Astley & Tyldesley 96 Bury 78
BURY made the short journey to Astley for their opening Division One fixture of 2014.
With a strengthened home side, Bury expected a difficult match, and so it proved. Astley and Tyldesley took seven points from race one and a bad exclusion to Ben Scranage increased the home lead. Owen and Chris Parish combined well to take race three. Astley then took six points in race four and seven and in race five to take control.
Scranage and James Elston scored a good 6-4 to reduce the deficit. In race seven Will Owen and Parish tangled to give the home side seven points, and another six increased the home lead to 12 at half time. Bury went further behind as Elston fell, and although Owen and Parish returned a seven pointer in the 11th, it was too much for the visitors to recover.
With each team taking maximum wins Astley held out for a deserved 96-78 victory. Bury scores: Chris Parish 17, Ben Scranage 14, Neil Howarth 11, Kristian Ramsden 11, Will Owens 9, James Elston 8, Danny Taylor 7, Dawid Renc 3.
Astley & Tyldesley 81 Bury 67
There was a close match in Division Two.
Races one and two were drawn but Astley took six points over Steve Mann in the third. James Elston and Adam Turnbull scored maximum points in the fourth to regain the lead. But back came Astley to score six points in the fifth race to level the scores.
Races six and seven went to the home side, with seven points in each, to lead by nine points. Elston and Danny Taylor reduced the score in the eighth race, which was followed by a terrific ride by youngsters Adam Turnbull and Louis Turner with the visitors just two points behind.
Heats 10 and 12 changed the structure of the match as the home side edged ahead with a further seven points.
Joe Halloran and Turnbull levelled the 13th and Elston completed a fine afternoon by winning race 14. Despite a great effort from Taylor, Astley’s top scorers took the final race to win 81-67.
Bury scores: James Elston 17, Danny Taylor 13, Adam Turnbull 13, Steve Mann 10, Joe Hollaran 9, Louis Turner 6.
In Division Three there was an excellent meeting of under-13 riders.
Astley sneaked the points, but Bury’s Louis Turner scored 15 and lost once. New riders Sean Etheridge and the Thacker brothers showed plenty of potential, while five-year-old Whalley received applause after every race.