Star’s In Freefall As They Remain Pointless In Division 1 & Slip Up In Division 2!!

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Updated: May 26, 2018

Sheffield got no joy as they returned to Northern League racing, crashing to three heavy defeats away at 2017 treble winners Astley and Tyldesley.

It was the worst possible start to the League One match for the Stars, when team captain Ed Morton was excluded from heat one after a first lap crash with Max Evans. Ed remonstrating with the referee out of frustration. The next five heats saw Astley demonstrate their starting prowess, out-gating the Stars to record 7-3 maximum heat wins and charge into a 41-18 lead. Luke Morton broke the sequence with an excellent ride for second place in heat 7, keeping Mick Knowles in third place. Ed Morton gained the first of just two race wins for the Stars in heat 8. Luke followed up his great ride in heat 7 with an even better one in heat 9. This time his second place was earned with an excellent pass on Max Evans. Adam Watson managed to shepherd Steven Webber to a 5-5 drawn race in heat 10. Astley though managed to seal the match points as early as heat 13 after a 6-4 race result from Steve Harris/Emily Burgess took the home team to 82 points. Sheffield’s solitary race advantage came in heat 17, when a 6-4 result from race winner Kielan Burton and Adam Watson, who was kept out of second place by Emily Burgess. A 7-3 maximum in the final race from Steve Harris/Reece Pollitt sealed a 66-113 defeat for Sheffield, a second successive big road loss, which cements the Stars at the bottom of the League. Next up for the Stars is a home fixture against 2016 League champions Edinburgh Falcons, who went second in the league after beating Bury Comets.

Scorers

A & T – Steve Harris 22, max Evans 14+2, Reece Pollitt 20+4, Mick Knowles 9+1, Kyle Holland 12+2, Paul Graham 15+1, Mark Grantham 4, Adam Phillips 12, Emily Burgess 5.

Sheffield – Ed Morton 11, Kielan Burton 13, Steven Webber 10, Luke Morton 14, Adam Watson 11+1, Niamh Morton 7.

The League Two match followed in a similar fashion, Astley stronger and quicker from the start. Sheffield gave debuts to James Morris (13) and Edward Balfour (9), both having impressed in training and BYJL events. The first heat was drawn 5-5, Luke Morton doing an excellent job to assist Steven Webber to get a second place. Astley then knocked in three successive 7-3 maximums to go into a 26-14 lead after four heats. James Morris’s debut ending after a crash in heat 2, which forced him to miss the rest of the match. The Stars then matched their hosts over the next five heats, which featured race wins for Kielan Burton and Luke Morton and a race advantage from Kielan and Logan Perkins. Sheffield were still 12 points in arrears, at 39-51, after heat 9. Astley then showed why they are current champions by gaining a further four 7-3 maximums over the final six heats to seal victory by 89-61. A win that saw the teams swap places in league two, Astley taking over second place as Sheffield dropped to third.

Scorers

A & T – Mark Grantham 18+1, Tom Morrissey 11, John White 9, Max Evans 19+1, Mick Knowles 16+3, Emily Burgess 16+3.

Sheffield – Luke Morton 13+3, Steven Webber 9, James Morris 2, Niamh Morton 11, Kielan Burton 13, Logan Perkins 8+1, Edward Balfour 5+1.

The third defeat of the day came in the League Three match, for under 13’s. This racing favours teams who have an abundance of riders, with each riders individual points score adding to the team total. On this occasion, Sheffield had three riders to the sixteen that Astley were able to put on track. Hence the inevitable score line of Sheffield 40, Astley 155. For the Stars both Edward Balfour and Logan Perkins managed two race wins each on the way to a 14-point score. James Morris adding 12 well-earned points.

 

The day before had seen Sheffield gain second place in both the Little League and BYJL regional third round events staged at their Cookson Park circuit. The result means Sheffield are in second place in both events, behind runaway leaders Astley, and need a good finish in the final regional round (at Hull) for the team to qualify for the National Rounds. A & T riders dominated the day with Aiden Green starting proceedings by taking the Under 8 title. Sheffield rider Charlie Priest, making his debut after just two Grave Bike club appearances and one Go Ride race day, looks an outstanding prospect after claiming third place. He showed great determination and never say die spirit when chasing home the A & T youngsters.  In the same age category, Charlie Mawhood claimed a fifth place finish, missing out on fourth place only on count back. The under 10 winner was Duncan Whalley (A & T), with Edward Balfour finishing a brilliant second for Sheffield. Edward is improving with every match, here losing by only a couple of bikes lengths each time he raced Duncan. A & T again provided the winner for the under 12’s, this time in the sublime racing skills of John White. For the Stars we had Logan Perkins finish in second spot, which he tends to do when John is racing. Joe Brownell ended up with fifth place after an unfortunate tapes disqualification ruined his chances of making the GP A Final. It was Sheffield’s turn to dominate in the under 14 category, Kielan Burton, Jack Brownell and James Morris making it a Stars 1-2-3. This was Kielan’s third successive GP victory, he will go to Hull confident of making it a ‘full house’. The Girls event was won by Emily Burgess (A & T, obviously), from Chloe Warn, also of Team Green. The final category was the under 18’s, which provided some excellent racing despite the dry and dusty conditions. Devon Campbell (Stockport) ending up the victor after some tremendous scraps with Ciaran Collins (A & T). Steven Webber was the Stars sole representative, finishing in fifth place.

 

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