Astley & Tyldesley took on Sheffield in a Northern Combination League double header event at the Cookson Park track in Sheffield on Sunday. Ridden in blustery conditions, two very entertaining matches took place, with plenty of good racing.
A & T lined up against the Sheffield Raiders in the first match, on a heavy track and took the lead in heat 2 when Beccy and Roy Heslop took a 7-3 heat win, but Sheffield immediately hit back with a 7-3 of their own. A run of 5-5s followed, before a Reece Pollitt/ on Makin 6-4 heat win gave A & T an interval lead. The second half saw Sheffield come out stronger and two quick 7-3s put them 6 points ahead. A 6-4 heat win to Joel Partington/Max Evans reduced the gap to 4 points. Sheffield went into the last heat holding a 4 points lead and scored another 7-3 heat win after a very hard fought race to seal the points: Sheffield Raiders 79 Astley & Tyldesley 71
A & T scorers: Joel Partington 15, Ron Makin 14, Reece Pollitt 12 (1), Beccy Heslop 12, Roy Heslop 10 (4), Max Evans 6 (1), Daniel Burns 2, Matt Snell dnr.
Sheffield Phantoms lined up with a much strengthened side from the one heavily beaten at Gin Pit on the opening day of the season. The home team took three 7-3 heat wins in the opening four races to take control of the match. In an amazing heat 5, Ron Makin and Joel Partington both came through on the last lap to pass both Sheffield riders to take a 7-3 heat win. 6-4s to either side saw Sheffield go into the interval with a 10 points lead. Four drawn heats followed, before Sheffield took two more 7-3 heat wins to seal the points. In the last heat Reece Pollitt and Beccy Heslop took a well deserved 7-3 heat win to make the final score Sheffield Phantoms 82 Astley & Tyldesley 68.
A & T took the opportunity to give youngsters Max Evans, Daniel Burns and Matt Snell a full run out at this level and the experience will be invaluable for them, as they all had their moments on the day.
A & T scorers: Reece Pollitt 16 (1), Joel Partington 12 (1), Beccy Heslop 11 (1), Ron Makin 10, Max Evans 7, Matt Snell 6 (1), Roy Heslop 3 (1), Daniel Burns 3.