Bears sparkle in opening night win!
The Redcar “Agilia” Bears stormed to an opening night success as they dominated the Newcastle Diamonds with a 60-29 Tyne-Tees Trophy success in front of a large audience at the Ecco Arena. The Bears were fantastic from start to finish and fully deserved the spoils as they flew from the tapes to dismantle the Diamonds in the first leg.
The 2019 KO Cup winners started 2022 in the perfect way with back to back 5-1’s in the opening 2 races. Gating was the key in the early knockings as Charles Wright and Adam Roynon combined to set the tone. The third heat saw Newcastle show some fight with the impressive Max Clegg holding off a strong challenge from Kasper Andersen to claim second for the Diamonds with Lewis Kerr unchallenged at the front. The first Newcastle heat winner of the evening came from their skipper, James Wright who made Erik Riss pay for missing the gate to take a comfortable win but with George Congreve at the back the Diamonds could not put a dent into the 10 point lead the Bears had already amassed. .
Redcar heat advantages were the order of the day and two more followed in heats 5 and 6 respectively with the smooth starting Lewis Kerr and Charles Wright taking tapes to flag wins. Heat 6 saw the race of the night with Matthew Wethers using the outside dirt to hold off an intelligent challenge from the impressive Adam Roynon who was intent on riding the inside but ultimately, the Cumbrian could not make the pass.
Heading into heat 9 the Bears held a 18 point lead and Lewis Kerr helped make that 20 against his former side with another impressive win. In the battle for second Lee Complin showed why he has returned to speedway after a decade out as he held off a strong outside challenge from Kasper Andersen.
Adam Roynon finished off an impressive opening nights work by riding shotgun for his brilliant skipper Charles Wright as the pair combined for a 5-1 to send the Teessiders into a 24 point lead.
Heat 12 saw Newcastle’s only heat advantage of the night with a match race. Lee Complin hit the fence when trying to find grip on the outside and thus was excluded from the re-run. Jordan Jenkins then touched the tapes in the second staging and to further complicate matters, Lewis Kerr was not under power at the time of the stoppage which saw Jade Mudgway replace Jenkins with his reserve partner Jason Edwards for a match race against James Wright. Edwards rode a brilliant race, blocking the Newcastle skippers move for 3 laps until a change in strategy from the 35 year old saw him take the spoils with a clever inside move on the young Bears reserve.
Matches can be won and lost in heats 13 and 15 and if tonight is anything to go by the Bears fans are in for a good season as Wright and Riss combined beautifully for 2 5-1’s to cap off a brilliant opening night with the Bears taking a 31 point lead up to Newcastle for the second leg in early April.
Newcastle skipper James Wright was philosophical about the evening, “We knew tonight was going to be tough, Redcar are a good, solid team with probably the best 3 heat leaders in the league. It’s good to get this meeting out of the way but the result was not the best. Lee Complin went really well tonight and a lot better than I expected..”
The former Sheffield man was encouraged by his personal performance, “I managed to get a couple of wins under my belt, I felt pretty quick all night and 8 points is a good solid return for me.”
Redcar team boss Jade Mudgway was delighted with the performance he saw from his septet, “It was a great day all round, the riders got stuck in and they reaped the rewards with the result. I thought the reserves were fantastic, Jordan was not happy but I don’t know what he’s worried about, he scored paid 10 and that’s a great night! I’m also really pleased with Jason, he showed a lot of determination in heat 12 despite not getting the win. I’m really pleased with our reserves!”
The Kiwi also offered encouragement for the Diamonds, “I was impressed with George Congreve, he was on the pace and with time I’m sure he will come good whilst Lee Complin was all-effort. I think Newcastle will get stronger as the season progresses.”
Redcar = 60
1. Charles Wright = 13+2 PAID MAX
2. Adam Roynon = 7+1
3. Lewis Kerr = 9
4. Kasper Andersen = 6+1
5. Erik Riss = 13+1
6. Jason Edwards = 4+1
7. Jordan Jenkins = 8+2
Newcastle = 29
1. Bradley Wilson-Dean = 3+1
2. Matthew Wethers = 7
3. James Wright = 8
4. Max Clegg = 8+1
5. Paul Starke R/R
6. Lee Complin = 3
7. George Congreve = 0