Solid Scorpions beat Bears
Scunthorpe progressed to the KO Cup final with a 41-49 away win against an injury-hit Redcar. Richard Lawson top scored for the Bears with paid 11 whilst the ever impressive Simon Lambert hit paid 14 for the victorious visitors.
With the Bears looking to overturn an 18 point deficit, they knew that starting fast was paramount and they did just that with a 4-2 heat advantage, but it could have been better! Richard Lawson and Danyon Hume gated and for 3 laps, looked comfortable until Hume pulled a big locker on bend 2 of the final lap with Scunthorpe’s Connor Mountain there to pounce to take 2nd despite Hume’s best efforts to regain the position.
Heat 2 saw Redcar double their lead and cut the aggregate gap to 14 but again, the race was not without drama! Jason Edwards gated and won comfortably with the race looking settled on a shared heat until Nathan Ablitt fell on the final lap to hand Luke Harrison 3rd and Redcar had their 2nd heat advantage in as many races. However, heat 3 saw the Scorpions pair of Simon Lambert and Jake Allen sting Redcar with a 5-1 to level on the night and reclaim their 18 point aggregate advantage.
Drew Kemp took his first win in heat 4 as he gated and held off Erik Riss for the win, and with Michael Palm-Toft in 3rd, Scunthorpe went ahead for the first time on the night. Ryan Douglas took his only win of the match by defeating Leon Flint in heat 5 with Scunthorpe doubling their lead to 4 points as the battling Mountain kept Connor Bailey in 4th to give the visitors a stranglehold on proceedings.
Heat 6 saw Palm-Toft produce a superb move to shake off Hume for 2nd and then pass Lawson to win his first race of the second leg, but with the Dane’s partner, Ablitt toiling at the back, Scunthorpe’s lead remained at 4.
Heat 7 saw Riss lead until he was usurped by Allen on bend 3 of the opening lap. The German then hit the deck after attempting to take avoiding action from Allen who had locked up ahead of him but the Bears heat leader was excluded from the re-run. The re-run saw the Scorpions engine room pairing gate for a comfortable win to send the visitors 8 ahead on aggregate with their place in the KO Cup final all but assured.
Edwards took his 2nd win of the match in heat 8 as he passed Kemp on lap 3, but with Hume suffering rare mechanical issues, Redcar could not eat into Scunthorpe’s healthy advantage. After a shared heat 9, Scunthorpe’s KO Cup final place was secured in heat 10 as Allen and Lambert combined for their second 5-1 to further extend Scunthorpe’s lead to 12 on another tough night for the Bears.
However, Redcar kept battling as they recorded back to back 4-2 heat advantages to reduce the arrears to 8 points. Riss bounced back from his heavy fall to win heat 11 whilst Bailey passed Lambert to win heat 12 to give the Redcar support some hope.
Lawson recovered from a disappointing heat 10 to win heat 13 ahead of Douglas, but with Palm-Toft passing Riss entering lap 4, Redcar remained 8 behind at 35-43 at the ECCO Arena.
Scunthorpe secured the match in heat 14 despite a superb ride from Redcar’s guest, Leon Flint as he passed Kemp and Allen to take a well deserved heat win, but with Edwards at the back, Scunthorpe took the victory and their 6th away win of the season. The final race of the night saw another scintillating battle as a flying Flint took an early lead until the Scorpions top scorer, Lambert passed ‘The Lionheart’ on bend 4 of the penultimate lap to take the win and earn his side a 41-49 success at the ECCO Arena.
Redcar = 41 (77)
1. Richard Lawson (G) = 10+1
2. Danyon Hume = 2+1
3. Connor Bailey = 4+1
4. Leon Flint (G) = 10
5. Erik Riss = 5
6. Jason Edwards = 7
7. Luke Harrison (G) = 3
Scunthorpe = 49 (103)
1. Ryan Douglas = 5
2. Connor Mountain = 6+1
3. Simon Lambert = 12+2
4. Jake Allen = 9+2
5. Michael Palm Toft = 8+1
6. Nathan Ablitt = 0
7. Drew Kemp = 9