Battling Bears see off determined Diamonds
The Redcar “Agilia” Bears defeated a game Newcastle Diamonds select side 46-44 to retain the Tyne-Tees Trophy after a topsy turvy encounter at the ECCO Arena. Erik Riss top scored for the Bears with 13 whilst Steve Worrall led from the front for Newcastle with 12.
“The Business” started his season in perfect fashion with a win over Steve Worrall despite the testimonial man stalking the Bears number 1 after passing his teammate Max Clegg in the early stages. Connor Mountain showed why he was the subject of plenty of Championship interest in the winter with a convincing heat 2 win and with Alfie Bowtell passing Jake Mulford for 3rd, Newcastle took an early 2 point lead.
Charles Wright took a superb heat 3 win over his brother James after they battled in the opening stages before the Redcar skipper stretched his legs for the heat win but with Danyon Hume falling, the Diamonds retained their 2 point lead. Danny King showed why he will be a huge asset to Redcar in heat 4 as he took a convincing win over Richie Worrall but again, Newcastle packed the minor placings to ensure their lead remained intact.
Newcastle doubled their lead after a sharp gate from Steve Worrall who took a comfortable win and with Clegg riding intelligently to hold off Hume, Newcastle put themselves into a deserved 4 point lead. Riss provided the race of the night in heat 6 with a sublime last bend pass on Richie Worrall to send the Redcar fans into raptures but with Connor Bailey at the back, Redcar could not eat into the visitors lead.
After a shared heat 7 won by King, Newcastle took their lead to 6 points after Birmingham’s Alfie Bowtell took the win ahead of Bailey who showed the credentials that will endear him to the Bears faithful with a battling 2nd place after passing Clegg to limit the damage to a Diamonds 4-2.
The comeback began in earnest with a heat 9 4-2 as Charles Wright got the better of Richie Worrall after a tough opening bend and with Hume getting to grips with his new home track to pass Mountain, Redcar were within striking distance of the visitors. Suddenly, Redcar brought themselves level after a stunning heat 10 5-1 as Riss took a comfortable win and with Bailey riding smartly to see off the experienced Paul Starke, Redcar found themselves with the initiative heading into the final stages.
The Bears resurgence continued with a heat 11 heat win as King took his 3rd win on the spin but with Steve Worrall passing a fast starting Jason Edwards, Redcar had to settle for a 4-2. Charles Wright capped off a superb evening with his 3rd win after passing his brother James on the opening lap whilst Mulford could count himself unlucky not to pass James Wright with the Birmingham man holding on for 3rd on the line which kept Redcar’s lead at 2.
Riss continued his unblemished record with a statement win in heat 13 but despite Redcar gating on a 5-1, King was passed by the Worrall brothers and subsequently fell which kept Newcastle’s hopes alive. Paul Starke won heat 14 impressively despite educated pressure from Hume which left the meeting tantalisingly poised heading into heat 15.
With Redcar two points ahead going into the final race, the Newcastle pairing of the Worrall brothers knew they needed at least a 4-2 to force a deciding super heat but despite Steve winning impressively, the Bears duo of Riss and King packed the minor placings to ensure Redcar retained the Tyne-Tees Trophy after an exciting evening’s entertainment at the ECCO Arena.
Redcar co-promoter Jamie Swales was happy with the result and the performance of his 2023 side, “ The three heat leaders were awesome throughout so I knew they were going to keep us in the meeting but it was just about the other four boys building their confidence which definitely came by the end. All of the four boys had at least one good ride in the meeting which is encouraging.”
Swales was also impressed with the battling display of Connor Bailey who made significant progress in the second half of the meeting, “ Connor had the wrong set-up at the start which was part of the reason we did tonight’s meeting but by the end of the night, he was away and riding really well!”
Redcar Bears = 46
1. Erik Riss = 13
2. Connor Bailey = 4+1
3. Charles Wright = 11
4. Danyon Hume = 3
5. Danny King = 11
6. Jason Edwards = 4+1
7. Jake Mulford = 0
Newcastle Diamonds Select = 44
1. Steve Worrall = 12
2. Max Clegg = 3+1
3. James Wright = 5+1
4. Paul Starke = 6+2
5. Richie Worrall = 7+1
6. Connor Mountain = 6+1
7. Alfie Bowtell = 5+1