STELRAD Sheffield 'Star' Tigers Match Reports 1997


Later match reports...

Sunday 7th September 1997, Premier League

Newcastle 60
Paul Bentley        3    3    3    3    0                12
Lee Dicken (G)      1    1    0    1    2+1  1    2+1     8+2
Stuart Swales       3    1    2    3    2+1              11+1
Richard Juul        2+1  3    1+1  2+1  3    3           14+3
Jesper Olsen        3    3    3    3    2                14
Mike Smith          R/R
James Birkinshaw    NS   0    1                           1

Sheffield 30
Robbie Kessler      2    2    3    1    0    1            9
Mike Hampson        F    1+1  0    2    F    F            3+1
Mirko Wolter        0    1+1  F/X                         1+1
Steve Knott         1    2    0    2    1                 6
Scott Smith         2    2    2    0    1    3           10
Derrol Keats        0    EF   0    1                      1

Not a lot to report really as Sheffield seemed to give up after heat 8. James Birkinshaw was injured in the original running of heat 3 and decalred unfit by the track doctor to take any further part in the meeting. However, he managed to persuade the doctor to change his mind so that he could take his place in heat 6.

In heat 15, Jesper Olsen rode great to pass Paul Bentley (no suprises) and Robbie Kessler but just could'nt catch Scott Smith. Jesper seems to have his engine sorted out and has really been flying over the last few meetings.

Fred Mitchell

Friday 5th September 1997, Premier League

Oxford
N Sadler     1   1   0   1   1       4
R Juul       2   3   2   2*  3   1  13+1
L Hare       3   3   2   2   3      13
K Marsh      1   1   1*  0   1       4+1
N Tatum      3   2   3   3   3      14
J Luckhurst  rider replacement      (7+1)
M Burrows    1   1*  1   1*          4+2

Sheffield
R Kessler    3   3   3   3   3   2  17
M Hampson    0   0   F   X   0       0
M Wolter     X   X   1   1   2       4
S Knott      2   2   2   0   2       8
S Smith      2   2   3   2*  E       9+1
D Keats      0   0   0   0   0       0

All in all a dull match which looked like an end of season meeting of two struugling clubs. For Oxford the guests probably netted out the injured riders, 17 from Sadler and Juul is probably what Berge and Teurnberg would have got. The match winners were Marsh and Burrows.

For Sheffield they were a 3 man team. You won't win a thing with a 4 point contribution from 3 riders, only two of those points taken from the opposition.

Chris Brown

A protest by the Sheffield management after the meeting saw Nigel Sadler's points discounted as a guest facility had not been granted for Grasstrack bound Phillipe Berge. This awarded the bonus point back to Sheffield.

Thursday 4th September 1997, Premier League

Sheffield Stelrad 'Star' Tigers 50     Oxford Cheetahs 40   
R.Kessler    3  3  2  3  3       14    L.Hare       2  2  1  1  3       9   
M.Hampson    1  1  0  fx 1'       3+1  D.Andrews    0  0  0  0  0       0
M.Wolter     1' 1' 2' 2  2        8+3  N.Tatum      3  2  2  3  1' 0   11+1
S.Knott      2  2  3  1  2       10    J.Luckhurt   rider replacement
S.Smith      2  3  3  3  2'      13+1  P.Berge      3  3  1  2  1      10      
D.Keats      fx 1  f  r  1'       2+1  C.Watson (G) 1  r  3  2  3  0    9
                                       M.Burrows(TR)0  0  1'            1+1

Mirko Wolter returned to the fold but was rather subdued having been out of the saddle for 3 weeks. Steve Knott showed further improvement despite still being down on power, while Mike Hampson and Derrol Keats both struggled with the rather slick surface. Scott Smith dropped his only point to Philippe Berge first time out, and Robbie's only defeat was to Craig Watson who nipped past while Robbie was trying to contain Philippe.

Neville Tatum had no answer to the Sheffield top duo, trailing in a distant 4th in the last heat, and Lawrence Hare's points were all scored against Keats, Hampson and Knott. Craig Watson's 2 wins were both on Neville's bikes while fast starting Pilippe Berge was the pick of the visitors. Darren "No points" Andrews and Buzz Burrows were both very disappointing.

Can the Tigers contain the Cheetahs and claim the bonus point in the return leg?

