result

Astley & Tyldesley 93 Bury 84

A&T: Reece Pollitt 22 (1), Matt Snell 20, Steve Harris 15 (1), Charlie Burgess 13 (1), Mark Grantham 11 (1), Emily Burgess 10, Duncan Whalley 2.

Bury: Kris Ramsden 18 (2), Harry Radford 17, Eryk Motala 16 (2), Adam Turnbull 15 (1), Danny Taylor 10, Mark Radford 7, Tom Dunphy 1, Steve Mann dnr.

Referee – Chaz Whalley.

Bury raced to a convincing 85-65 win over a young A&T team in the Division 2 match. Eryk Motala and Harry Radford were a class above their opponents, with Eryk racing unbeaten and Harry sacrificing his maximum chances to shepherd home young partner George Keeble in the last race. Mark Radford raced unbeaten after a first race last place. Duncan Whalley and Charlie Burgess were best for A&T, with race wins, a feat also matched by Harriet Belt in heat 9.

North & Scotland League Division 2 (North West Group) match result

Astley & Tyldesley 65 Bury 85

A&T: Duncan Whalley 14 (1), Charlie Burgess 14 (1), Owen Simcock 9 (1), Harriet Belt 9, Oscar Belt 8 (2), Lucy Grantham 8, Myles Grantham 3.
Bury: Eryk Motala 17 (3), Mark Radford 17, Harry Radford 15 (4), Tom Dunphy 14, Steve Mann 9, Bobby Dunphy 5 (1), Sam Dunphy 4, George Keeble 4.

Referee – Chaz Whalley.

For the first time ever, since the league’s inception in 2013, Astley & Tyldesley lost a Division 3 match at home. Despite 16 points maximum scores from Oscar Belt and Duncan Whalley in the u-10 and u-13 categories respectively, A&T slipped to a 51-49 defeat, against a solid scoring Bury side. Newcomers Tomasz Polamska and George Keeble provided solid support to the three regular Dunphy brothers.

North & Scotland League Division 3 (North West Group) match result

Astley & Tyldesley 49 Bury 51

A&T: Oscar Belt 16, Duncan Whalley 16, Myles Grantham 7, Harriet Belt 6, Thomas Smith 4.
Bury: Tom Dunphy 13, George Keeble 12, Bobby Dunphy 11, Tomasz Polamska 9, Sam Dunphy 6.
Referee – Chaz Whalley.