Location: Gin Pit, Astley, Manchester
Event: 25 March 2012
Astley & Tyldesley opened their 2012 season in style at Gin Pit on Sunday with a double victory.
Riding on a glorious sunny spring afternoon, the home side rode to a comfortable 82-67 victory over Hull, to mark their return to the Northern Combination League after two seasons of absence. Astley took the lead with a 6-4 in heat 2 and never looked back. Joel Partington and new captain Reece Pollitt led the way for Astley, both riders dropping just two points each.
Comeback riders Roy Heslop, Ron Makin, Lee Phillips and Martin Phillips all performed well with Astley able to blood young juniors Daniel Burns and Matt Snell giving them valuable match experience. There was plenty of competitive racing, as Hull made the home team work for their points. Best for Hull were Ben Swanborough and Lewis Aylmer and they ride well in their three races each. Andy Cooper was Hull's other race winner.
Astley & Tyldesley 82: Joel Partington 18, Lee Phillips 16, Reece Pollitt 13 (1), Roy Heslop 11 (1), Ron Makin 9, Martin Phillips 7 (2), Daniel Burns 5, Matt Snell 3.
Hull 67: Andy Cooper 13, Lewis Aylmer 11, Robert Stockton-Garner 10 (1), Ben Swanborough 10, Katie Greaves 8 (3), David Cooper 8, Josh Cousins 7 (1).
Referee - Bill Phillips.
Astley & Tyldesley shuffled the squad for the second match of the day against Sheffield Phantoms with a full team of female riders running out convincing 90-60 winners. The home side took the lead with a 6-4 in heat 1 and were never pegged back. Another comeback rider Beccy Heslop, along with Reece Pollitt and Joel Partington, led the way for Astley, all dropping just one point each.
Lee Phillips and Martin Phillips went unbeaten in their races, with Stefan Whitelegg in the points. U10 riders Max Evans and Tom Whitwam rode in this match and will have benefited from moving up a level. Both Amber Webster and Ellie Sullivan needed first aid treatment after a first bend accident in heat 12, but bravely carried on. Sandra Tamborska, Vicky Brown and Ellie Sullivan each won a race for the Phantoms.
Astley & Tyldesley 90: Lee Phillips 16, Reece Pollitt 15, Beccy Heslop 14 (1), Joel Partington 13 (2), Martin Phillips 10 (2), Max Evans 10 (1), Stefan Whitelegg 8 (2), Tom Whitwam 4 (1).
Sheffield Phantoms 60: Vicky Brown 14 (1), Sandra Tamborska 14, Ellie Sullivan 13, Billie Owen 6 (1), Amber Webster 6 (1), Katy Unwin 3, Alice Unwin 2, Niamh Morton 2.
Referee - Bill Phillips.
The next race meeting at Gin Pit is this forthcoming Saturday, 1pm start, when Astley & Tyldesley host the opening North Regional Round of the Wosskow Brown British Youth & Junior League series. Registrations close at 12.30pm.
Following this meeting, is the first round of the Transpennine Grand Prix series, featuring senior, combination and veterans riders. Spectators are welcome, with a good range of facilities available. The track is located at the Astley & Tyldesley Miners' Welfare Club, Meanley Road, Gin Pit, Tyldesley, M29 7DW. For further details, visit the club's website at www.astleycyclespeedway.org.uk.
In addition, club training sessions take place every Tuesday at 7pm. Existing club and prospective new members are welcome to attend the training sessions.