Location: Sheffield Cycle Speedwa, Cookson Park, Off Halliwell Crescent
Event: 12 August 2012
The Sheffield CRA Rockets enjoyed a first ever Northern League win over Edinburgh since racing returned to the Cookson Park circuit in 2010.
The 98-82 success was helped by a rare Northern League outing from Jamie Brown, who showed all of his Elite League experience and calmness in a polished performance.
The first two heats were drawn but then Sheffield took the lead with in heat 3 as Brown passed both Douglas Morgan and Neil McPherson to join Richard Hudson for the first maximum score. Heat 4 saw a great clash between Mikey Hewitson and Radek Handke, with Hewitson coming out on top, much to the delight of the visiting supporters. Sheffield held a comfortable 40-30 lead after seven races and looked set for a three figure score. But Edinburgh hit back superbly with well worked maximum scores in heats 8 and 10.
Heat 8 saw Hewiston execute the perfect first bend to drift out the Sheffield pair of Louis German and Liam Webster with Mark Lee in the right place to speed through on the inside. Hewitson then rode a brilliant four laps to keep the Sheffield pair behind. Then heat 10 again saw some great team riding by Edinburgh as Chris Lee and Callum Slight kept out the efforts of Richard Hudson and Luke Morton to reduce the deficit to just four points at 52-48.
The next two races were both tactically ridden as Edinburgh settled for drawn heats by allowing Handke and Brown race wins. Sheffield then nosed further ahead as German was able to pass the tiring Callum Slight in heat 14 for a home team 6-4, Webster won heat 15 in another Sheffield 6-4 and the lead was back at ten points with just three races remaining. Hewitson completed a fine afternoons racing by winning heat 16, but the drawn heat effectively sealed the win for Sheffield. With Edinburgh already having ridden, and won, at Heckmondwike earlier in the day fatigue showed in the last two races as Sheffield finished strongly taking a last race maximum from Hudson and Webster to give the final score rather flatteringly in Sheffield’s favour as the racing had been closer than the eventual sixteen point winning margin.
Sheffield CRA Rockets: Radek Handke 19, Jamie Brown 17+2, Liam Webster 14+2, Louis German 13, Richard Hudson 12, Kyle Holland 10+1, Luke Morton 7, Sandra Tamborska 6+1.
Edinburgh: Jake Slight 16, Mikey Hewitson 15+3, Mark Lee 14, Neil Mcpherson 12, Chris Lee 10+1, Callum Slight 8+1, Douglas Morgan 4, Ewan Tulloch 3.
The teams lined up for the Combination matches knowing the results could probably decide who would finish runners up behind runaway leaders Bury. The ever improving Matt Parrott shot from the tapes to win heat 1 in a style that belies his six weeks in the sport, but the Edinburgh pair made sure in was a drawn heat.
The visitors then struck the first major blow to Sheffield’s challenge as Ewan Tulloch and Mark Lee got the maximum points as Rob Mawhood fell heavily on the last corner trying to pass the team riding pair. The next race saw Edinburgh edge further in front as Callum Slight executed a well timed pass on Andy Blackburn as they entered turn one of the last lap. Richard Hudson came out from reserve to win heat 4, but again the smart riding Tulloch made sure it was a drawn heat.
The Lee brothers then increased Edinburgh’s lead to 29-21 with a 6-4 heat win over the subdued Mawhood and Blackburn. With the match slipping away the Sheffield management started to use reserves Kyle Holland and Hudson to try and get their team back into the contest. Holland came into heat 6 to partner Parrott to a maximum score to halve the deficit to four points. Hudson won heat 7, but again the wily Tulloch held out Blackburn for another drawn heat. Sheffield’s fightback faltered in heat 10 as the visitors took a well deserved maximum from the impressive Mark Lee and Slight, who having passed Mawhood on the first lap was able to withstand every attempted passing move made by the veteran home rider.
A 6-4 race win in heat 13 sealed the league points for Edinburgh as Tulloch completed an excellent afternoon’s work with a well deserved race win. Hudson completed a four ride maximum in heat 14 and with Holland second the maximum win meant a 7-3 in the last race was required by Sheffield to tie the match. Parrott led briefly but Chris Lee was soon past and sped away for the race win to confirm the win to Edinburgh by 77-73.
Sheffield Rockets: Richard Hudson 16, Matt Parrott 14, Kyle Holland 12+3, Niall Morton 9, Andy Blackburn 7+1, Ed Morton 7, Rob Mawhood 5, James Unwin 3.
