MATCH REPORT: Manchester League Individual Finals at Stockport

Report by Alan Taylor

The first of three Wednesday evening Manchester League Individual Championship events took place at Stockport with the Under 10, Under 16 and Veterans titles being raced for. The predicted afternoon showers never materialised so the track was well watered before racing began at 7.00pm with the Under 10s event.


Five riders from Bury and three from Astley made up the eight rider field and it was the first three races that gave us an indication of how the match would unfold. Bury’s Harry Dunford beat his younger brother, Charlie, in heat one before U10 Grand Prix champion Bobby Dunphy (Bury) led from the start to win heat two ahead of his Bury club mate Alex Lees and
A&T’s Thomas Smith. George Keeble (Bury) took the win from gate four in heat three beating A&T’s Levi Edwards and Alex
Lawless. Those three race winners met in an all Bury heat four and it was Bobby Dunphy who came out on top to signal his intentions of trying to add the Individual title to his Grand Prix title as he beat George Keeble and Harry Dunford. Levi Edwards (A&T) joined the front runners with a win in heat five over Bury’s Alex Lees before A&T’s Alex Lawless beat Thomas Smith and Charlie Dunford as the match reached the half way stage.
A win for Harry Dunford in heat seven, beating Alex Lees and Alex Lawless, kept him in contention whilst wins to George Keeble and Bobby Dunphy in the next two races looked to all but settle the way the top two places at least were going to be decided. In one of the best races of the night, A&T’s Levi Edwards led from the start in heat ten with Bury’s Harry Dunford in hot pursuit. The Bury rider made several attempts to overtake but each time Edwards had just enough speed to hold on to the lead, until the last lap that is, when, with the effects of having two races on the trot beginning to take its toll, Dunford managed to take the lead and score the four points that would give him third place overall. Dunphy and Keeble each won their last races to secure first and second places overall. Trophies to the top three riders were presented by match referee Graham Lush.

1st Bobby Dunphy (Bury) 16 pts, 2nd George Keeble (Bury) 15, 3rd Harry Dunford (Bury) 14
Levi Edwards (A&T) 13, Alex Lees (Bury) 12, Alex Lawless (A&T) 11, Thomas Smith (A&T) 10, Charlie Dunford (Bury) 9.


With just three entrants in each of the other two evenings events it was decided to run them both
concurrently. Steady rain started to fall just before racing was about to start but that didn’t deter the three under
16’s as they produced four entertaining races. Bury’s Harry Radford used his speed and age advantage to win all four heats but A&T’s Charlie Burgess and Duncan Whalley chased hard in every race with no more than a couple of bike lengths
separating the three of them when they crossed the finishing line in three out of the four races.
Duncan Whalley looked set to spoil Radford’s maximum hopes when he took advantage of Radford and Burgess tangling on the first lap of the final heat and raced away into the lead.​ Radford was in no mood to settle for second place and chased after Whalley until, on the last lap, he managed to overtake the Astley youngster to keep his maximum hopes intact.

1st Harry Radford (Bury) 16 pts, 2nd Charlie Burgess (A&T) 11, 3rd Duncan Whalley (A&T) 9.

The Veteran’s event went as expected with Stockport’s Terry Norman winning his four races ahead
of the chasing Bury pair of Rob Lees and Mark Radford who, despite their relative inexperience, gave
a good account of themselves and were never far behind at the finishing line as all four races saw
the same finishing order.

1st Terry Norman (Stockport) 16 pts, 2nd Rob Lees (Bury) 12, 3rd Mark Radford (Bury) 8.