Bears edge Scorpions in thriller!
Redcar preserved their undefeated league run with a pulsating 48-42 win over the Scunthorpe Scorpions at the ECCO Arena. Charles Wright top scored with 13 whilst the impressive Connor Mountain led the charge for the visitors with 14+1.
The Cab Direct Championship clash began with an unsatisfactory start as Danny King hit the deck on the opening bend but the re-run saw the Scorpions hit a heat advantage as Ryan Douglas won whilst Drew Kemp kept Danyon Hume at the rear to give Scunthorpe the early impetus on Teesside. Further damage arrived for the Bears in heat 2 as the Scorpions reserve pairing, Connor Mountain and Nathan Ablitt team rode Jason Edwards out of the race in the early stages and then duly pulled away to send the visitors into an early 9-3 advantage.
However, the Bears showed their battling spirit as they immediately hit back with a maximum heat advantage as the in-form Connor Bailey was joined at the front by Erik Riss to haul the Bears within 2 points of their play-off rivals. Heat 3 was won by the skipper, Wright but the Bears man was put under calculated pressure by Mountain but with Luke Harrison at the back, Scunthorpe’s slender lead remained intact.
Douglas continued his undefeated start with a heat 5 success but the Bears engine room, Bailey and Riss both rounded Kemp on lap 1 to ensure Redcar remained 2 behind. Redcar hit the front after a superb maximum heat advantage as King and Hume rode superbly to keep Jake Allen at the back despite Allen passing King entering lap 4, only for the former British Champion to re-pass Allen and his partner, Hume to take the win and the Bears had a 2 point advantage of their own.
Heat 7 saw Simon Lambert excluded after having a nasty collision with the bend 2 air fence on lap 1 and the re-run saw the Bears double their advantage to 4 points as Wright won yet again to remain undefeated and with Harrison in 3rd, Redcar had the initiative at the ECCO Arena.
Heat 8 saw another nasty looking tumble for a Scunthorpe man as Kemp hit the air fence but this time, all 4 men were invited back for the restaging. The re-run saw Mountain continue his superb evening with a win, but with Kemp at the back, Redcar remained in front.
Heat 9 saw a superb last lap scrap between Allen and Riss with the German gaining a huge amount of ground entering bend 3 of the final lap but Allen held on in a shared race. Allen, in as rider replacement, continued an impressive evenings work with a heat 10 win and with Lambert passing Hume on lap 2, Redcar’s lead was under threat as the hosts now only led by 2.
After Wright lowered Douglas’ colours to win a shared heat 11 and after Bailey won a shared heat 12, things were becoming extremely tense at the ECCO Arena. Heat 13 saw Danny King break the tapes with Edwards replacing him. The re-run saw Scunthorpe take the lead for the first time since heat 5 with a 5-1 and the “Agilia” Bears fans were biting their nails with another tense finish ahead.
Heat 14 saw some of the tension released with a superb Redcar 5-1 as Riss won comfortably but the story was unfolding behind “The Business” as Edwards eventually fought to hold off Mountain and Lambert. Edwards, riding a mid track line, came under immense pressure from both Scorpions at the conclusion of lap 2 but the Bears reserve rode superbly to hold off both Scunthorpe men to send the Bears 2 points ahead heading into heat 15.
Heat 15 saw Redcar have the all important choice of gates with gate 1 not providing much help to the riders. With this in mind, Redcar elected for gates 2 & 4 with Riss and Wright against Douglas and Allen. The visitors gated on a 4-2 as Douglas took the lead with Allen in 3rd and a super heat was a possibility. However, Allen was usurped by Wright who then set sail after Douglas with the skipper passing the Scunthorpe number 1 with Douglas suffering a puncture at the same time which enabled Riss to come through for a Redcar 5-1 and a 48-42 home success with Scunthorpe claiming the aggregate bonus point.
Redcar Bears : 48 (83)
1. Danny King = 7
2. Danyon Hume = 4+1
3. Connor Bailey = 8+2
4. Erik Riss = 11+2
5. Charles Wright = 13
6. Jason Edwards = 4+2
7. Luke Harrison = 1
Scunthorpe Scorpions : 42 (97)
1. Ryan Douglas = 11
2. Drew Kemp = 2
3. Simon Lambert = 2+1
4. Michael Palm Toft – R/R
5. Jake Allen = 11+2
6. Nathan Ablitt = 2+1
7. Connor Mountain = 14+1