Report stolen from 3318news.co.uk, we credit the author
Sheffield were forced into two changes from the match against Bury, with Luke Morton & Rich Hudson unavailable, meaning Niall Morton made his return from injury & Laura Watson came in, having just had her loan to Sheffield approved. Northumbria, meanwhile, made just the one change from their match against Edinburgh, with Keith Oldham replacing Dan Thompson in the side.
Northumbria achieved a 7-3 in heat two after a first heat 5-5 to go four up, but Sheffield reduced that lead to two with a 6-4 in heat four. Three drawn heats followed, with a 6-4 in heat eight for Northumbria extending the arrears to four, but a 7-3 to Sheffield in heat nine meant that the scores were level at half time.
A 7-3 in heat eleven put Northumbria back in front, but an exclusion to Michael Parr in heat thirteen after falling allowed Sheffield to gain a 7-2 and placed the home side in front for the first time by a single point. However, Ed Morton’s tape exclusion in the next heat meant the away side hit straight back with a 7-2 of their own and went four up.
An exchange of 7-3s in heats sixteen and seventeen left the Stars needing a 7-3 to draw the match in the final race, and although Adam Watson prevented a Gavin Parr maximum by winning the heat, Niall Morton fell when diving the Vikings’ captain to make the final scores Sheffield 87, Northumbria 91.
For the Vikings, Jason Keith went unbeaten and Gavin Parr dropped just one point, whilst Michael Parr and Dan Redshaw were the difference between the two sides. For Sheffield, Kyle Holland, Adam Watson and Joe Twigg all scored highly once again, whilst Niall Morton’s return was welcomed.
Kyle Holland 16+2 (5), Vicky Brown 12+1 (5), Sam Haines 4 (4), Ed Morton 11 (5), Joe Twigg 14+1 (5), Adam Watson 14+3 (5), Niall Morton 10+1 (4), Laura Watson 6 (3)
Michael Parr 14 (5), Andy Knowles 4+1 (2), Terry Kirkup 9 (5), Jason Keith 18+2 (5), Gavin Parr 16+3 (5), Keith Oldham (4), Dan Wharrier 12+1 (5), Dan Redshaw 12+1 (5)
Referee: Luke Morton
Niamh Morton 10+2 (5), Sophie Middleton 12 (5), Vicky Brown 11 (3), Laura Watson 13+3 (5), Rob Mawhood 9+1 (3), Sam Haines 13+1 (4), Jack Brownell 2 (2), Joe Twigg 12 (3)
Referee: Kyle Holland
Jack Brownell 16, Joe Brownell 13, Kadie Gittens 10, Lewis Bemrose 8
Sam Stansfield 13, Bradley Stansfield 12
Referee: Dave Shoat
The track, just like Edinburgh's the previous weekend, looked bone dry with a loose top and once again slippery. Not so, once again! I've never seen a track suyrface as well groomed as this one with not a ripple or a dent anywhere, and it afforded the most fantastic level of grip everywhere. All the more strange then to see home star Adam Watson slide coming out of turn four, unless there was another motive for doing so. Vicky and Laura rode like I've never seen them against us and scored very well. The Stars' young and very rapid top end looked as though it would carry them through but Neil Magee's intelligent reserve switches, Gavin's return to form and an iimpeccable display from Jason saw us cling on to the points, just.
From an entertainment point of view, the Division Two and Division Three matches again proved best with some excellent racing from both clubs and another couple of very young racers starting out for the home team, while Bradley and Sam continued to catch the eye as they had done the week before. It was fairly warm, in fact unexpectedly so for the first match but later cloud cover had the temperature plummeting and we were all well wrapped up on the spectator seats. Once again though, a great meeting between the two sides, only marginally clouded by some on-track line deviations and in fact if analyzed these few moves may well have cost Sheffield the Div 1 points as Elite League-style holding back surely compromised the chance of taking two or three more heat wins. Eleven out of ten for hospitality from the Sheffield club.