Battling Bears beat Gladiators
Redcar added 2 points to their Cab Direct Championship tally with a closely contested, rain affected, 48-41 win against a plucky Plymouth side at the ECCO Arena. Charles Wright top scored for the Bears with 13 whilst Kyle Howarth & Ben Barker both hit 12 for the visitors.
The “Agilia” Bears started in superb fashion with an opening heat 5-1 as Danny King and Danyon Hume flew from the gate superbly and with Howarth not threatening Hume, the Bears had an untroubled start at the ECCO Arena.
Heat 2 saw a superb race with Connor Bailey winning but all the action was behind the flying Bears reserve. Plymouth’s new signing, James Pearson battled ferociously with the Redcar guest Connor Coles with Coles initially holding 2nd until Pearson passed the battling Coles on lap 3 and then made ground up on Bailey but left himself too much to do and the Bears had an early 6 point lead on Teesside.
Plymouth bit back with a slightly fortuitous heat 3 5-1 as the Bears gated on a maximum heat advantage of their own until Erik Riss suffered mechanical problems whilst leading comfortably whilst Jason Edwards was passed by Plymouth’s Ben Barker and Dan Gilkes to give Plymouth their first heat advantage and Redcar’s comfortable lead was no more.
Heat 4 saw Redcar double their lead to 4 points as Wright’s superb form continued with a fantastic heat 4 win but Coles was the star at the back, the Brit held 3rd until he was passed by Richie Worrall but Coles was not to be denied as he lined up Worrall for a lap until he glided around the outside entering lap 4 with the Bears fans showing their support to the battling Brit.
Riss again suffered issues in his 2nd outing with more mechanical problems whilst in second but with Howarth winning, Plymouth reduced the arrears to 2 points at the ECCO Arena. The run of 4-2 heat advantages continued in heat 6 as King took his second win on the spin and with Hume in 3rd, Redcar’s 4 point lead was restored.
After a shared heat 7 won by Wright, Redcar doubled their lead to 8 points with the side’s 3rd successive heat 8 5-1 in the last 3 home meetings as Bailey and Hume combined to give Redcar important breathing space. Plymouth team manager Garry May used his tactical substitute in heat 9 as Barker came in. Despite Edwards shooting up the inside on bend 2 of the opening lap, he was passed by both Gladiators and with Riss also unable to make an impression, Plymouth reduced Redcar’s lead to 4 points.
Barker made it 2 wins on the bounce in tricky conditions with a shared heat 10 win whilst Howarth took his 2nd win of the match in another shared race as Redcar importantly packed the minor placings. Riss took a superb heat 12 win with the ECCO Arena audience cheering him on loudly, but with Bailey falling at the back, Plymouth remained in with a shout.
Heat 13 saw a drama filled encounter as the Gladiators gated on a 5-1 and a level meeting looked possible. Entering the 1st bend of lap 2, King attempted an outside pass in the deep dirt but the Bears number 1 took a heavy fall with the race to be rerun. After King walked away under his own steam, Wright was tasked with maintaining Redcar’s 4 point advantage and more drama was to follow on the start line as Worrall shed a chain on the start line making it a match race as the Bears skipper won to put Redcar 5 ahead heading into the final 2 races.
Heat 14 saw Redcar seal the deal as Edwards took his customary heat 14 win and with Bailey in 2nd, Redcar secured the 2 league points. In heavier rain, heat 15 was tricky but the Gladiators finished the meeting with a 4-2 heat advantage as Howarth won whilst Barker defeated Hume for 3rd to end the meeting.
For full match reaction from Jamie Swales & Plymouth’s Mark Phillips, tune into the Redcar Rewind on Facebook or YouTube at 7pm tonight!
Redcar Bears = 48
1. Danny King = 8
2. Danyon Hume = 6+3
3. Erik Riss = 3
4. Jason Edwards = 7
5. Charles Wright = 13
6. Connor Bailey = 9+2
7. Connor Coles (G) = 2
Plymouth Gladiators = 41
1. Kyle Howarth = 12
2. Ben Morley = 1
3. Ben Barker = 13+1
4. Dan Gilkes = 4+2
5. Richie Worrall = 4+1
6. James Pearson = 7
7. Ben Trigger = 0