report by Neil Magee
Sunday 11th October
EDINBURGH FALCONS v NORTHUMBRIA VIKINGS
This meeting 'had it all' it might be said, but how much of that 'all' was good is debatable ?
Too many crashes, Michael Parr having to effectively withdraw from the meeting after less than a lap, Lee Lawrence involved in the same tangle and thereafter a passenger at the back thanks to his own knock. Too much controversy, Jake Slight joining Mick on the injury list after a first bend pile up in heat 11 that was rightly or wrongly rather too hotly debated, while another rider got himself excluded for putting his own forthright view to the ref during the warm down of another race. And as far as the Vikings were concerned, too much strength in the Falcons side for them to deal with, they again out gunned in terms of squad depth by the Edinburgh club.
It certainly wasn't all bad, Gavin Parr scored yet another max to surely now end up as the top average rider in the North this season, while there were still flashes of form from one or two, plus a determined debut from Dan Thompson apart from his gating nerves.
The beers on offer in the Falcons erie afterwards were certainly good, as was the stovies and other treats laid on by our perhaps greatest and friendliest of rivals.
A day then of ups and downs, positives and negatives for all to ponder on. Next time let's try and make them all positives.
EDINBURGH: Mikey Hewitson 18+1, Kamil Grezsla 17+1, Neil Swanson 15+2, Neil McPherson 13+3, Dougie Morgan 12+1, Alan Smith 9+1, Jake Slight 7+1, Lee Lawrence 4
NORTHUMBRIA: Gavin Parr 19+1, Daniel Wharrier 12, Jason Keith 11+3, Dan Redshaw 11+1, Terry Kirkup 9, Andy Knowles 8, Dan Thompson 6+1, Michael Parr 3
Lewis Foxley stormed to four wins for the Falcons, the youngster only beaten once as he rode to a brilliant 17 points. That performance, backed by a strong score from the returning Kieran Swanson and home skipper Dougie Morgan, took Edinburgh to the win, they already having celebrated winning the Div 2 championship this season for a 2nd time in a row. With our own latest recruits from what we hope will be a fruitful production line in time sitting at home (or work), it was left to the two Dan's to as usual score the bulk of the points, though the '3rd Dan' again got stuck in to much cheer, he certainly faster of late and now able to put in some strong inside passes when once it was all outside only.
EDINBURGH: Lewis Foxley 17, Dougie Morgan 16+2, Kieran Swanson 14, Dode Mitchell 11+1, Callum Cairney 9+1, Paul Kelly 6, Skye Mitchell 4+1, James Foxley 1
NORTHUMBRIA: Dan Redshaw 17, Daniel Wharrier 15, Dan Thompson 12, Paul Thompson 9+1, Andy Knowles 7+2, Jim Graham 6, Neil Magee 4
No under 13's travelled for Northumbria, they also missing out on being invited to take part in the Falcons Club U-13 Championship.
Here, here Neil. And thumbs up for handling the heated stuff very well indeed.
Once again Gavin and Jason had to carry the rest of us, lost count now of the times they've done this. If only Tuesday night form was carried over to NL matches we'd see something of an improvement. Got to admit though, that Edinburgh are now a pretty decent powerhouse of talent, certainly to be feared at Redbraes.
Most of the falls were a mystery, to me at least. Yes there was a grip limit which could be felt, but it was plain worrrying to see so many crashes.
It's usually frustration that triggers ill feeling, whether towards another rider or the referee, and here I really do share Dan Wharrier's argument, though not the way he presents it. Dan is, to me, exactly what I've always wanted and always tried to create in any new rider under my guidance - a proper racer, not an elbower or slammer. But to be a racer in the true sense (the "speed" in "speedway"!) you need space. If it's denied you then you will get upset, as I've done myself most of this season in the Euro-Vets for the very same reason and ruined some of my own performances after simply losing interest. So yes I sympathise but once again we have to emphasise that referees aren't queing up to get into CS and we at Northumbria are a typical example, now struggling to find NL match referees after losing one, so we have to learn to curb our tongues. It's a very hard sport to succeed at, and if you can do that by racing clean you're a much better rider than the batterers, and most likely a lot faster.