MATCH REPORT: Stars take 3 wins out of 3 over Comets

Report by Rob Mawhood, Photos by Nicola Banyard

Sheffield Stars concluded their 2022 North & Scotland season the same way it had started, with victories in all three North & Scotland League matches. The three wins over Bury Comets replicating the three wins over Hull back in March.

This was also the final home match for Luke and Emily Morton, who begin a new chapter in 2023 when they move to Wrexham (North Wales). Both have given 15 years loyal service to Sheffield and the Northern League and will be difficult to replace.

Sheffield were missing Kyle Holland and the injured Lizzie Rigley, Sam Stansfield and Jack Brownell coming in to the team as replacements. Bury were without Kristian Ramsden.

Sheffield had to come from behind for the 93-87 victory, a win that placed them second to Astley over the season.

Bury started brightly, having two maximum 7-3 race results in the opening five heats (both featured Harry Radford) to lead 42-38 at the half time interval. A third 7-3, this time from Tom Dunphy/Mike Baldock extended the Comets lead to 49-41. Sheffield got back into the fixture with successive heat wins in heats 11 and 12, taking the lead (76-74) for the first time with a 7-3 from Ed and Niall Morton in heat 15 (the last race before the nominated heats. Heat 16 was a drawn heat, Kielan Burton winning for the Stars with Mark Radford/Tom Dunphy taking the minor placings. Sheffield got their fourth 7-3 maximum in heat 17 from Niall Morton/Jack Brownell to virtually seal the league points. Ed Morton won heat 18 from Harry Radford/Mike Baldock to ensure Stars got the two league points.

The match sealing race win by Ed Morton in heat 18

Ed and Kielan finished the season tied on 139 points for the Stars top scorer. Danny Taylors score for Bury saw him go above Kristian Ramsden as the Comets top scorer in Division One, his two bonus points taking him up to second in the overall averages (only Stars Kyle Holland has had more bonus points in 2022).


Sheffield Stars (93) – Niall Morton 19, Laura Watson 13+1, Ed Morton 20+1, Jack Brownell 11+1, Sam Stansfield 6, Kielan Burton 21+1, Patrick O’Shea 3+1.

Bury Comets (87)– Danny Taylor 15+2, Eryk Motola 12+1, Harry Radford 16+4, Tom Dunphy 17+1, Mark Radford 11, Mike Baldock 16+2, Bobby Dunphy DNR, George Keeble DNR.

Referee – Luke Morton

With Heckmondwike big winners at Astley on the final day of league fixtures. Sheffield went into the Division Two match knowing that only a win would seal the Northern Area title and put them in a play-off with Scottish winners Fife Revolution. Bury were hampered from the start with points deducted for use of an ineligible rider (Harry Radford 25) and guest (Toby Darlington 5) as they had just four registered riders. The Stars winning 86-63 on the track (86-33 after adjustments). Sheffield gained six maximum 7-3 race wins over the 15 heats, with each Stars rider either having a race
victory, or assisting in one (including debut rider Robin Darlington). Wil Banyard lost only to Harry Radford, his 18 point score making him the only Sheffield rider to score over 100 points in the season. Harry Radford and Tom Dunphy notched three race wins each for the Comets, Tom also seeing the season out as the leading Bury scorer as his total took him over three figures.

Sheffield’s Division 2 team


Sheffield Stars (86) – Jack Brownell 9, Oliver Banyard 13+3, Wil Banyard 18+1, Sam Stansfield 13+2, Laura Watson 11+2, Patrick O’Shea 16+2, Robin Darlington 6.​

Bury Comets (63-30) 33 – Mark Radford 12, George Keeble 6, Tom Dunphy 15, Bobby Dunphy 9+1, Harry Radford 16+1, Toby Darlington (Guest) 5.

Referee – Ed Morton

Stars won the Division Three fixture by 53-27, overtaking Hull to take runners up spot to Astley in the Division Three League. Bury won the under 10’s, with Bobby Dunphy on maximum form, finishing the season unbeaten in 32 races and as the leading scorer in the under 10’s. Sheffield were unopposed in the under 13’s, winning 40-0, Oliver Banyard completed a 16 point maximum score, and like Bobby finishes the season as the highest scorer in Division Three with 118 points.


Under 13’s – Sheffield Stars – Oliver Banyard 16, Robin Darlington 12, Toby Darlington 7, Danny
Cowley 5.

Under 10’s – Sheffield Stars – Eddie Owalabi-O’Shea 9, Charlie Taylor 4. Bury Comets – Bobby
Dunphy 16, George Keeble 7.

Referee – Niall Morton