Redcar retain the Tyne-Tees Trophy with derby day draw!
Redcar remained undefeated in 2022 and picked up their first piece of silverware after fighting their way to a share of the spoils against a dogged Newcastle side. The second leg score was a 45-45 draw which meant Redcar won the trophy with a 105-74 aggregate scoreline.
Redcar’s heat leader trio of Charles Wright, Lewis Kerr and Erik Riss yet again did a great job with all 3 hitting double figures whilst Riss continued his fantastic start to the season with a paid maximum.
The meeting began with a share of the spoils as Wright took a win from the gate to begin Redcar’s charge towards the 91 points they needed to retain the trophy. Heat 2 saw Jordan Jenkins pop out of the start to take a hugely impressive win with only his second outing at Brough Park. The North-East rivals exchanged 4-2 heat advantages in heats 3 and 4 with Riss making a fantastic gate in his opener to start the meeting off as he meant to go on.
Newcastle edged their noses ahead on the night in heat 5 with a 4-2 as Max Clegg held off a strong early challenge from Wright. Meanwhile, the battle at the back saw James Wright pass Adam Roynon to give the Diamonds fans hope of a win on the night but even the most optimistic of Diamonds fans could not have hoped for a monumental comeback. The 8th race saw some cracking action with Jenkins leading the veteran Matthew Wethers until the last bend when Jenkins ran wide which gave the Australian the opportunity to make an inside swoop to take the win.
Shared heats were the order of the day as 7 consecutive 3-3’s were recorded between heats 6-12 which kept Newcastle 2 in front with the Bears having already secured the aggregate win. Ahead of the final 3 races you felt that the match would be decided on heats 13 and 14 and with Redcar having the duo of Wright and Riss in 13 the Teessiders stood every chance of taking the maximum heat advantage they craved.
Drama ensued in heat 13 with Charles Wright winning comfortably but with Paul Starke sitting in a seemingly comfortable second it looked like the Bears were only set for a 4-2. Amazingly, there was a twist as Starke and the Diamonds were left to rue their luck as the Ipswich man suffered an engine failure on the last lap to hand Riss second and the Bears a 5-1 to send them into a 2 point lead.
The Diamonds weren’t about to lie down on their home track and they hit back with a 5-1 of their own with Lee Complin showing his home fans he means business on his return to the sport with an impressive win whilst Max Clegg hunted down Kasper Andersen and Tom Woolley to send Newcastle 2 up with heat 15 to go.
Newcastle won a last heat decider in their opener against a Stoke select but this time the Bears got the minimum they required with a 4-2 as Erik Riss completed his perfect day whilst Lewis Kerr bombed up the inside of Max Clegg on lap 3 to ensure Redcar remained undefeated in the early stages of the campaign.
Maximum man Riss was happy with his day, “I’m very happy with today, I got a little lucky in heat 13 with Paul Starke suffering an engine failure but apart from that I won every race, we won a trophy so I’m pleased.”
The double World Longtrack champion had words of encouragement for Newcastle, “Tonight was a much tougher challenge, a few of their riders are really track specialists and quick around here and they were much stronger at home.”
The 2019 Championship Riders Individual Champion explained the complexities around team riding on such a tight circuit, “When you need a 5-1 to win on the tighter tracks you hope that you can both make the gate but unfortunately Lewi (Kerr) couldn’t join me at the front, it’s really hard to make passes around here and you cannot wait around for your teammate because if you make one mistake the opposition are past you.”
Newcastle Diamonds = 45 (74)
1 Ricky Wells (G) = 6+1
2 Matthew Wethers = 7+2
3 James Wright = 6
4 Max Clegg = 9+2
5 Paul Starke = 10
6 Lee Complin = 6+1
7 George Congreve = 1+1
Redcar Bears = 45 (105)
1 Charles Wright = 10
2 Adam Roynon = 2+2
3 Lewis Kerr = 11
4 Kasper Andersen = 2+1
5 Erik Riss = 14+1
6 Jordan Jenkins = 5
7 Tom Woolley (G) = 1