Bears battle to important win!
The Redcar “Agilia” Bears showed their mettle and desire to fight for the crest as they overcame a strong challenge from the Plymouth Gladiators to start their league campaign in impressive fashion with a 48-42 home success.
Redcar have learned how to hit the front and stay on top and that showed as they never let the Gladiators get in front of them in a tight encounter at the Ecco Arena. Charles Wright made an impressive gate in the opener but Chris Harris passed Adam Roynon to limit the damage. Plymouth then hit back in heat 3 with a 4-2 of their own as Ben Barker took a win under intense pressure from Lewis Kerr but Barker used his years as a Bear to hold off the testimonial man.
The Bears then took 2 more 4-2 advantages which stretched their lead to 4 but there was controversy in heat 4 as Erik Riss steamed up the inside of Dan Gilkes with the Gladiator subsequently hitting the deck. The referee deemed Gilkes to be at fault and thus he was excluded with supporters split with their opinions on the decision.
Harris and Kerr provided a classic race for the audience with Harris bombing up the inside of Kerr only for Kerr to re-pass on the run to the line to take the win. 3 successive shared heats followed with Plymouth taking the chequered flag in heats 6 and 8 courtesy of Hans Andersen and Dan Gilkes. The side Garry May (Plymouth TM) has put together is a strong side and they showed why in the first half of the meeting as they recorded 4/8 heat winners.
Heat 11 saw the first 5-1 of the evening and crucially it went to the home side with Plymouth having to race with only Gilkes due to Harris being disqualified for wiping out his partner on the opening bend. However, the Bears still had a job to do and Erik Riss and Jordan Jenkins did that to send the Teessiders into a 6 point lead with Jenkins riding a clever line to see off early pressure from the former Kent starlet.
With the hosts 6 ahead it gave Garry May the opportunity to use his tactical substitute in the shape of their guest Chris Harris. The Gladiators looked set for a 4-2 to cut the gap to 4 only for Harris to suffer bike problems which allowed Jenkins through for a shared heat with Barker again looking quick out in front.
Redcar sealed the deal in heat 13 as their talismanic duo of Wright and Riss combined for a 5-1 to send the Bears 10 clear to secure the 3 league points. The Gladiators hit back with a 5-1 of their own in heat 15 courtesy of Michael Palm-Toft and Harris to claim a consolation point many felt they deserved after a strong showing at the Ecco Arena.
Plymouth boss Garry May was content with his side’s work on the evening, “I’m happy with the point, we worked hard for the point and I think we deserved it on balance. There were a couple of dodgy refereeing decisions which didn’t go my way but Redcar are a really strong side and I don’t see many people winning here.”
May also updated supporters on their missing number 1 Edward Kennett, “Edward Kennett has got to have an operation on his arm, he has a plate sticking out of arm in 3 places and we will see what happens after the operation. I am hoping the authorities will allow us to use guests as it was a Speedway injury.”
Redcar’s Jordan Jenkins was happy with his paid 9 return, “ Paid 9 is a much better score than I would have got last year so I can’t be grumbling! I have lots of learning to do but I am quite happy as I have not ridden in 10 days.”
Jenkins also reserved praise for his teammates who stepped up this evening, “ The boys rode well this evening, I was looking at Plymouth’s 1-7 before the meeting and they are a strong side with Tofty (Michael Palm-Toft) at 4 and three other genuine heat leaders. The boys had to be on their A game and they all were which got us the win. Our 2022 side are gating a lot better than last year and that is a massive help at the start of meetings which is allowing us to hit our opponents hard.”
Redcar “Agilia” Bears = 48
1 Charles Wright = 12
2 Adam Roynon = 3+2
3 Lewis Kerr = 5
4 Kasper Andersen = 7
5 Erik Riss = 11+1
6 Jordan Jenkins = 6+3
7 Jason Edwards = 4+1
Plymouth Gladiators = 42
1 Chris Harris (G) = 7+1
2 Alfie Bowtell = 0
3 Ben Barker = 8+2
4 Michael Palm Toft = 11
5 Hans Andersen = 8
6 Dan Gilkes = 7
7 Henry Atkins = 1