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Sun 09/03/14 - 14:00
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Posted 10/03/2014 - Michael Hack
Astley & Tyldesley enjoyed the best possible opening day of the season, by beating Bury in all three Northern League matches at Gin Pit. On a glorious warm, sunny day, in front of a large crowd, the hard work put in by club members over the winter paid off with the track and facilities in top condition.
In the Division 1 match, A&T got off to a great start with a well taken 7-3 by Adam Phillips and Paul Graham over Kris Ramsden and Neil Howarth. Bury's Ben Scranage took the lead in the next race, but received an exclusion for slowing and changing the race positions, after being warned by the referee. The visitors weren't happy with the decision, as A&T took a 6-3 in the re-run, with Joe Allen finishing ahead of James Elston and Mark Graham. Bury hit back with a 7-3 to the Chris Parish and Will Owens pairing over Danny Hughes and Ciaran Collins, to reduce the deficit to 3 points. A&T quickly took control of the match, with a 6-4 in heat 4 to the Reece Pollitt and Paul Graham pairing over Ramsden and Danny Taylor, followed by a 7-3 to the father and son pairing of Lee and Adam Phillips over Howarth and Dawid Renc, to put A&T into a 29-20 lead. A terrific heat 7, saw Adam Phillips and Pollitt pull in a 7-3 heat win over Owens and Bury's top rider Parish, for his only defeat of the match.
A&T kept up the pressure and despite a gate exclusion to Lee Phillips in heat 9, led 50-38 at the interval. Heat 10 was a disaster for Bury as Elston and Renc tangled with each other, for Hughes and Lee Phillips to take a 7-2 heat win. Bury claimed inside grids after this, but it had little effect in heat 12, as Adam Phillips pulled off a storming gate from grid 4 to clear Scranage, off grid 1 and take a convincing race win. Three of the next five races were shared, before Parish and Howarth took a last heat 7-3 heat win for Bury over Hughes and Allen, to make the final score Astley & Tyldesley 96 Bury 79.
A&T were much sharper and fitter than Bury, who only really had Chris Parish riding to his best form. For A&T, Adam Phillips marked his return with a tremendous 20 points maximum score, with Reece Pollitt in excellent form, losing only to Parish and Scranage. It was a really good team display by A&T, with Lee Phillips unbeaten except for a gate exclusion.
Northern League Division 1 match result
Astley & Tyldesley 96 Bury 79
A&T: Adam Phillips 20, Reece Pollitt 16 (2), Joe Allen 14 (1), Danny Hughes 14 (1), Lee Phillips 11 (1), Paul Graham 10 (1), Mark Graham 7 (1), Ciaran Collins 4.
Bury: Chris Parish 17, Ben Scranage 14, Neil Howarth 11 (2), Kristian Ramsden 11 (1), Will Owens 9 (2), James Elston 9, Danny Taylor 5 (1), Dawid Renc 3.
Referee - Mike Hack.
The Division 2 match was *** and tuck for the first nine races, with the lead changing hands on three occasions, as A&T held a slender 45-43 lead at this stage. A&T then moved up a gear in the last six heats, to take three 7-3 heat wins, with the other three races shared, to win the match by 81-67. Reece Pollitt and Adam Phillips both raced unbeaten, with some good team riding by George Hughes. A&T's youngsters all made valuable contributions, with Ciaran Collins, Max Evans and Matthew Snell all winning a race each. Unlucky rider was Ciaran Collins, who was taken to hospital with a foot injury after tangling with an opponent on the first bend in heat 9. Bury had a solid scoring team, but their downfall was in providing only four of the fifteen race winners. James Elston was the visitors' best rider, losing only to Pollitt and Phillips.
Northern League Division 2 match result
Astley & Tyldesley 81 Bury 67
A&T: Reece Pollitt 19 (1), Adam Phillips 18 (2), George Hughes 14 (2), Max Evans 13, Matthew Snell 8 (1), Ciaran Collins 7, Ben Dickinson 2, Alex Semtyshin 0.
Bury: James Elston 16 (2), Danny Taylor 13 (2), Adam Turnbull 13 (1), Steve Mann 10, Joe Holloren 9 (1), Louis Turner 6.
Referee - Bill Phillips.
A&T began their defence of the Northern League Division 3 title, with a convincing 112-48 win over Bury. Max Evans raced unbeaten, with Matthew Snell losing only to Max in heat 7. Emily Burgess and Ben Dickinson turned in 13 points each, with the rest of the team all riding well and scoring valuable points. Best for Bury was Louis Turner, who lost only to Matthew Snell in heat 9.
Northern League Division 3 match result
Astley & Tyldesley 112 Bury 48
A&T: Max Evans 16, Matthew Snell 15, Emily Burgess 13, Ben Dickinson 13, Joe Quarmby 11, Alex Semtyshin 11, John White 10, Charlie Burgess 10, Charlie Dickinson 8, Max Quarmby 5.
Bury: Louis Turner 15, Danny Miller 9, Sean Etheridge 8, Zac Thatcher 6, Charlie Thatcher 6, Duncan Whalley 4.
Referee - Bill Phillips.
Photo shows heat 17 action. L-r: Paul Graham, Ben Scranage, Reece Pollitt, Will Owens. Photo courtesy of Sue Tydd.View Full Report