TOP-of-the-table Stockport left nothing to chance in claiming a 97-80 victory over Bury at the weekend after taking a full-strength side to Goshen.
The strong showing was a compliment to Bury’s improving form and they needed all their experience to run out winners by 17 points.
Chris Parish and Kristian Ramsden took six points over Stockport’s Chris Eaton in race one, while some excellent team riding saw Ben Scranage and James Elston draw race two as Julie Higham lost out on the last bend.
Then a little hiccup – actually four little hiccups meant Stockport gained a 14-point lead by race six.
Parish and Ramsden quickly clawed five back with a good 7-2 heat win in the seventh. Good team work once again from Danny Taylor, Will Owen, Scranage and Elston saw Bury trailing by just nine points at the interval.
These matches are always close affairs and three drawn races after the break showed that.
Stockport were winning races with Eaton and Higham, while the Lush brothers also showed their liking for the Goshen track, but Bury fiercely contested every point, exemplified in race 12 as a mix up saw Parish fall to the back of the pack before making a terrific pass on the unbeaten Norman to level the race.
In race 13, Stockport took advantage of an injury to Bury captain Neil Howarth, who was struggling with a foot problem, to edge further in front.
Scranage and Dawid Renc gained six points in the 15th, but the visitors sealed the points in the next race before Bury levelled the last two races to lose by 17 points.
Round One of the Manchester League season starts at Astley on Wednesday, while Sunday sees a trip to Northumbria to take on a brand new track.
Bury scores: Chris Parish 13, Kristian Ramsden 13, Ben Scranage 16, James Elston 11, Neil Howarth 8, Will Owen 6, Dawid Renc 6, Danny Taylor 7.
Bury's seconds were awarded a 39-point start after Stockport were forced to field some first-team riders and they held on for a 108-80 victory.
Stockport took the lead in race one to reduce the deficit, but some dogged determination saw Bury level out the races, with Adam Turnbull, Joe Halloran and Steve Mann providing great support. Danny Taylor raced to Bury’s first win in race seven, while Dawid Renc emerged victorious in race 10 and James Elston followed that up in the 11th leg before three comfortable races saw Bury home.
Bury scores: Dawid Renc 14, James Elston 13, Danny Taylor 11, Steve Mann 10, Joe Halloran 10 and Adam Turnbull 8, Sean Etheridge 1 and Louis Turner 1.
Six riders from Bury's thirds and two from Stockport contested this individual formula to claim a 51-28 win.
Adam Turnbull racked up another faultless 16-point maximum, while Louis Turner was just four points back on 12.