Bears beaten by supercharged Cheetahs
Redcar’s Cab Direct play-off dreams were handed a blow as they were defeated 43-47 by Oxford at the ECCO Arena. With the Bears attacking a tricky track caused by a heavy downpour, they led 25-11 until the Cheetahs battled superbly to boost their play-off hopes. Danny King top scored for Redcar with paid 11 whilst Sam Masters hit paid 13 for the Cheetahs.
With gating proving vital, Redcar had the selected gates advantage in the early stages which turned around in the second half of the meeting in favour of Oxford.
Redcar started with a superb opening heat 5-1 as Danny King and Danyon Hume popped out of the start, attacked the track and secured a comfortable 5-1 to give Gavin Parr and the “Agilia” Bears support the perfect start at the ECCO Arena. Things got even better for Redcar in heat 2 as Jason Edwards bolted from the gate for an emphatic win whilst Luke Harrison comfortably held off Ashton Boughen to stretch Redcar’s lead to 6 in the early knockings.
The Redcar fans were in dreamland after heat 3 as the pairing of Connor Bailey and Kyle Howarth left Lewis Kerr and Jordan Jenkins in their wake as they secured yet another 5-1 to put Redcar 14-4 ahead at the ECCO Arena. Heat 4 saw Scott Nicholls record the Cheetah’s first heat winner as he took the chequered flag, but with his teammate, Boughen beaten by Harrison, Oxford remained 10 behind.
After a shared heat 5 won by Sam Masters, Redcar stretched their early advantage to 14 points with yet another big 5-1 as Hume and King once again combined to send the Redcar support into raptures.
Heat 7 saw the turning point in the meeting as the ex Bears pairing of Jenkins and Kerr came back to haunt the Bears as they hit a much needed 5-1 to bring Oxford within 10. With many onlookers expecting Redcar to hit back in heat 8, Oxford hit their second successive 5-1 to make Redcar’s 14 point lead seem a distant memory.
Oxford team manager, Peter Schroeck then played his tactical substitute in heat 9 as Sam Masters came in to join Scott Nicholls and the move proved to be an astute one as despite Bailey’s best efforts, Masters and Nicholls used their experience to their advantage to suddenly bring the Cheetahs within 2 of Redcar.
Heat 10 saw some controversy as with a close race ensuing, Kerr locked up with King taking evasive action to avoid crashing but Kerr stayed upright with King excluded. Additionally, a special mention should also go to Jordan Jenkins who laid his bike down incredibly quickly to avoid King. The re-run saw Redcar’s man of the match, Danyon Hume produce an incredible ride to hold off Kerr and Jenkins to win the race and keep the Bears in a 2 point lead.
Nevertheless, the Cheetahs drew level in heat 11 as Masters won whilst Cameron Heeps passed Erik Riss to give the Cheetahs the all important momentum. After Kerr won a shared heat 12, Oxford took the lead for the first time in heat 13 as Nicholls won despite huge pressure from King, and with Masters in 3rd, Oxford were in the driving seat.
Heat 14 saw a brief ray of light for Redcar as they gated on a 5-1 only for Edwards to lift which all but ended his partner, Howarth’s hopes (as he drifted to the back) and to compound the Redcar misery, Edwards was squeezed out by Jenkins which extended Oxford’s lead to 4. The final race of an ultimately disappointing evening saw King take a superb win but with his partner, Hume hitting the deck, Redcar’s slim chance of a super heat was ended by the Cheetahs.
Redcar Bears = 43
1. Danny King = 10+1
2. Danyon Hume = 8+1
3. Connor Bailey = 7+1
4. Kyle Howarth (G) = 3+2
5. Erik Riss = 3
6. Jason Edwards = 10
7. Luke Harrison (G) = 2+1
Oxford Cheetahs = 47
1. Sam Masters = 12+1
2. Cameron Heeps = 4
3. Lewis Kerr = 8+1
4. Jordan Jenkins = 7+1
5. Scott Nicholls = 11+1
6. Henry Atkins = 5+1
7. Ashton Boughen = 0