Thursday 28th August 1997, Premier League

Sheffield                               53
R.Kessler       3 3 3 3 3 3             18
M.Hampson       1 1 1 R 0 2'2            7 + 1
M.Wolter        rider replacement       (8 + 3)
S.Knott         3 2 3 1 1 1'            11 + 1
S.Smith         3 3 2'2 3 2'            15 + 2
D.Keats         1 1'X                    2 + 1
S.Cartwright    dnr

Glasgow                                 37
N.Collins       2 2 1 2'1'1              9 + 2
W.Beveridge     0 1'0 0                  1 + 1
M.Powell        2 2 1 3 2 3             13
G.McDonald      0 0 0 1                  1
R.Juul          2 3 2 3 2 0             12
S.Courtney      0 0 1'R                  1 + 1

Thrilling action from Scott Smith, and a determined display by Steve Knott saw Sheffield the easy winners in this clash of the Tigers. Derrol Keats took a spectacular fall and had to withdraw from the meeting, and Mike Hampson rode better than his score suggests.

Richard Juul was a good stand in for Stewart McDonald who does not ride Owlerton well, but Sean Courtney and Neil Collins were way off normal form.

Thursday 21st August 1997, Premier League

Sheffield                                       46
 1 R.Kessler            3 3 3 X 3               12 
 2 M.Hampson            0 1 1 0 2                4
 3 J.Pedersen(G)        2 2 2 R R                6
 4 S.Knott              1'0 0 2 1                4 + 1 
 5 S.Smith              3 3 3 3 2'              14 + 1
 6 J.Birkinshaw         rider replacement
TR D.Keats              1 1 1 2 1'               6 + 1
 
Newport                                         44
 7 A.Henriksson         2 2 3 3 0               10
 8 S.Pegler             rider replacement
 9 P.Fry                3 2 2 2 3               12
10 R.Lobb               0 0 R                    0
11 C.Watson             2 3 2 3 3 1             14
12 M.Willis             0 1 X 1 1'R 2'           5 + 2
TR B.Scott              1'0 1 1                  3 + 1

An inept performance from the Sheffield second strings, coupled with Jan Pedersen's machine problems and an exclusion for Robbie Kessler (which most referees would have put down to first bend bunching) saw the Wasps holding a 2 point lead into the last heat.

After Craig Watson had a barney with the starting marshal over starting positions, Robbie powered into the lead to be joined by Scud who passed Craig with a no holds barred dive to grab victory by the smallest of margins.

Thursday 14th August 1997, Premier League

Sheffield 44
Robbie Kessler    3   3   2   3   E          =  11
Mike Hampson      0   0   1*  0   0          =   1+1
Stuart Robson     3   1*  2*  E  E           =   6+2
Steve Knott       1   2   3   0   1          =   7
Scott Smith       2   3   3   2   2          =  12
James Birkinshaw  Rider replacement
Derrol Keats      1*  2*  0   1   2          =   6+2
 
Edinburgh 46
Brett Woodifield  2   1   1   1*  3   1      =   9+1
Paul Gould        1*  0   0   3              =   4+1
Shaun Tacey       2   1*  2   2*  1   3      =  11+2
Neil Hewitt       Rider replacement
Peter Carr        3   3   3   2   3   3      =  17
Barry Campbell    0   0   0                  =   0
Blair Scott       0   2   0  2*  1           =   4+1 

Edinburgh kept their Premier League Championship hopes alive with a fighting if rather lucky win at Sheffield. A depleted Edinburgh went into the last five heats facing a 12 point deficit without a single heat advantage to their credit. Only Peter Carr had beaten a home heat leader and only two points had been gained by the Monarchs second strings at the expense of their Sheffield counterparts. Despite all this, Monarchs reeled off 5 straight heat wins to pinch to points in the most unlikely escape since the closure of Alcatraz!

Sheffield's riders all came out with pass marks apart from Hampson. Up to his retirement in heat 15, Kessler only dropped one point (to Carr). Scud Smith also only dropped points to Carr while Robson probably lost 4 points with his two retirements and should have made double figures. Keats and Knott both looked useful around Owlerton.

For Edinburgh, it was Peter Carr who kept up team spirit when things were looking grim. On current form, Peter Carr is probably the best rider in the PL. He continues to pile up maximums wherever he rides Earlier in the season an Edinburgh team (without Carr) went down 63-27 at Owlerton. This could have easily been repeated.

