A ‘Humber’ Bridge To Far For Sheffield As Hull Win Knockout Cup Final

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Updated: July 4, 2018

Sheffield Stars belied their current league position to make qualification for the Northern League Senior KO Cup Final at the Hessle Raceway, Hull. The Stars lined up in the second semi-final, in the knowledge that Hull and league leaders Astley had progressed from the first semi-final (Bury Comets being the team eliminated). In opposition were Stockport (Cup holders and second in the league) and Edinburgh Falcons (currently third in the table).  Sheffield gained the upper hand when Ed and Niall Morton scored a 7-3 race win over Jason Keith/Dan Wharrier (Edinburgh) in heat 4. A non-finisher for Devon Campbell in heat 2 and a tapes exclusion for Jake Read in heat 6 was hampering the cup holder’s progress. The Jake Read/Michael Preston scored 7-3 race wins over the Edinburgh pairings in heats 8 and 11. Coupled with a disqualification for the Stars Adam Watson in heat 10 (when Edinburgh pair of Jake Slight/Neil McPherson scored the maximum seven point score) and Stockport were all set to go through and defend their title. However, a dramatic last race saw Devon Campbell excluded and Adam Watson beat Ben Higham to leave both Sheffield and Stockport on 40 points. A run-off was required, the winner would take their team through to contest the final with the loser going home. Adam Watson, from grid 2, defeated Jake Read (grid 4) to knock the holders out of the Cup.

Scorers

SHEFFIELD STARS (40) – Ed Morton 12+1, Niall Morton 10+3, Adam Watson 10+1, Luke Morton 6, Laura Watson 2.

EDINBURGH FALCONS (36) – Jake Slight 11+1, Neil McPherson 9+1, Jason Keith 8+1, Dan Wharrier 8+1.

STOCKPORT (40) – Jake Read 10+2, Michael Preston 13, Ben Higham 15, Devon Campbell 1, Louis Wright 1.

Sheffield got off to the worst possible start in the Final, scoring only 8 points in their first three races. Ed Morton and Adam Watson possibly suffering from fatigue, both were now into their third match of the day. When Adam Watson was excluded from heat 7, Sheffield had now scored only half as many points as both Astley and Hull. Heats 9 and 10 saw Sheffield regain some pride and throw open the final. Firstly, Ed Morton gained the Stars only race winner, Sheffield took a 6-3 over Hull’s Nathan Everett (Adam Stephenson excluded at the tapes).  Then Adam Watson rode a great assist with big sister Laura, relegating Max Evans (Astley) to last place. Andy Angell (Hull) won heat 11 keeping the home team in the hunt. Adam Stephenson/Nathan Everett took the maximum seven points in the final heat to leave Hull and Astley level on 43 points, Sheffield back in third with 29. Andy Angell (a three time British Champion) made no mistake from grid 2 to defeat Reece Pollitt in the race off and give Hull their first ever victory in the KO Cup (fittingly really as Hull outscored Astley 22-17 in head to head races.

Scorers

SHEFFIELD STARS (29) – Ed Morton 8, Niall Morton 8+1, Adam Watson 5+1, Luke Morton 3, Laura Watson 5.

ASTLEY & TYLDESLEY (43) – Pawel Idziorek 13+1, Kyle Holland 7+1, Steve Harris 10+1, Reece Pollitt 12+2, Max Evans 1.

HULL (43) – Andy Angell 11+1, Josh Bellis 10, Adam Stephenson 9+1, Nathan Everett 13.

 

The junior final was the most dramatic of the day, Stockport eventually coming through to win their seventh KO Cup final. All four teams named strong line-ups, with holders Bury Comets looking for a third successive victory. The first set of four races ended with Bury and Sheffield level on 11 points, race wins for Ed Morton, Adam Watson (Sheffield), Devon Campbell (Stockport) and Ciaran Collins (Astley). Not much changed in the second set of four races, victories for Kaysor Mohammedi (Bury), Adam Watson (Sheffield) and Ciaran Collins/Max Evans (Astley). At the interval, Bury led on 21, with Sheffield on 20 and Stockport and Astley on 19. Sheffield moved into the lead with Ed Morton and Adam Watson winning the next two races, the Stars now on 28. Bury were on 26, Astley 23 and Stockport back in fourth on 21. This is when the drama kicked in. Sheffield running out of steam as they scored only 9 points over the last six races, a second place each for Kielan Burton and Adam Watson (his one loss in the match). Ed Morton’s exclusion from heat 15 costing Sheffield dearly. The dramatic change around over the last six races saw Stockport score 22 points out of a possible 24 through race wins for Louis Wright, Daniel Mason, Devon Campbell and Michael Preston (2). The Cheshire side ending up with victory by a comfortable three points. Bury did enough to hold onto runners-up spot. With Astley winning the bronze medals after Ciaran Collins defeated Ed Morton in the third place race off.  

Scorers  

STOCKPORT (43) Louis Wright 10, Daniel Mason 9, Devon Campbell 13, Michael Preston 11.

BURY (40) – James Elston 10, Kaysor Mohammedi 13, Louis Turner 7, Eryk Motala 6, Harry Radford 4.

ASTLEY & TYLDESLEY (37) – Tom Morrissey 6, Max Evans 13, Emily Burgess 5, Ciaran Collins 13.

SHEFFIELD (37) – Ed Morton 10, Adam Watson 15, James Morris 4, Kielan Burton 8.

 

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