Bears beat but restrict Monarchs
Redcar put on a battling display to restrict Edinburgh to a 4 point lead as they were defeated 47-43 defeat at Armadale in the KO Cup semi-final first leg. Richard Lawson top scored for the Bears as a guest with 12 whilst Josh Pickering hit 13 for the Monarchs.
The meeting started in even fashion as Sam Masters started his comeback with a win but both Wright and Edwards packed into second and third to stop Edinburgh from taking an early lead. Edinburgh struck the first blow in heat 2 as James Sarjeant took a comfortable win with Jacob Hook surviving a couple of scary moments to claim second and a Monarchs 5-1.
Disaster occurred in heat 3 for the Bears as Kasper Andersen came to grief on the 4th bend of lap 2. Andersen was excluded from the re-run and subsequently withdrew from the meeting with a hip injury. Richard Lawson won the re-run to start his evening in winning fashion and keep Redcar within 4 points in the early stages.
Jordan Jenkins made a superb gate in heat 4 to take an early lead but the Brit was quickly usurped by the brilliant Josh Pickering in the closing stages of the opening lap. The Australian went on to take a comfortable win but again both Bears bagged the minor places to keep Redcar in touch.
Edinburgh began to take control as they extended their lead to 6 as the impressive Paco Castagna defeated Charles Wright and with Kye Thomson securing third over Jason Edwards, Edinburgh were suddenly in control.
Redcar’s new signing, Kyle Newman, in his second appearance in Bears colours, took the lead ahead of Masters in heat 6 but the Edinburgh skipper used his home track knowledge to pass the Bears reserve and win. Nevertheless, with both Bears in the scoring positions, the Edinburgh lead remained at 6.
Heat 7 saw a Monarchs 4-2 heat advantage as Pickering got the better of Lawson after a first lap tussle but with Jenkins packing up on the start line, Edinburgh were sensing a big first leg lead as they stretched their lead to 8.
The original staging of heat 8 saw all 4 invited back for the re-run after Lasse Fredriksen and Jordan Jenkins came to grief exiting bend 1 of the opening lap. The second attempt saw Jenkins lay the bike down after Hook spun with the Edinburgh man being excluded from the 3rd and final staging. The Bears pairing of Edwards and Jenkins gated in the final staging and expertly team rode to keep Fredriksen at bay and bring the visitors within 4.
Despite looking like the tide may be turning, Edinburgh restored their 8 point lead with a tapes to flag 5-1 in heat 9 courtesy of the middle order pairing of Castagna and Thomson. Nevertheless, Redcar were not about to give up without a fight and Lawson won heat 10, handing Masters a rare defeat on home shale and with Jenkins picking up an important 3rd place, suddenly the pendulum began to swing back in Redcar’s favour.
Heat 11 saw one of the races of the night as Pickering reeled in Wright with a sublime final bend pass to take the win and with the former Bear Sarjeant claiming third, Edinburgh stretched their lead slightly to 8 points. Again, Redcar bit back with a 4-2 of their own as Redcar’s stellar guest Lawson, won his 3rd race of the night but Thomson passed Newman on the run to the line to limit the damage for Edinburgh.
Lewis Kerr won heat 13 in fantastic style after blocking a hard charging Pickering but with Wright unluckily finding himself at the back, Redcar could not close the gap any further. The 6th shared heat of the night came in heat 14 as Castagna capped off an impressive evening by passing Newman on the 3rd lap to take the chequered flag but for the 4th time in a shared race situation, Redcar packed into the minor places.
Heading into heat 15, Redcar knew that keeping the Monarchs within 6 was key but the Bears went one better and secured a priceless 4-2 heat advantage. Lewis Kerr once again rode the boards to defeat Pickering and with Lawson holding off Masters, Redcar got themselves their 4th and most important heat advantage of the night to leave the tie finely balanced.
In second half action, history was made as the Redcar Cubs defeated the West Lothian Wildcats 23-12 over 6 heats to win the Northern Junior League with the title heading back to Redcar for the first time since 2013. The Cubs, led by Gavin Parr rode sensibly and superbly to secure the title. The team is made up of National League reserve Kyran Lyden, British NORA Women’s Champion Katie Gordon, Seth Norman and Oliver Bovingdon. With Bovingdon away, Dan Mcteer from the Teesside Tigers stepped in to help secure the win and the title for the riders. Everyone at Redcar Speedway would like to congratulate the Cubs on the title win!
Redcar’s Lewis Kerr was happy with his second half of the meeting, “ We as a side had a lot of mechanical problems early on in the meeting. Personally, I had severe clutch drag in the first 3 heats. I knew the bike was good so we managed to find the problem and the bike came good for the big heats (13&15).”
The heat 15 winner also warned that the tie is far from over, “ This tie is far from over as we have the second leg at Redcar and Redcar is a track everyone likes so we will have to be on our toes to get through.”
Edinburgh Monarchs = 47
1. Sam Masters = 9+1
2. Lasse Fredriksen = 1
3. Kye Thomson = 7+1
4. Paco Castagna = 10+1
5. Josh Pickering = 13
6. James Sarjeant = 5
7. Jacob Hook = 2+1
Redcar Bears = 43
1. Charles Wright = 6
2. Jason Edwards = 3+2
3. Richard Lawson (G) = 12
4. Kasper Andersen = 0 Withdrawn
5. Lewis Kerr = 8+2
6. Kyle Newman = 6
7. Jordan Jenkins = 8+1