Scunthorpe preview and Fours reflections
Just 4 days after holding a very successful Championship Four Team Tournament, the Redcar Ecco Finishing Supplies Bears return to action on Thursday against Scunthorpe Scorpions at the Media Prima Arena (7:30pm start).
On a scorching hot day on Sunday, the Peterborough Panthers retained their title in fine style but it was a superb days racing all round. The volunteers and track staff worked hard all day to keep the track in good nick and ensure fans were fed and hydrated. Bears co-promoter Jitendra Duffill was delighted with how the day turned out:
Sunday saw us host the Championship 4 Team Tournament and I was really pleased with how the day went. I felt the event was a huge success and Kev Keay should be very proud of what he achieved. A lot of time and planning went into the event to ensure that it ran as smoothly as possible and to cater for the extra supporters that we expected to arrive. We have had some very positive feedback and that was very pleasing to hear after so many were quick to criticise and judge our ability to succeed before giving us a chance to try.
Thank you to everyone that attended and especially to all of our volunteers who worked hard in uncomfortable temperatures. I’d also like to thank Terry the Track and his staff for their superb work on the track. It was always going to be difficult to provide a perfect race surface in the extreme heat but I don’t think anybody could have done any better on the day and we saw some amazing racing as a result.
The Bears bowed out of the competition in the semi-final stage, although had started the meeting well with Thomas Jorgensen and Mikkel B Andersen winning their opening rides. The Bears afternoon changed with the exclusion of Ben Barker in his second ride, which Duffill was disappointed with:
We started very strongly but things went wrong just after the half way stage when Ben Barker was excluded in his second ride. I was absolutely dumbfounded at the referee’s decision to exclude Ben and I cannot for one second understand how he could be blamed for the crash. The ref’ told me that Ben should have shut off, but anybody with any sort of understanding of how a Speedway bike rides knows you cannot shut off when riding close to the fence as it straightens up. Ben was left with nowhere to go but into the fence. It was the wrong decision in my opinion and one that probably cost us a place in the final.
This Thursday sees the visit of injury ravaged Scunthorpe, with four of their regular riders currently out injured. Steve Worrall, Jason Garrity, Stefan Nielsen and Danny Phillips are all currently on the sidelines. They have booked in some solid guests though, as Richard Lawson, Aaron Summers and Joe Lawlor come in for Worrall, Garrity and Phillips with r/r in operation for Nielsen. Duffill is still expecting a close meeting:
This week we welcome Scunthorpe and they have had a torrid time with injury this year. With Jason Garrity, Steve Worrall, Stefan Nielsen and Danny Phillips all in the sidelines they have a bit of a patched up side but the guests they have chosen ride our track very well. They look very strong on paper and that means that we have a very tough task on our hands again on Thursday.
There is one change to the Bears side for this week, with German Tobias Busch now fully fit and returning in place of Nathan Greaves whose 28 day spell is over. Duffill is pleased to see Busch back, but also sad to see Greaves leave:
We welcome back Tobias Busch to our side this week after his recent hand injury and it’s good to have him back in the side. His return also pushes Mikkel B Andersen down to number 6 alongside Jordy Stewart so we look very strong at reserve again. I’d like to say a very big thank you to Nathan Greaves for all his efforts over the last 4 weeks. His 28 day contract has now reached its conclusion and I’m sad to see him go. I’ve really enjoyed working along side Nathan and I am pleased with the job that he has done for us. He is a rider I’d love to have back at Redcar again in the near future as I believe that there is a lot more to come from him.
Redcar: Barker, Jonas B Andersen, Berge, Busch, Jorgensen, Mikkel B Andersen, Stewart
Scunthorpe: Lawson, Summers, r/r for Nielsen, Allen, Auty, Lawlor, Manzares