Northumbria Vikings lost out to Edinburgh in the cycle speedway Northern League division one at the weekend.
However, while the club’s first team were losing 102-78, the division two picked up a 77-72 win, although the division three team went down 42-37.
With Northumbria’s top man Gavin Parr having rather burned himself out doing a massive coast to coast ride for charity the previous day (on a tandem no less) and Dan Wharrier having also joined in to support the ride, there was little strength left in the legs to compete with home top men for the division one team.
Even with a fully fit squad however, the Vikings would have struggled to have troubled a very strong looking Edinburgh side.
Middle order pairing Jason Keith and Terry Kirkup performed well, while Michael Parr also managed a heat win, but otherwise it was very much the Falcons on top.
Mikey Hewitson rode to an effortless maximum, Jake Slight also looking back on his top pace, while there was the usual determined effort from Neil Swanson and Marcin Czarkowski in backing up heat leaders Craig Newsome and Neil McPherson.
When is it considered that Gavin Parr’s tandem ride partner Jason Burke, supervet Lee Lawrence and perhaps Kamil Greszla are to come into this squad, then Edinburgh must considered once again a team that will challenge at the top of the league this season.
Edinburgh: Mikey Hewitson 20, Jake Slight 17, Craig Newsome 14+3, Marcin Czarkowski 14, Neil Swanson 14, Neil McPherson 13+2, Dougie Morgan 6+1, Dode Mitchell 4.
Northumbria: Jason Keith 15+1, Michael Parr 13, Terry Kirkup 12+1, Dan Redshaw 12, Gavin Parr 10+3, Daniel Wharrier 7+1, Dan Thompson 5, Andy Knowles 3.
The division two encounter was a brilliant and close match with easily the best racing of the day and several eye catching debuts.
For the Falcons Taylor Murray excelled as he blasted away to win heat one, with fellow youngster Lewis Foxley also looking very rapid and a ride to watch out for in coming years.
The Northumbria heat leaders were able to get on top later, with Dan Redshaw unbeaten and veterans Keith Oldham and Andy Knowles dropping only three points between them, but as they later tired it looked like it would be very close until some back up and a little luck arrived to boost the Vikings.
Certainly the visitors were lucky to gain an advantage as the engine room of the side Dan Thompson and Paul Thompson pounced when Alisdair Foxley fell heavily in heat nine, but it was the introduction of two youngsters that would turn the meeting in their favour.
Lee Redshaw has been improving in practice over the last year, the youngster now showing he has what it takes at a higher level with a win in heat 14 sealing the victory for Northumbria, while fellow reserve Bradley Stansfield was making his debut in division two, he having a very exciting meeting with lots of passing, a crash then and some very crucial additional points for his new team.
Edinburgh: Taylor Murray 16+1, Lewis Foxley 16, Dougie Morgan 14+1, Dode Mitchell 14+1, Skye Mitchell 5, James Foxley 6, Alisdare Foxley 4, Ciaran Leslie dnr.
Northumbria: Dan Redshaw 15+1, Keith Oldham 13, Dan Thompson 13+2, Andy Knowles 11, Paul Thompson 9+1, Lee Redshaw 9, Bradley Stansfield 6+1, Neil Magee 1.
In division three, Lee Redshaw and Bradley Stansfield followed on from their division two heroics by almost snatching the league points, despite Northumbria being outnumbered five to three by the home side.
Sam Stansfield also impressed in support, but a tough schedule of rides all close together got the better of the youngster, he having to miss his last ride after a fall.
With Riley Dinnes leading the way, the Falcons strength in numbers paid off, the contributions of all the squad including little Ben Foxley, vital in adding to their teams total as they just got home for a narrow win.
Edinburgh: Riley Dinnes 14, Ciaran Leslie 9, James Foxley 9, Gemma McPherson 6, Ben Foxley 4.
Northumbria: Lee Redshaw 16, Bradley Stansfield 13, Sam Stansfield 8.