Speedway the winner as Bears blunted by the brilliant Bandits!
Redcar were held to a 45-45 all draw at the Media Prima Arena as their top two Championship hopes took a blow on Sunday afternoon. Berwick were led by their rising star and their inspired former Bear Kasper Andersen who rode brilliantly. The aforementioned Bandits scored 22 between them but the Bears never know when they are beaten and Charles Wright and maximum man Michael Palm-Toft saved the day for the Teesside outfit in heat 15.
The first race of an exhilarating afternoon of speedway saw Charles Wright pass Leon Flint at the end of lap 1 and with the Bandits packing the minor places the scores were level. The next two battles saw Berwick take a 4 point lead with back to back 4-2’s with heat 3 seeing Lewis Kerr breaking the tapes and Jordan Jenkins was brought in as his replacement. Jenkins ultimately pushed Jye Etheridge all the way for third whilst Shielfield Park track expert Dany Gappmaier took the win. Palm-Toft pushed past his Danish friend Andersen at the conclusion of the opening lap to take the win.
As is now customary, Redcar had another slow start and by heat 6 Redcar were 6 down as Aaron Summers got the better of Charles Wright whilst Greg Blair impressively got the better of James Sarjeant after making a poor gate. The ninth race of the day saw a glimmer of hope present itself for Redcar as they gated on a 5-1 until Andersen split Allen and the new boy Kerr which limited Redcar to a 4-2 heat advantage. The deficit left Redcar in tactical territory again and heat 11 was the chosen race as Charles Wright replaced the second new signing Ryan Kinsley. Yet again, Palm-Toft continued his brilliant recent form with another win but Wright could not find a way past Nikolaj Busk Jakobsen which gave the Bears their 2nd 4-2 of the day.
As we entered the final stages of another exciting clash Berwick put the proverbial spanner in the works with a heat 12 5-1 as Kasper Andersen continued to haunt his former side and with Etheridge picking up his first paid win, Redcar were in trouble and 8 points down with 3 heats remaining. Redcar yet again had to rely on their Danish star Palm-Toft to deliver the goods and he yet again delivered and with the skipper Wright in second, Redcar moved within 4. Heat 14 saw two exciting battles as Kerr was passed by Andersen and Jordan Jenkins impressively got the better of Gappmaier to keep the Bears hopes alive and yet again we had another last heat decider on our hands.
The final race of the day saw an unbelievable race with Charles Wright away and gone at the front with quite frankly, unbelievable racing happening behind him. Palm-Toft, desperate to salvage a result for the Bears, hugged the kerb for most of the race whilst the fantastic Leon Flint rode the boards and looked set to grab 2nd place for the majority of the race. As we entered the final bend, Palm-Toft left the kerb to try and block the run of Flint but Flint lost control as he hit the fence with his machinery ending up on the centre green which gave the Bears the 5-1 they needed for a draw! Flint was absolutely devastated and remained on all fours in disbelief at the end of a super, scintillating speedway meeting. You know it’s been an unbelievable meeting when you don’t know the match result
Berwick’s Kasper Andersen was chuffed with his day’s work, “I’m quite happy with my efforts, I would’ve liked some points in heat 15 but overall it’s been a great day! 2 away points is better than none but today we proved that we can mix it with the best teams of the league. Redcar are really strong at home and if they can keep going they stand a good chance in the play-offs.”
The maximum man, Michael Palm-Toft was delighted with his Sunday, “I think we were slightly unlucky as we had a couple of tapes exclusions which cost us overall. We also have a couple of new signings who will need time to settle in at home but it is what it is and when they settle in we will have a solid side. I would’ve liked a full maximum but it is always nice to hit a maximum! I would also like to mention that Jordan Jenkins is on his way back, he has had some machinery issues recently which knocked his confidence but he is on his way back now and I’m trying to give him a hand in the pits.”
Redcar Bears = 45
1. Charles Wright = 14+1
2. James Sarjeant = 0
3. Jake Allen = 7+1
4. Lewis Kerr = 5
5. Michael Palm Toft = 14+1
6. Ryan Kinsley = 0
7. Jordan Jenkins = 5+1
Berwick Bandits = 45
1. Nikolaj Busk Jakobsen = 3+1
2. Leon Flint = 8
3. Jye Etheridge = 6+2
4. Dany Gappmaier = 6+1
5. Aaron Summers = 5+1
6. Kasper Andersen = 14
7. Greg Blair (G) = 3