Wright and Kerr save the day for battling Bears!
Redcar battled back from the brink to preserve their undefeated home record as they came back from 12 points down to secure a draw against a strong Leicester side. The Bears were led superbly by their skipper Charles Wright who scored a fantastic 17 points to save Redcar. The clash was another humdinger which showcased fantastic speedway throughout.
Amazingly, the Teessiders never led throughout the meeting as Leicester left their opponents standing at the start for most of the first half of the meeting. By the end of heat 4 Leicester had already amassed an 8 point advantage after Zaine Kennedy brilliantly held off the challenge of Michael Palm-Toft to secure the Lions first 5-1. Redcar showed their first signs of life with back to back 4-2 heat advantages in heats 5 and 6 as Charles Wright took his first win of the night in an eventful heat 6 as Zaine Kennedy did his best buckaroo impression whilst falling under pressure from James Sarjeant.
The first attempt at a comeback was short lived for the Bears as Leicester hit back to back 5-1’s in heats 7 & 8 to send shockwaves through another large home crowd. With the Bears now 12 down they were staring down the barrel of a huge home defeat but as we know with this team, they will never give up! The second comeback attempt began with back to back 4-2’s to bring the Bears within 8 of Leicester with Lewis Kerr and Charles Wright taking the chequered flag for the Bears.
Jade Mudgway made use of his tactical substitute in heat 11 when Charles Wright was brought in to partner Michael Palm-Toft and another win from the skipper with Toft in 3rd saw Redcar nibble away further at Leicester’s lead which now stood at 6 points.
The twelfth race of the night saw huge surprise and controversy in equal measure as Jordan Jenkins made a jet propelled gate to defeat Hans Andersen for the second time in six days. The race for second place saw huge drama as Jake Allen was adjudged to have pipped Hans Andersen on the line, much to the frustration of the Leicester camp with most onlookers agreeing with the furious Leicester manager Stewart Dickson that Andersen got the 2 points. The decision of a maximum heat advantage saw Redcar bring themselves within 2 with 3 heats remaining.
Charles Wright continued his stellar night with another win in heat 13 but with Toft at the back the Bears were still trailing. The penultimate race saw Ryan Kinsley and Kerr get in each other’s way on the opening bend which gave Kyle Howarth the fresh air he needed to take the win and with Kennedy in third the Lions were 4 points ahead heading into heat 15. Another remarkable race was to follow as Wright and Kerr gated only for Wright to almost lose it at the end of lap 3 which gave Nick Morris a chance to pass Kerr who was indirectly hampered by the skipper. Kerr used his knowledge of the Media Prima Arena to wrestle back control of second place and with that Redcar secured a draw which actually felt like a win after a topsy turvy match.
Leicester’s Australian star Nick Morris was disappointed not to come away with the win, “We were hard done by tonight, Wright made a blatant jump start in heat 15 which cost us the win. In a professional league it’s really poor as the finish between Hans Andersen and Jake Allen also seemed to be an incorrect decision and these decisions can cost teams points and league titles at the end of the day. Ultimately, we shouldn’t have been in a last heat decider and next time we won’t let that happen!”
Redcar’s main man Charles Wright was happy with his points return for the Bears, “When we were 12 points down things were looking unlikely for us but we didn’t lose the meeting and that’s the main thing! It now looks like we will end up in the Play-Off quarter finals and it could end up being a positive for us as we will have more time on the bike which can only be a positive.”
Redcar Bears = 45
1. Charles Wright = 17
2. James Sarjeant = 3
3. Jake Allen = 4+1
4. Lewis Kerr = 12+1
5. Michael Palm Toft = 3
6. Ryan Kinsley = 1+1
7. Jordan Jenkins = 5
Leicester Lions = 45
1. Nick Morris = 10
2. Dan Thompson R/R
3. Hans Andersen = 6+1
4. Kyle Howarth = 12
5. Ryan Douglas = 8+1
6. Greg Blair (G) = 07. Zaine Kennedy = 9+2