Match report by Neil Magee
Sunday 27th September
NORTHUMBRIA v HULL
Northern League by Neil Magee
Andy Angell smashed the Northumbria track record in the final heat, lowering Pawel Idziorek's previous best from 42.1 seconds to just 40.8, completing a classy performance from the former British Champion. However with only Nathan Everett able to fire up in support and several juniors drafted in, Hull were soon up against it, as Northumbria reached 100 points for the first time in their history. The Vikings two Dan's responded to a call for more committed performances on track and both posted the required heat leader scores they should more often be capable of, Gavin Parr the only man to defeat Angell, while Mick Parr and Jason Keith would have scored more but for exclusions. Unluckiest rider of the meeting had to be Lewis Aylmer of Hull, he dropping it several times when in scoring positions, which only added to the home teams advantage.
NORTHUMBRIA: Daniel Wharrier 18, Gavin Parr 17+2, Dan Redshaw 15+2, Jason Keith 14, Michael Parr 12+2, Terry Kirkup 11+2, John Wilson 9+1, Andy Knowles 4+2
HULL: Andy Angell 19, Nathan Everett 17, Josh Bellis 10+1, David Cooper 10, Lewis Aylmer 7, Katie Greaves 7, Libby Steward 4, Laura Steward 3
An excellent heat two 7-3 from Northumbria top scorer Dean Douglas and partner Keith Oldham proved decisive, they gaining the Vikings a lead they would never relinquish, despite the scores remaining close throughout. The three top Hull riders were otherwise on top, Nathan Everett unbeaten, Bellis also thereafter first to the flag every time and David Cooper only losing out to an eventually crucial tape exclusion. So with that good start and a little bit of luck, the Vikings were able to hang on, Dan Thompson wrapping things up with a fast win in his final ride.
NORTHUMBRIA: Dean Douglas 16+1, Shane Gray 14, Dan Thompson 13, Liam Robinson 9+1, Keith Oldham 8+3, Paul Thompson 8+2, Andy Knowles 6+3, Malcolm Douglas 2+1
HULL: Nathan Everett 19+1, Josh Bellis 18, David Cooper 16, Libby Steward 5, Katie Greaves 4, Izzy O'Neil 4, Laura Steward 3, Lillie O'Neil 3
Northumbria would have made it a hat-rick of wins, with Lewis Petre completing his first maximum in the sport and Sam Stansfield capping his debut with some fine passing, but sadly lost latest recruit Samantha Crane to injury after just one ride. Samantha had gated to lead her second ever outing and looked like she would also go unbeaten on the day, but crashed heavily with a wrist injury forcing her out of the contest. That left Libby Steward to lead the way for Hull, she taking two late wins to earn her side a narrow win.
NORTHUMBRIA: Lewis Petre 16, Sam Stansfield 12, Samantha Crane 4
HULL: Libby Steward 14, Izzy O'Neil 11, Lillie O'Neil 9
Wow! A massive 1.3 seconds knocked off a seemingly impossibly rapid track record by the one and only Andy Angell! And this on a track which, while pretty grippy in the strong and indecently hot autumn sunshine, is always a bit of a challenge for visiting riders due to the tightness of our bends and the rider's terminal velocity at the end of a long straight (as poor Lewis Aylmer discovered - again!). Truly impressive this.
Just as impressive for the Elders was the performance of Dan Wharrier who for once wasn't plagued with ill luck, and for once also refrained from twisting his neck backwards and losing pace because of it! Could these two items be connected? It was also great to see what looked like a step-up from Dan Redshaw with a well deserved big score today, both Dans compensating for lower than normal scores from Michael Parr and Jason Keith.
John Wilson has well and truly cemented his place in the Guiness Book of Records with his three hundredth return from retirement and although missing the required sharpness still looked good enough to join the team's main backbone, but of course work committments will dictate his availability as always.
On a personal note I can't help heaping further praise on Mr Angell who could have easily sent me to the back in heat 11 to bring his mate through after Jason was excluded (moving at the tapes again!) but instead chose to be a perfect Sportsman and drag me around pretty quickly with the 2014 British Champ getting very close to Pawel Idziorek's track record, no doubt gearing up for that super quick ride in heat 20.
In Division Two Hull's Big Guns were unstoppable but there was plenty of effort shown by the Vikings heat leaders Dean, Shane and Keith while Dan Thompson chose today to really shine, cheeky enough to give the hurry-up to his partner! Once again our excellent distant-commuter, Div2 team boss Andy Knowles showed just how fast he can race while his legs hold out in a great chasedown of the rapid David Cooper until the race had to be stopped.
The Division Three match for the youngsters of both clubs was going very smoothly until Vikings debutante Samantha suffered a painful crash while leading her second race after a great win in her very first competitive race earlier. Samantha was pretty well battered and badly shaken after the spill and early signs are she may have broken a wrist. We sincerely hope it's not as bad as that as she's shown fantastic committment and indeed speed in just the last two weeks. Get well soon Samantha.
And what about our new version of Gavin, wee speedster Lewis Petre? Ever since hiking up to the bigger bike (Archie Wilkinson Junior model) from his little toy BMXer Lewis has looked every inch (not too many of them!) a proper racer and every time I watch him I recall tiny Gavin Parr's first year in the Sport, much smaller but way faster than many of his giant opponents.