Man of the match: Peter Carr/Robbie Kessler
Most exciting rider: Blair Scott (for his sweep in Heat 13)
Best wig: Derrol Keats

John Lowe

Monday 11th August 1997, Premier League

ISLE OF WIGHT 43
Brett Woodifield	2	3	3	2	3	0		13
Bobby Eldridge		1*	0	0	0	0	1*	1*	3+2
Nigel Sadler		2	2	R	2	2			8
Jason Bunyan		X	F	2	0	2			4
Shaun Tacey		3	3	3	2*	3			14+1
Gavin Hedge		0	1	NS					1

SHEFFIELD 47
Robbie Kessler		3	Fx	3	3	2			11
(Electric from the gate, still not fully fit following tonsil removal)
Mike Hampson		0	2	1	1	3			7
(Did the business when it counted)
Jan Pedersen		3	2	2	1	3			11
(Did all that was expected of him. Good guest, and a decent bloke too)
Steve Knott		1	1*	1*	1	0			4+2
(Still stiff after last Thursday's fence inspection. Needs more horsepower)
Scott Smith		1*	3	2	3	1*			10+2
(Much better after changing to Dunlops after his first race)
James Birkinshaw	Rider Replacement
Derrol Keats		2	1	1*	0	Fx			4+1
(Tried hard as ever, and a great team man)

Arguments before the start about Sheffield's use of Pedersen as guest for Wolter (in Germany for a medical with the German Army, attendance compulsory with the threat of arrest and up to 10 years imprisonment for failure to attend). BSPA Management Committee member Chris van Straaten was contacted by referee Mick Barnes for a decision, and decided to allow the use of the guest (but Wolter was banned for 14 days). Islanders promoter Sarah Gudgeon was not a happy camper, and said she was going to lodge an official protest with a £100 protest fee. Whether or not she actually did this I don't know, I didn't bother to ask Mick Barnes afterwards. (Now does Mick understand???)

The champagne we always carry to away matches was duly popped open (after the dust had been blown off!!) Wonder if Derrol's got home yet? Last seen in Robbie's van heading off the wrong way on the M27!! His "Moonie" from the van in Southampton was certainly a sight for sore eyes.

Report by Neil Webster (Team Manager).

Thursday 7th August 1997, Premier League / Tim Lucking Memorial meeting

Sheffield Stelrad 'Star' Tigers 49     Stoke Potters 41   
R.Kessler    3  3  3  3  3       15    L.Collins    2  3  1  2  1       9   
M.Hampson    f  1  0  1  0  2  0  4    C.Cobby      1' 2' 3  0  1  0    7+2
M.Wolter     3  3  2  3  2'      13+1  P.Morris     1  2  2  1' 1'      7+2
S.Knott      2' 0  0  1  fx       3+1  T.Atkin      0  fx r  r          0
S.Smith      3  1  3  3  3       13    P.Pickering  2  2  2  2  3      11      
J.Birkinshaw fx 0  1              1    C.Taylor     1' 1' 1' 2  2       7+3

Stoke fought their way back into the match and levelled the scores after heat 8. Then three mechanical problems in consecutive heats put paid to their aspirations, although the last heat 5-1 gave the Tigers a rather flattering score line.

Les Collins only dropped points to Mirko and Robbie, although Mirko passed him on 4 occasions! Paul Pickering was on good Owlerton form, although he never looked like ever making a pass and only finished ahead of Steve Knott and Mike Hampson. Chris Cobby rode better than I've ever seen him before, including heat 8 when he popped out in front of Mirko to deny him his maximum. Phil Morris and Craig Taylor merely made up the numbers, while Tony Atkin had a torrid time with his machines.

Robbie flew to an untroubled maximum, invariably leading by the back straight. Scott Smith missed the start completely in heat 6, but atoned with a brilliant last to first dash on the first lap of heat 12, and a 3rd to first on one bend in heat 14. Mirko was also in brilliant form, dropping his only point while trying to team ride Steve in heat 8. Perhaps he thought it was Les Collins in front, when it was actually Chris Cobby leading and Les climbing all over them from behind. Mirko battled past Les Collins in heat 11, only for Les to sweep inside into turn 3 on the last lap. Mirko executed a brilliant switch to regain the lead out of the last bend and a great reception from the crowd. Steve's efforts were also well appreciated as he worked hard for his points, while Mike Hampson only beat Chris Cobby (who had a flat tyre) accepting his other points as gifts. James had a nasty fall while challenging Craig Taylor and later withdrew from the meeting to receive medical attention.

