Well another demolition job done on the Vikings by Astley & Tyldesley, another absolutely expected outcome but at least the weather was nice and for once, possibly the first time ever, there was no slanging match. In fact, the nearest anyone came to being even faintly disruptive was me! That was after being taken off by the bike by a super fast teenager in what used to be called “chopping” when flat out going into the third bend. I just managed to stay on my feet and cling onto the bike but really felt hard done by. I would probably not have got back on had it not been for Mick Knowles shouting at me from the Astley pits to get my point, so cheers for that Mick mate. If stuff like this went on in reverse, OAP on teenager, we all know the reaction I would have got. Stupid sport the way things are now. I was also battered from the outside on the first bend later on, could have been the same kid even, which cost me all my speed, so not happy about that one either. Compensation came in the shape of a super gate against Damien Zareba and Kyle Holland and although my lead hardly lasted two laps it was pretty satisfying.
Anyway, once again it was left to skipper Jason to do all the hard graft but I did manage to help him out a couple of times. We were the only ones to threaten anyone over four foot nowt, as usual.
As in previous NL matches this year it was left to our Division Two side to salvage a bit of pride and they did that again to some degree with Dan Thompson, Shane Gray and Bradley Stansfield having their moments. Andy Knowles did a sterling job as skipper again, either helping his mate through as always or grabbing big points himself, but there was no stopping the pick of the Astley crew as they amassed four maximums, young Emily Burgess easily the most impressive and her victories over the top Vikings really underlined how weak we are especially considering we are using these same riders in Division One.
It's a shame Lee Redshaw doesn't travel. He is just a one-track rider now, that's no way to learn, and he hardly gets amongst the right level of opposition. This would have been a great opportunity to measure himself against similar age riders. I fear his improvement rate will slow and stop way too soon.
Another one to forget really, but at least it’s out of the way now until next year.
Like our Glasgow buddies, Second Division is really the level we should be competing at and if it wasn’t for having to accommodate Jason I would push very hard for just that, although that would mean no NL racing for me either. However a discussion in the van on the way home had me accepting that we have too much good infrastructure and heavy investment to drop out of Division One so the grim reality is that we’ll now be everyone’s chopping block for some time to come. I’m not sure where the enjoyment of racing will come from as time goes by and I will state now that I won't travel without at least five or six riders and I will NOT ride in Division Two whether we are a man short or not.
Signed: Le Miserable