Vikings Secretary and Team manager, Neil Magee records his thoughts: Photos from Linda Mulvey.

Northern League, Sheffield CRA Rockets v Northumbria Vikings, Sunday 23rd March 2014 @ Cookson Park

Division 1



There was a KO blow for the Vikings chances of even getting a decent score, with Michael Parr out cold and Mark Mulvey left riding on with a shoulder injury following a bad smash in heat 8. Gavin Parr was Northumbria's only heat winner, beaten by the two super Poles early on, but recovering to get ahead of the Rockets home grown youngsters. Sheffield were always going to be too strong and too quick for the visitors and deserved their big win, though all the Vikings team must learn next time not to leave so many inside gaps on this very wide track, several points dropped as the young home flyers came charging through. A big positive however for the visitors was a fast couple of early rides from Terry Kirkup, he taking advantage of a spill as Mark Mulvey bulldozed his way through in heat 5, then passing Matt Parrott in the re-run of heat 8.


SHEFFIELD: Radek Handke 20, Damien Zareba 18+2, Kyle Holland 16+1, Richard Hudson 15+3, Zac Smurthwaite 14, Matt Parrott 12, Niall Morton 9+2, Aiden Owen 5

NORTHUMBRIA: Gavin Parr 18, Jason Keith 14, Mark Mulvey 10, Terry Kirkup 7+1, Daniel Wharrier 6, Dan Redshaw 6, Scott Latimer 5, Michael Parr 4

Terry's Take:

Well, the resukt was nothing we didn't expect but once again it was a great sporting affair and for some of us that's the main thing. Once again the Skipper led by example and would have claimed another point but for a very rare momentary lapse of concentration when he left the door open for some Polish intervention. Jason probably didn't think his performance was on a par (sorry) but he didn't let his head go down and gathered a decent score again. Poor Michael was in the wars with 100% effort unfortunately matched by what appeared to be 99% concentration, and that concrete landing patch he's so fond of isn't getting any softer over time. Surely someone will soon get sight of that monkey on his back and shoot the damn thing. There's no way we can provide the firepower, yet, to cover the loss of such a rapid racer midway through a match. Mark looked splendid in his first outings, and also a lot more race-fit than he was last year after some good training work over the winter. Unfortunately the incident with Michael meant he couldn't pull on the bars afterwards which obviously took away one of his best weapons, but he didn't stop trying with that handicap. Let's not forget, these are still a bunch of Veterans trying to compete with young men approaching Prime Time, and making a pretty fair job of it!

It was never going to be easy for Dan, Dan and Scott, all of whom should really be Division Two riders again this year if only we had enough experienced men, or women, to replace them. In time of course, they will be ready to take on strong teams like the Rockets on equal terms. None of them let themselves down today with some real effort and improvement shown.

Division 2



Luke and Niall Morton saw the Rockets home in an always tight match, Niall winning the last heat decider, while Luke came out to record a good couple of late heat wins and top score for Sheffield. The winter training and improvement made by the Vikings young trio was clearly evident, Daniel Wharrier much quicker from the starts and more competitive on the first corners, Dan Redshaw just much quicker overall, while Scott Latimer was as determined as ever including some typical forceful dives, the tall lad looking much more confident than last week too. Andy Knowles and Jim Graham both at times displayed some team riding mastery, helping out their partners including Neil Magee who was grateful for some easy points as a result, while Terry Kirkup again took to the track and only dropped a couple of points looking sharp and fast throughout. Stand in home team manager Ian Brown is to be congratulated for using all his young squad, with his vets, including a returning to the sport Paul Fisher, doing just enough when needed to take the two league points.


SHEFFIELD: Luke Morton 16, Mick Knowles 15, Niall Morton 11+1, James Bunting 10+1, Vicky Brown 10, Paul Fisher 8+1, Rebecca Davies 5+1, Sam Haines 2

NORTHUMBRIA: Dan Redshaw 15+1, Daniel Wharrier 14+1, Scott Latimer 13+2, Terry Kirkup 10, Neil Magee 9, Andy Knowles 6+2, Jim Graham 6+1


Northumbria didnt compete in the Div 3 meeting, with young Lewis confined to the naughty step at home... The last match of the day was interupted by a furious hail storm that soon turned the entire track white... Those finding it hard in training and at home meetings (Keith, Norman etc), it seemed a lot easier riding the Cookson track than Cramlington, Terry has designed us a hard working home track it seems... Sheffield have proposed dates for the Inter City Trophy in Aug/Sept/Oct, see updated fixture list for details (tbc pending Hull's involvement)... Excellent late evening chinwag in the services, why has it taken over 2 years, to discover there are seats and tables we can use ??

shorter reports will be the norm, leaving more room for 'terry's take' and others to contribute for the web-site if they want...

Cheers Neil, saves my memory cell an awful lot of grief having someone else recall the action, and allowing me to simply make an odd observation. I'll echo what you said about Andy and Jim in the Div 2 match, both working well for their partners at cost to themselves. And our young heroes showed up much better where they still belong in this one, taking the meeting to a nice late climax with their efforts. {tk}