A very much weakened Bury side, due to holidays and injuries, was still far too powerful for the full-strength Northumbrians at Goshen Sports Centre on Sunday 30th July 2017.
The presence of returnee wannabee Yankee Doodle Daniel Wharrier more than compensated for the missing Dan Redshaw (injured) but made little difference to the visitors’ firepower on a sunny but very breezy afternoon. As is the norm this season, Vikings’ super skipper Jason Keith carried his team through the match with some great covering of his partner in several races and of course was the only one to trouble the best of the Comets, but one decently-scoring pairing will never be enough.
An unexpectedly bright start saw the Vikings only 3 points adrift at heat 7 but that was when they either tired badly or, in several cases, made bad gate choices which allowed Bury to pile up the points and head for yet another ton-plus score against Northumbria. The Comets top four scored solidly and were only troubled by Jason, Adam Turnbull unlucky to be excluded at the gate costing him the chance of a maximum score, collecting five impressive wins otherwise. James Elston and Kris Ramsden dropped just a point while Neil Howarth was just 2 off a full house.
The Division Two match was a much closer contest but really, allowing for the massive age and experience gaps, the Vikings were woeful especially away from the tapes with the exception of top scorer Keith Oldham in a couple of races. Similarly to Div1, heat 7 was pivotal with the Vikings having held a slender lead that far but the Comets beginning to take control after it. Daniel Thompson tried hard but made a real mess of his last race bumping partner Shane Gray, in a good scoring position, to the back of the field. Crediting Shane with the points he should have taken in that one would have given him 14+1, a much better indication of his hard-working performance. It was great to see Ashie Patterson committing so much effort when he doesn’t have much spare energy following a terrible eighteen months or more with serious health issues. Dependable as ever, skipper Andy Knowles did everything he could, as always, to help his partner with some more great teamriding.
Louis Turner and Adam Turnbull were unbeaten for Bury and gave their very young teammates enough team riding support to make the difference.