Manchester 17 MCC Ltd - Dead Easy Trial
- Henry Rosenthal
The first Manchester 17 Club’s Dead Easy Trial of the year was in doubt on Saturday when the marking out team met to plot the sections. The course at Heaton House Farm, Rushton Spencer, was covered in snow with a warning of more snow for Sunday. It was agreed to lay out the sections and make a final decision early Sunday morning. The gamble paid off, the snow failed to materialise and 52 hardy souls managed a days sport.
At least five newcomers to trials had a baptism of fire as although the snow had gone there was a bitterly cold wind and a sleet storm for the last hour. Despite this they all went home with a smile on their faces.
The course was four laps of ten sections set out on grassy banks amongst trees which provided some shelter, with a thought that there could be further snow.
The ninth section, observed by the legendary Scott Ellis, the former works Triumph, BSA and Greeves rider, was an old fashioned mud slot which certainly took marks from the unwary.
The hardest section was the last one which cut up worse than intended, with the short climbs and turns on banks becoming very slippery.
On the Harder Route there was only one clean ride, belonging to young Scott Hipwell, riding an old monoshock Yam, clearly the influence of Father, “Factory Kev” paying dividends.
Another youngster, Tom Shepherd will be annoyed to have lost his only mark on section nine but he should take comfort that it was a tricky section and not many bettered that score in the mud.
Bill Brown lost his two marks on the difficult last section, followed by Ryan Shepherd and Mike Kelly on six, and Paul Baddley completing the top six on eight. A mark further back was the experienced national rider Lee Granby but to put his ride into context, he was competing on an 80cc Fantic!
The Easy Route was won by Jonathan Brown who only dropped two marks, again on Scott’s section. Alan Critchlow on the oldest bike in the trial was runner up on three, joined by William Banks and Marc Roberts, also on three. Alan’s brother Ray was next on five, so no doubt had to buy the beers, with Aintree clubman Nigel Rigg and Callum Roberts completing the top six on seven lost each.
Thanks to all the riders for supporting the event, the workers for making it happen, and the hero observers for tolerating such cold and wet conditions.