Too early for us, (yes, FEBRUARY!) but another month wouldn't have made any difference! (Terry's opinion!).
We knew exactly what we were facing in this one well before the tapes went up on Wednesfield Aces' first visit to the Sporting Club, and all predictions were proven correct. Slaughter is maybe too strong a word as our guest Captain, Edinburgh's Mikey Hewitson did well to limit some of the Aces scoring with only a few others able to offer much resistance.
Here's Neil Magee's report:
Challenge Sunday 28th February 2016
NORTHUMBRIA VIKINGS 87
WEDNESFIELD ACES 151
The scoreline was not unexpected, nor important, both teams enjoying some sunshine and reasonable conditions in a very useful pre-season work out. The Aces myriad internationals and superstars were always going to run out easy winners, just as they had done at Edinburgh the day before, but there was still plenty of competitive action on track. Highlights were the races involving guest Mikey Hewitson of course, but Michael Parr, Jason Keith and Terry Kirkup all perhaps surprised themselves with decent victories over their illustrious opponents, while several others were also in the hunt and often came close to more points. Paul Hearld, Lee Kemp and Mark Griffiths all went unbeaten for the visitors, Chris Jewkes losing out only to new elite league team mate Mikey, while Steve Mullinder also looked to enjoy himself with four straight wins. Our thanks go to the Aces for chosing to visit our humble little and still new track, they being a class act on and off the track throughout the whole day.
NORTHUMBRIA: Mikey Hewitson 13, Jason Keith 11+1, Terry Kirkup 9, Dan Redshaw 9, Michael Parr 8, Dan Wharrier 8, Shane Gray 7, Neil Swanson 5+1, Keith Oldham 5, Andy Knowles 4, Paul Thomson 3+1, Dan Thompson 3, Lee Redshaw 2
WEDNESFIELD: Paul Heard 19+1, Lee Kemp 18+2, Mark Griffiths 18+2, Chris Jewkes 17+2, Lee Aris 17+1, Steve Mullinder 16, Scott Doherty 13+1, Ben Mould 12, Harry Everiss 13+1, Connor Dyke 10+2
Bradley Stansfield won the junior support event, twice holding off Lee Redshaw who rode from a quarter lap handicap in the heats, although Lee did have the last of it, riding through the field to win the finale.
Juniors: 1st Bradley Stansfield, 2nd Lewis Petre, 3rd Sam Stansfield
Finale Winner: Lee Redshaw