Season Review 2017

Updated: January 9, 2018


The obvious highlight of the season was the magnificent victory in the Junior Team (under 18) championships, following previous victories for the club in 1972 and 2007 (when it was the under 19’s). Niall, Ed, Adam, Sam and Niamh writing their names in Stars folklore.



Niamh came home with the only Stars podium finish from the Worlds in Australia, with a splendid third in the Girls under 16 Final. Niamh missed out on the Womens final though, Laura ably carrying the Stars colours to a sixth place finish. Ed and Adam rode in the Junior (under 18 final), Ed valiantly finishing in fourth place, losing out in a podium run-off with Aussie under 16 World Champ Jack Norman. Ed did have the record of beating both the Silver and Gold medalists (left to rue a third race fall that cost a podium finish).


Ed and Adam were part of the GB junior squad that claimed a 3-0 whitewash test series win over Australia (both though sat out the final match). The pair teamed up with Brandon Whetton (Wednesfield and World Junior Champion) as England took Bronze in the World Best Pairs. Both were part of the England squad that won the Federation Cup from Australia and Poland, Ed having the privilidge to captain the victorious side. The Womens team also completed a whitewash test series win over Australia, the Lionesses successful by 5-0. Laura (as vice captain) featured in all five matches, while Niamh contributed double figure scores in the third and fifth matches.


Niamh and Luke were the Stars only podium finishers in the British Individual events, Niamh placing 2nd in the Girls under 16 Final while Luke was third in the Vet +50 Final. Niall was best for the Stars in the under 18 (Junior) final, finishing 4th. Ed and Adam tied in 6th place. Three girls lined up in the Womens final, Laura placing 5th with Niamh tied in 7th and Sammi just out of the top 10 in 11th.  Logan had an excellent 4th place in the under 12 Final, with Luke also in the Vet +40 final, where he secured an 8th place finish.


The team finished sixth overall (the win in the Junior/under 18 proving crucial) with the club gaining 4th place in the Womens event, 6th in the under 16 boys and 11th in the Open.


The heart and engine room was ripped out of the League One team, with Vicky, Rich and Joe T quitting and Kyle departing for Astley.  The team dropped from a fourth place finish (7-7 record) in 2016 to finishing fifth (3-9 record) in 2017. Big home wins were achieved against Northumbria and Hull, with the third win being a first ever First team win enjoyed at Edinburgh (over an injury plagued Falcons team). Big defeats were handed out by Stockport (home and away) with the visits to Bury and Northumbria also ending in the opposition racking up a three figure score.  Sam and Niamh saw their race averages drop slightly (but both scored more than 2016, Sam by 52 points). Niall scored one point less than 2016, though Ed more than made up for that statistic by improving his race average by .54 and points by 60. Ed also held the match race title for a couple of matches, winning it from Andy Angell at Hull (when the home star registered a tapes exclusion), defeating Kristian Ramsden at Cookson before relinquishing the crown when he was unable to travel to Northumbria.


As with the League One team, the heart and engine room had been ripped out of the 2016 squad, with Joe T, Vicky, Jon V and Sophie moving on and Ed now a banned rider. The team slipped from having placed third (8-6 record) in 2016 to fourth (10-6 record) in 2017, albeit winning two more matches. The season ending with a run of four successive wins. All the regulars increased their scoring from 2016 (Kielan by a whopping 122 points), with everyone but Luke increasing their race average. The signing of Sammi (from Coventry), promotion for Logan to team racing and the introduction of Nigel (returning after nearly 20 years out of the saddle) contributing to a fine season.


NORTHERN LEAGUE THREE (U-13 individuals)

Kielan went through the entire season unbeaten, the first rider ever to do so.



The Stars success came courtesy of the Watson family. Laura winning the Womens final while Adam completed a remarkable double with the Open and Under 19 titles. Niamh was second in the Womens final as the Stars completed a 1-2, Sammi nearly made it a 1-2-3, but was just squeezed out of the podium in 4th place. Alice gaining 6th place. Luke was another podium finisher, when third in the Vets. The Senior final saw Niall (5th), Ed (9th), Luke 13th and Laura 14th. The under 13 final had Kielan (4th) and Logan (5th), while the riders in the under 16 final were Sam (5th), Niamh/Sammi (tying in 9th) and Kielan in 11th spot.

The Northern KO Cup saw the senior team take fourth spot, while the Junior/Under 19’s finished third.  


The team finished sixth of 8 on the National scene, which included an excellent 4th place finish at the final round at Cookson, which saw the Stars climb above both Exeter and our illustrious Northern rivals Astley on the last day. With several of the Graves Saturday Club contributing to the Stars success.  Individually it was Logan (6th in the U-12, just 8 points of a podium finish) with Jack B in 15th.  Kielan was 10th in the under 14 (after missing one round). Adam won the U-18 round at Cookson, finishing seventh overall after two completed rounds. Ed finished in 13th place from just the Cookson round, placing higher than fifteen other riders (four of whom had more than one round). Sammi was 16th with Niamh 17th in the Girls 12-17 age group. The Club’s volunteers and Cookson circuit received vast praise from the Cycle Speedway community following the National round held at Cookson.


Ed gained his first England Cap, as he joined Adam in the successful England under 18 team that won the Home Internationals at Bury.


Laura, Niamh and Alice competed in the Womens League, with the region finishing runners up to South and South Wales. Ed finished second, with Adam third in the newly developed Elite junior Grand Prix. Ed was victor in the first round at East Park, Adam winning the final round at Astley (a victory that denied Ed the overall title). The Northern round comes to Cookson in 2018. Another new competition was the Battle of Britain, with the four regions racing each other in Junior and Senior test matches. Ed, Niall and Adam were ever presents for the North & Scotland Junior squad, with the trio quite often doubling up in the Senior squad. Cookson successfully staged one of the North & Scotland home legs, and have been asked to stage one again in 2018.


The recent trend of a slide in participants was averted with 44 riders taking part, the under 8’s with 14 being the best represented (mainly due to the Graves Saturday Club). Winners were George (under 8), Kit (under 10), Kielan (under 13), Anna (Women) and Luke (Open).


The Club Championships also saw an increase in participation (it was linked in with the Final Go Ride round), with 24 riders competing. Some new names were added to the list of champions. Jordan (under 6) and Joe H (under 8). Usual suspects claimed the other titles with Joe B (under 10), Kielan (under 13), Sam (under 16), Ed (under 19 and Open), Laura (Women) and Luke (Vets and Clubman) taking home the prizes.


With the tour of Australia at the seasons end, we saw Ed, Adam, Laura and Niamh all receive invites to the various prestigious individual events during the season. Ed was third in the Welsh under 19 Open, second in the Dash Junior trophy and a brilliant winner of the Junior Laurels at Poole. Adam was second in the Laurels and 4th at the Dash. Luke tied in 12th at the vets Dash event. Laura got a brilliant second at the Womens Dash, finishing 5th in the Welsh Open and 7th at the Laurels. Niamh was fourth at both the Welsh Open and Dash, finishing fifth at the Laurels (showing great consistency). Sammi was 13th at the Dash and 15th at the Laurels. 









You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Leave a Reply