Edinburgh: Chris Lee 18, Mark Lee 15, Ewan Tulloch 13+4, Callum Slight 12, Douglas Morgan 10+1, Paul Kelly 8, Paul Lee 1.
The final match of the day saw the Sheffield Phantoms take on Edinburgh with both sets of riders now feeling the toil of a busy day. For some of the Edinburgh riders it was their fourth match of the day and the Phantoms girl riders had just returned to Sheffield having earlier in the day ridden a match at Stockport. Sheffield have been trying to field an all girl line up for the Phantoms fixtures, but were unable to on this occasion as Vicky Brown withdrew with a back injury aggravated at Stockport.
So Liam Webster was drafted into the team, the girls probably wishing he hadn’t as he give a less than impressive display. Sheffield started well as Ellie Sullivan led Chris Lee for three laps before the Edinburgh rider eventually found a way past to take the first heat by 6-4. Both Sheffield riders were disqualified in heat 2 to gift the visitors a 7-0.
First Katy Unwin fell and was out of the rerun. In the re-run Mark Lee was having a great scrap with Webster until a rather untidy passing move by the Sheffield rider resulted in both riders hitting the deck, with Webster adjusted the culprit. Sandra Tamborska took the first of three race wins in heat 3 as Sheffield got one of only two race advantages to reduce the score to 10-17.
The match was summed up in heat 5 as the Lee brothers superbly worked together to pass the fast gating Tamborska and take a maximum score for Edinburgh to now lead by 30-17. Liam Webster’s match went from bad to worse in heat 8 as he was caught napping after the final turn as he coasted to the finish line with Chris Lee, who’s never give up attitude brought him a race win by the thickness of a tyre. Mark Lee completed a deserved maximum score with a race win in heat 13. The final race brought the Phantoms their second heat advantage with a 6-4 from Tamborksa and Sullivan but the League points were going back with the visitors by virtue of a comfortable 62-85 win, which effectively seals at least runners up spot for Edinburgh.
Sheffield Phantoms: Ellie Sullivan 14, Sandra Tamborska 14, Amber Webster 8+1, Billie Owen 7+1, Liam Webster 7, Alice Unwin 6, Niamh Morton 3, Katy Unwin 3.
Edinburgh: Mark Lee 19+1, Paul Kelly 17+1, Chris Lee 17+1, Douglas Morgan 14, Callum Cairney 10+1, Paul Lee 8+1.
Edinburgh completed a hat trick of wins by winning an under 10’s challenge match by 34-26. Callum Cairney was unbeaten for Edinburgh, who used guest rider Niamh Morton to complete the three man line-up. But the match was epitomised by the meetings of Jack Brownell and Paul Lee as these youngsters gave everything to try and out smart each other.
Sheffield: Daniel Rushton 12+1, Jack Brownell 10+1, Joe Brownell 4.
Edinburgh: Callum Cairney 15+1, Niamh Morton 11+2, Paul Lee 10.
The all girl Sheffield Phantoms came close to pulling of a shock Northern Combination League win at Stockport, just failing with a 74-76 loss. Jake Read and Tom Clare got the home club of to the perfect start with a first race maximum. Vicky Brown and Niamh Morton took a drawn race in heat 2, before Sheffield levelled the scores with a maximum win heat heat 3 from Sandra Tamborska and Amber Webster.
The teams traded 7-3 wins in heats 4 and 5 before Stockport took a decisive lead with a 6-4 in heat 6 as Read led home Tamborska but Webster couldn’t get the better of Clare. Another Stockport 6-4 in heat 9 saw the home team now lead by 47-43. Sheffield levelled the scores in heat 11 as Sullivan and Billie Owen took the maximum points over James Barry and Connor Simpson. With Joe Pickford and Read in each of the last four races for the home club it needed the second string riders to pull something off to secure a draw for the Phantoms. But it wasn’t to be as Clare was just too strong for Morton in heat 13 as the 6-4 advantage to Stockport was the final outcome two point winning margin.
Stockport: Joe Pickford 19+1, Jake Read 19+1, Tom Clare 16, James Barry 10, Connor Simpson 7+1, Ryan Coyle 5.
Sheffield Phantoms: Vicky Brown 16+1, Sandra Tamborska 14+2, Billie Owen 13+1, Ellie Sullivan 13+2, Amber Webster 12+2, Niamh Morton 6+1.