MATCH REPORT: Stars take 2 wins from 3 matches

Report by Rob Mawhood, Photos by Nicola Banyard

Sheffield edged past Bury by 94-84 in the opening round of North and Scotland League Division One fixtures. Bury are pre-season favourites for the Division One title after acquiring England Internationals Reece Pollitt and Ben Higham during the winter. Both teams were missing star riders, Kris Ramsden and Mike Baldock being absent for Bury while Stars were missing Kielan Burton.
Stars took the lead in heat 1, with a 7-2 from the Morton brothers (Ed and Niall) over Higham after Pollitt received a tapes exclusion. Comets levelled in heat 3 with a 7-2 from Harry Radford and Tom Dunphy over Dariusz Pilas and Kyle Holland. Holland was excluded following a tapes infringement, while Dariusz hit the Bury track when his handle bar grip came loose. Niall teamed up with the flying Pawel Idziorek for another Stars 7-3 in heat 4, putting Sheffield ahead by 21-17 (a lead that would not be relinquished). Radford and Pollitt won heats 5 to 7, but Sheffield maintained the lead and increased it to 42-36 with a third 7-3 race win that featured Niall Morton, in heat 8 as half time was reached. Stars moved ahead by 8 after heat nine, with a 6-4 from Idziorek and Holland, who was made to work extra hard by the impressive Dunphy.
Bury halved the Stars lead in heat 10 with a 7-3 maximum from Pollitt and Danny Taylor. Three drawn heats followed, the last of which (heat 13) changed the match outcome. The Bury pairing of Pollitt and Kaysor Mohammedi were sitting on a 7-3 that would have levelled the scores when Pollitt inexplicably fell on the back straight of the last lap to gift the Stars a 5-5 drawn heat. Stars compounded the slip by taking a 6-4 in heat 14 to go six points ahead. The regulation heats finished with seventh drawn heat, only after some outstanding bike handling from Ed Morton, who three times thwarted a Radford ramming manoeuvre over the four laps. The Stars got their fourth 7 point maximum in heat 16 from Pawel and Dariusz to more or less seal the match points. Radford and Pollitt won heats 17 and 18 to complete a four timer of race wins, both races ended drawn as Sheffield confirmed a 10 point winning start to the season.

Sheffield’s winning Division 1 team


Bury Comets (84) – Reece Pollitt 17, Ben Higham 8, Harry Radford 20+1, Tom Dunphy 9, Danny Taylor 13+1, Eryk Motala 12+2, Kaysor Mohammedi 5, Mark Radford DNR, Bobby Dunphy DNR

Sheffield Stars (94) – Ed Morton 17+3, Niall Morton 19+3, Emily Burgess 7+1, Pawel Idziorek 21+1, Dariusz Pilas 17+1, Kyle Holland 9+2, Wil Banyard 3, Jack Brownell 1, Oliver Banyard DNR.

Referee – Gary Hollingsworth

Sheffield started defence of the Div Two title with a 122-76 victory, helped by Bury conceeding 49 penalty points for use of ineligible riders, Eryk Motala and Harry Radford.
The actual track score ended 76-73 in favour of Bury, in a match that swung backwards and forwards in each teams favour.
There were only three drawn heats in the 15 match contest, with eight races seeing the teams score the maximum 7 points (5-3 in favour of Bury). Sam Stansfield and Wil Banyard both won twice for Sheffield, while Emily Burgess was very unlucky to not get a five ride 20 point maximum score. Her heat 12 victory over the close attentions of Motala and Tom Dunphy was pure class. The maximum though was denied when she slipped her pedals at the start of heat 14. Tom Dunphy topped Bury’s scoring the three race wins. Jayden Hancock (2) along with one each from Radford and Motala led the Bury scoring.

Eryk Motala (Bury)  and Emily Burgess (Sheffield). Showing how close the racing was. 

Sheffield’s victorious Division 2 team


Bury (76) – Bobby Dunphy 5, Mark Radford 9, Harry Radford 15+4, Jayden Hancock 15, Eryk Motala 15+2, Tom Dunphy 17+1.

Sheffield (122) – (73+49) – Oliver Banyard 8+1, Wil Banyard 14, Sam Stansfield 14, Joe Brownell 9+1, Jack Brownell 10+2, Emily Burgess 18+1.

Referee – John Dunphy.

Only three riders lined up for the under 10s and 13s match, Bury comfortable winners by 32-12.
Jayden Hancock won all four races, to finish with 16 point maximum. Oliver pushing hard for the Stars. Bobby Dunphy getting a 16 point maximum for Bury, his points adjusted for being an under 10 to a maximum 16 points.


Bury under 10s – Bobby Dunphy 16
Bury under 13s – Jayden Hancock 16

Sheffield under 13s – Oliver 12.