Brilliant Bears down the Gladiators!
Redcar produced one of their best performances of the season to qualify for the play-offs with a majestic 51-39 away win over the Plymouth Gladiators. Richard Lawson hit paid 14 (12+2) for the victorious Bears whilst Ben Morley hit 12 for the Gladiators. Additionally, Redcar’s comfortable victory was Plymouth’s first home league defeat of the season.
The crunch clash started perfectly for the Bears as Jason Edwards and Richard Lawson made the perfect gate in heat 1 and with Edwards riding sensibly to hold off Richie Worrall, Redcar held the upper hand. Plymouth hit back in heat 2 as their new reserve Connor Coles took his first win as a Gladiator whilst Lee Complin held off Redcar’s guest Henry Atkins for third to reduce Redcar’s lead to 2.
Redcar immediately returned the favour with a 4-2 of their own in heat 3 as Kasper Andersen (on his first visit to Plymouth) took a tapes to flag win whilst Kyle Howarth passed Redcar’s guest Leon Flint to split the Redcar pairing. Redcar’s guest Henry Atkins flew from the gate in heat 4 to take a very impressive win whilst Lewis Kerr comfortably held off Hans Andersen to send the Bears into a 8 point lead.
Plymouth team manager Garry May wasted no time in using his tactical substitute with the former Somerset manager bringing in Richie Worrall to try and cut the early deficit. However, Richard Lawson did not get the memo and tore up the script with a comfortable win ahead of both of the Plymouth guests.
Morley rode a fantastic heat 6 to hold off a faster looking Kerr for the win and with Worrall in third, Plymouth were within 6. However, there was no reason to panic as Redcar immediately regained their 8 point advantage with a 4-2 of their own as the impressive Kasper Andersen got the better of Hans Andersen and with Flint in third, Redcar turned the screw a little more.
Morley was proving to be a thorn in the Bears side as he took another heat win to bring Plymouth within 6 as Complin passed Atkins for 3rd.
Redcar stamped their authority on proceedings with a huge heat 9 5-1 as Kyle Newman gated for an easy win whilst Kerr and Hand Andersen exchanged passes with Kerr coming out on top to give the Bears real hope of their third away win of the season.
Plymouth’s only 5-1 of the evening arrived in heat 10 as the dangerman Morley combined with Worrall to give the home support a sniff. Normal service was resumed with Redcar’s 3rd 4-2 heat advantage of the night as Lawson won again whilst Edwards passed Complin for third to keep the Bears in a strong position.
After a shared heat 12, Redcar secured victory and a place in the play-offs with a superb heat 13 5-1. Worrall gated for the hosts but he was passed superbly by both Bears (Lawson and Kerr) to send the small travelling contingent wild in celebration of the Bears play-off place being confirmed.
Further celebration was in order for the revitalised Bears with the visitors securing 5th place as Andersen and Newman packed in behind the impressive Morley to secure a 4 point away win.
Heat 15 was taken by Worrall but yet again the Bears (Lawson and Kerr) packed into the minor placings to secure a hard earned and deserved 12 point away success.
Redcar team boss Jade Mudgway was ecstatic with the result, “We rode really well tonight, we could have done that earlier in the season in the league but we did the job when it mattered tonight. Our guests all really pitched in and rode well and did themselves proud.”
Plymouth Gladiators = 39
1. Richie Worrall (G) = 9+2
2. Ben Morley = 12
3. Kyle Howarth (G) = 7
4. R/R for Michael Palm Toft
5. Hans Andersen = 6
6. Lee Complin = 2
7. Connor Coles = 3
Redcar Bears = 51
1. Richard Lawson (G) = 12+2
2. Jason Edwards = 5+1
3. Leon Flint (G) = 5
4. Kasper Andersen = 8
5. Lewis Kerr = 11+2
6. Kyle Newman = 7+2
7. Henry Atkins (G) = 3