Morton Horror Crash At Indoors, Sheffield Contribute To Great Racing Weekend

Updated: January 5, 2016

In a case of ‘so near yet so far’ Sheffield riders contributed to a highly entertaining weekend of Indoor racing at this year’s 2015 British Indoor Championships held at Coventry over the weekend.

The events got off to the best possible start with Luke Morton taking the runners up spot in the Veterans final after beating Birmingham’s Paul Timms in a run off after both riders had tied on 18pts. A just reward for all the training put in by Luke at the Concorde Sports Centre over the last few weeks.

Adam Watson, Ed Morton and Niall Morton all qualified for the U16 final with Niall mounted on his new Marcin Symanski custom frame finishing in a run off for the Silver spot, Exeter’s Will Tiddball winning the championship outright. In a tough no holds barred race Niall just failed to get a podium position.

The same riders all qualified for the U19 final which was a great achievement considering that they are all only 16. Unfortunately, events took a turn for the worse when Niall Morton crashed heavily which resulted in a dislocated ankle and a visit to the hospital, at the moment its looking like he could well be out of action for some time as he is now in plaster. Ex Sheffield Elite League rider Jake Read who is a Stockport asset went on to claim the U19 title.


Niall Morton on his way to Hospital.


The Senior Riders Championship was won by past Indoor winner Mark Boaler from Oxford with his team mate Lewis Osbourne taking the runners up position, last year’s champion Ricki Johnson from Birmingham taking third place.


Sunday saw all the team competitions and the U13’s and Ladies Final, Sheffield had an interest in all events. The second semifinal of the Junior event saw Wednesfield, Stockport, Coventry and Sheffield drawn together and from the start it was obvious that Sheffield were content to let Wednesfield win but secure second place over Coventry. The top two teams both qualifying for the final later in the day. Everyone played their part and crucially followed team orders which resulted in race wins for Rich Hudson and James Bunting but importantly Sheffield taking ten second places out of the sixteen heats. Adam Watson put in some superb passes while Ed Morton tactical racing continually thwarted the opposition. With Sheffield already in the final, Sam Haines got a ride from the reserve berth and was up with the action which was no mean feat considering his opponents were much older and at the top of their game.

Wednesfield 48, Sheffield 44, Coventry 35, Stockport 27

The U13 final saw Jack & Joe Brownhill and Sam Haines all involved and once again all contributed to an exciting final. Some confident passes from Jack saw him mixing it well with the other riders while Joe who must have been one of the youngest in the final gave a good account of himself as always. Sam Haines must have come as a shock to some of the other competitors as he quietly got on with the job in hand, piling up the points! With some terrific passes and showing no fear he was soon climbing up the score chart. Having watched Sam in training over the last few weeks this came as no surprise to the Sheffield supporters who were there in abundance to support the riders. As the meeting reached its climax, Sam was tied in third place and a run off was called for. Despite his best efforts Sam just could not overhaul East Parks Josh Wetton so just missed out on the podium. A great effort none the less.

1st Owen Tidball (Exeter), 2nd Louis Wright (Stockport), 3rd Josh Wetton (East Park)


Next up came the Senior riders team semifinal, which was the Junior team with the addition of Ryan Hoyland. What a great meeting this turned out to be with every conceivable twist & turn imaginable and a last heat decider to see if Sheffield could make the final. Birmingham, Poole and Leicester were the opposition and once again the Sheffield tactic was to allow Birmingham to get on with wining and for Sheffield to secure second spot ahead of Leicester who they saw as their main rivals. We had it all crashes, exclusions, controversy but without the dramatics, thankfully, breath taking passes at speeds that would send a Police speed camera into melt down!  As is about par for the course with Sheffield we ended up with a last heat decider, we needed to finish two positions in front of Leicester to force a run off with them, Birmingham already having won the match. The last corner Sheffield’s Ryan Hoyland goes up the inside of Birmingham’s Ricki Johnson, the Sheffield pits erupt as they sense victory. The elation is short lived though as Leicester Craig Marchant follows Hoyland through giving Leicester a one-point cushion and a place in the final. A top meeting with some great racing rode in a terrific spirit, indoor Cycle Speedway at its best.

Birmingham 45, Leicester 40, Sheffield 39, Poole 31

The Ladies final was missing some familiar faces this year but Sheffield’s interest laid with Laura Watson who with brother Adam are back at Sheffield for 2016 and the ever improving Niamh Morton. The racing was intense with some spectacular crashes none more so then Laura who will have more than her fair share of bumps and bruises today. Despite this both Laura & Niamh did well and were always where the action was. As the meeting unfolded last year’s champion Lauren Hookway was leading the pack with Ipswich’s Charlie Jane Herbet, closely followed by Lucy Whitehead from Leicester. With Charlie Jane beating Lauren this forced a run off for second between Lauren and Lucy with Lauren getting the better of Lucy and this is how the meeting finished.

1st Charlie Jane Herbet (Ipswich), 2nd Lauren Hookway (Exeter), 3rd Lucy Whitehead (Leicester)


The Junior Team Final brought together East Park, Ipswich, Sheffield & Wednesfield which proved again to be an outstanding meeting. From the outset it was obvious that Ipswich were the team to beat and to a man all the Sheffield Juniors lifted their game. The intensity of the racing can only be described as full on, we had riders going from 1st to last and via-versa, crashes galore, exclusions and breath taking passing. After five races Sheffield were in second place just four points behind Ipswich however Ipswich were not to be over taken and Sheffield, East Park and Wednesfield got into their own private battle for the runners up spot. With three races left Ipswich were home and dry but any of the others could still grab second, luck seemed to desert Sheffield just at the crucial moment and despite some awesome on track maneuvers both Wednesfield and East Park slipped past us. A run off between East Park and Wednesfield was required to decide second place, which Wednesfield duly won.

Ipswich 46, Wednesfield 38, East Park 38, Sheffield 32

An excellent weekends racing provided by the Coventry Club and our thanks to them and all their helpers for making it happen once again. Niall Morton despite his injury selected the Teams, Shaun Hudson stepped in as Team Manager and Pat Cain kept score as the Team Manager can’t multi task or add up, nothing new there then!! Happy New Year.


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