Date: Saturday April 23, 2022
REDCAR made it a hat-trick of home wins in the Championship by defeating Leicester 48-42 at the Ecco Arena on Friday.
Lewis Kerr continued his fine form for the Bears with 13 points, including two 5-1s with Kasper Andersen, whilst Richie Worrall racked up 14 for the Lions.
A 4-2 from Worrall and Nick Morris in Heat 15 enabled the visitors to claim a league point as they continue to lead the early table.
Leicester boss Stewart Dickson said: “I’m quite happy to get a point from that, it gets us on the ‘plus’ factor in the league table, and I would say it was a response of some sort from the Plymouth match.
“Anders (Rowe) will probably feel a bit hard done by that he only got four races, because he probably would have got six on another night, but I’d decided to leave the tactical substitute until later, and Richie won that ride.
“In hindsight rider-replacement for Kyle (Howarth) may have worked better but hindsight is a wonderful thing, and I would have taken a point beforehand – although with Kyle it might have been three.”
GLASGOW recorded a second home win from two Ashfield outings by overcoming Berwick 56-34 at Ashfield.
Each of the home riders were paid for at least one race win, with Craig Cook topping the scoring on 14 points and Tom Brennan adding 10.
Cook dropped his only point to Ty Proctor in Heat 1, whilst former Tigers man Chris Harris top-scored for the Bandits with 12+1.
Glasgow reserve Danyon Hume (5+2) said: “None of us expected the final result, but we went out there and enjoyed it, worked as a team and got the job done.
“It was a tough battle. We were chucking bikes at each other and it gave the fans something to watch. Everyone came off safe and we got the result we wanted.
“Off the track, the banter we’ve got – everyone gets on in the changing room, it’s a good laugh – and to go out there as a team, not individuals, it plays a massive part.”
SCUNTHORPE again came on strong in the closing stages in their 54-36 victory over Birmingham at the Eddie Wright Raceway.
The Brummies had pegged the Scorpions to an eight-point lead with four races to go, but the hosts then took three 5-1s and would have added a further advantage in Heat 13 but for bike trouble on the last bend for Ryan Douglas.
Tero Aarnio top-scored with 12+1 whilst reserve Zaine Kennedy added 11+2 and Douglas scored 11. Claus Vissing (12) and Adam Ellis (10) were both in double figures for the Brummies.
Kennedy said: “I had a good meeting – I had some good races and got a lot of points on the board.
“We treated Birmingham as a threat, because you can never afford not to do that.
“We approached the meeting as we did against Leicester last week, when we were out to win every race, and again once we got it all together at the end of the meeting, and we showed what we can do around here. Overall, it was a good night.” Brummies boss Laurence Rogers said: “When we got the 4-2 in Heat 11, I thought we were on for a league point.
“But we fell apart in those last few races and we conceded three 5-1s out the last four.
“There were some plusses that I’d like to focus on and I think we just need to find a bit more consistency as a team and I’m sure that’s not far away.”
EDINBURGH are safely through to the KO Cup semi-finals after defeating Newcastle 58-32 at Armadale.
The Monarchs already led by eight points from the first leg and there were paid maximums in the return for Sam Masters (14+1), Josh Pickering (13+2) and impressive reserve James Sarjeant (11+1).
Matthew Wethers top-scored for the Diamonds with 10, including their only race win, with the gap between the sides extended by four successive Edinburgh 5-1s in the last four races.
Monarchs boss Alex Harkess said: “We didn’t get going until we turned on to the second page of the programme, but in the end there were some things to be pleased about.
“James Sarjeant was very good, and I was very happy to see some points for Jacob Hook – Sam Masters was working with him, changing things on the bike, and in his last two rides he got a good third followed by a paid win. He’s definitely showing promise.”
Diamonds co-promoter Dave Tinning said: “To be fair it was a reasonably respectable score given the circumstances. It was good to see George Congreve scoring some points, and the team were really trying hard all the way.
“I’d like to express the club’s thanks to William Lawson to standing in at such short notice for Paul Starke who was suffering from food poisoning. Most guests get more notice than a matter of hours, hence our great thanks to William.”
LEICESTER have booked Lewis Kerr to guest for unwell skipper Kyle Howarth in their home clash with Glasgow tonight (Saturday).
Howarth is out with a chest infection and misses a second meeting in two days for the Lions, whose rivalry with the Tigers ramped up in 2019 when the East Midlands side won the Grand Final between the two, with former Glasgow boss Stewart Dickson at the helm.
Dickson said: “After the point at Redcar, it’s essential that we keep the back door closed at home against Glasgow.
“We know it’s going to be every bit as tough as the Poole match, and I’ve made no secret that these two matches would be the ultimate test for us.
“We’re without our skipper, and we’re thankful to Lewi Kerr for coming in. Watching him on Friday, he was in exceptional form so I’m pleased I’ve got him to guest – I know this is another meeting, but he likes the starts at Leicester and I’m confident he can score well for us.”
Tigers reserve Danyon Hume said: “I’m looking forward to going there. It was a home track for me for a little while. I like to go there and it’s pretty local for us as well.”
OXFORD boss Jason Crump insists his squad’s confidence has not taken a knock ahead of their visit to Berwick tonight (Saturday).
The Cheetahs have suffered back-to-back defeats against Poole, and head to Shielfield Park without Cameron Heeps (illness) and Josh Macdonald (injured), with Nathan Stoneman again standing in at reserve at the start of a mini-Northern tour which also sees them race at Newcastle on Sunday.
Crump said: “We’ve already been to Berwick this season with the Chargers, it was good to get a look at the track then. It’s a challenging track, but hopefully the boys will rise to the challenge.
“In my opinion, we should target coming away with some points from this weekend’s fixtures. We’ll travel north high on confidence despite Wednesday’s result.
“Jack (Thomas) is still young, as is Dillon (Ruml) – they have long careers in front of them. It’s great to see them progressing at the rate they have, and let’s hope it continues because we need every rider in the team to contribute to their maximum ability every time.”
SATURDAY APRIL 23:
CHAMPIONSHIP: Berwick v Oxford 7pm, Leicester v Glasgow 7pm
SUNDAY APRIL 24:
CHAMPIONSHIP: Newcastle v Oxford 4pm
NATIONAL DEVELOPMENT LEAGUE KO CUP 1st round 1st leg: Mildenhall v Kent 3pm
MONDAY APRIL 25:
LEAGUE CUP: King’s Lynn v Ipswich 7.30
TUESDAY APRIL 26:
CHAMPIONSHIP: Plymouth v Scunthorpe 7pm