The Tim Lucking memorail Junior Romp was won convincingly by Mark Blackwell after Simon Stead fell heavily in his qualifying heat having missed the start. Simon bounced back to win the consolation final looking none the worse for his tumble.

Hull programme Wednesday 6th August 1997, Premier League

Hull Vikings 53                        Sheffield Stelrad 'Star' Tigers 37
A.Grahame     2' 3  2' 3  3      13+2  L.Collins (G) 0  3  3  2  3  2    13   
P.Scully      3  2' 3  2' 1      11+2  M.Hampson     1  0  0  1'          2+1
Scott Robson  r  x  2  x  3       5    M.Wolter      2' 1  2' 0  1  2     8+2
R.Emson       rider replacement  (3+1) S.Knott       3  0  1  1  2     7
Stuart Robson 2' 1' 3  3  3      12+2  S.Smith       1  3  0  1' f        5+1      
L.Dicken      3  2  2' 2  f       9+1  J.Birkinshaw  0  1  0  1'          2+1   
B.Turner      1  1  1' 0  0       3+1

Scott Robson had a torrid time being excluded twice, and failing to finish on another occasion which helped to make Sheffield's score a little more respectable.

Guest Les Collins was left standing in heat 1, and when he failed to pass team mate Mike Hampson the writing was on the wall. However he recovered from this glitch and was the only 'Tiger' to accomplish a pass. Steve and Mirko's scores were helped by Scott Robson's misfortune, while all Scott Smith's points came at the expense of reserve Brian Turner. Ex-Viking Mike Hampson was disappointing, and James single moment of glory was when he resisted a spirited challenge by Lee Dicken in heat 14.

Stuart Robson barged his way very forcibly past Scott Smith in his first race, but had to give second best to Les Collins next time out. Alan Grahame meandered his way to a paid maximum leaving the heroics to Peter Scully who was most entertaining until falling on turn one while leading in heat 15. As Peter jumped back on Scott Smith fell two bends later gifting Peter a point. Lee Dicken was trapping quickly, but was also a victim of the 1st bend while challenging James for the odd point.

Six racing passes in 15 heats, followed by a start to finish win by Stuart Robson to defend the Silver Helmet just as the mist rolled in off the North sea. Perhaps if the track had been watered earlier there might have been more than one line.

Friday 1st August , Premier League

Edinburgh 64 Robert Eriksson 3 3 3 3 2' = 14+1 (Paid Maximum) Paul Gould (SR) 2' 2' 2' 2' 2' = 10+5 (Paid Maximum) Kenny McKinna (C) 3 3 3 3 3 = 15 (Full Maximum) Neil Hewitt Rider replacement Peter Carr 3 3 3 3 3 = 15 (Full Maximum) Barry Campbell 1 2' 0 2' 2 = 7+2 Blair Scott (TR) 2' 0 0 0 1' = 3+2 Sheffield 26 Scott Lamb (G) 0 1 2 2 1 3 = 9 Mike Hampson (SR) 1 0 1* 1 = 3+1 Mirko Wolter 1 1 1* 1* 0 0 = 4+2 David McCallum 0 0 0 = 0 Scott Smith 2 2 1 2 1 1 = 9 Jamie Birkinshaw (R) 0 1* 0 0 0 = 1+1

Edinburgh easily won this match against the Sheffield Tigers. From the third heat onwards it was apparent that the tigers were no match against the Monarchs heat leaders and the much improved second strings were going to give them a terrific challenge.

Despite the large differential in points this was a very entertaining match. Not for the challenge between the heat leaders but for the challenge between the Monarchs second strings and the Tigers heat leaders.

Edinburgh's heat leaders were far too powerful for their Tigers counterparts. With Paul Gould riding very well at the moment providing the final blow to the Tigers attempts to score higher points. Barry Campbell has much improved over the last few weeks and is now able to challenge and beat riders as good as Scott Lamb around the Armadale track. Blair Scott has improved alot as well and is no longer the 'rider to make the team up' that he used to be. Things are starting to look better and better.

The Sheffield team were never really in the match. Guest Lamb and Scud Smith both played their part as expected. Wolter should have been able to have performed better as a heat leader, not once gaining a second place.

Man of the match: P.Carr.
Most exciting rider: B.Campbell

Roger Pilkington.


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