Scunthorpe Saints still hoping to make National Speedway League play-offs
The Jotun Paints Scunthorpe Saints must play a waiting game to see if they qualify for the National Speedway League play-offs, following a 39-52 defeat at Rye House on Saturday night in their last regular meeting of the season.
The Saints sit in fourth place (the final qualifying spot for the play-offs) on 17 points, with a race points difference of -99. Fifth-placed Isle Of Wight also have 17 points, and also have a race points difference of -99 (the teams are currently separated in the table simply by the virtue of the Saints having scored more race points).
The Islanders must score at least one league point at King’s Lynn on Wednesday (a win, a draw or a defeat by less than 7 points) to pip the Saints for fourth place.
On Saturday night the Saints got off to a dreadful start trailing 1-10 after two heats, with both Danny Phillips and Oliver Greenwood excluded after separate incidents in Heat 2.
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Tom Young steadied the ship by winning Heat 3, but after five races, the score stood at 21-8. Both sides lost points to engine failures during the evening, and Jason Garrity stopped on the final lap of Heat 6, to allow the Saints to take a 4-2.
Young was nominated as a tactical ride in Heat 7, but was pipped on the line by a tremendous move by James Sarjeant.
Greenwood and Tommy Fenwick took a 4-2 in Heat 8, and then Gary Irving won Heat 9, as the scores moved to 31-24.
Young suffered engine failures in point-scoring positions in both Heats 10 & 12, while a brave dive around the outside by Fenwick on the opening lap of Heat 11 ended in a fall for the Falkirk Flyer.
The luck swung Saints’ way again when Garrity suffered an engine failure with the chequered flag in sight in Heat 13, before a fine 5-1 from Max Clegg and Greenwood in Heat 14 reduced the deficit to 9 points and left the Saints needing another 5-1 from Heat 15 to snatch a league point.
But it was the home pair of Sarjeant and Ben Morley who took a 5-1, despite a spirited challenge from Clegg to push Morley all the way for second place.
Rye House Raiders 52: Jason Garrity 6 (4), Luke Chessell 3 (3), Ben Morley 12+1 (5), Shane Hazelden 5+3 (4), James Sarjeant 14 (5), Danno Verge 2+1 (3), Connor Coles 10+3 (6).
Jotun Paints Scunthorpe Saints 39: Lewis Kerr 6+1 (4), Tommy Fenwick 1 (4), Tom Young 7 (4) (incl. 4-point tactical ride), Max Clegg 7+1 (5), Gary Irving 10 (5), Danny Phillips 2 (4), Oliver Greenwood 6+2 (4).
SCUNTHORPE STAGS 25 STOKE SPITFIRES 10
Scunthorpe Stags finished their season in style with a 25-10 defeat of the Stoke Spitfires.
Tommy Fenwick, Adam Kirby and Danny Phillips were all unbeaten by an opponent as the result ensured the Stags pipped their opponents for fifth place in the seven-team league.
After the meeting Stags’ Team Manager Richard Hollingsworth said: “It’s been a successful season for the Stags because it is about rider development and the track time we have been able to give to riders. Of course it is disappointing that on several occasions we have had to field ineligible riders to achieve this in the MDL (Midland Development League).
"In hindsight we should have swapped either Tommy or Danny with one of the Stoke riders tonight to make it a more even contest. I’m disappointed I didn’t think of that beforehand when we have actively encouraged it earlier in the year.
“I desperately hope the rules can be tweaked over the winter to ensure the right riders are being encouraged to ride.
"Tommy Fenwick and Danny Phillips haven’t been racing for a year so there is no doubt they should be in this league. However, what ever happens over the winter I can confirm that as a club we are as committed as ever to providing as much track time as possible and developing riders.
"Along with Danny and Tommy we have had Oliver Greenwood and Max Clegg regularly riding in the league and all four have advanced whilst riders like Adam Kirby, David Holt and Michael Faulkner are benefitting from the track time.
“Adam is certainly taking strides forward and he’s got to be close to the National League. He recorded a maximum tonight and his races with Shaun Tedham were the best of the night. Sadly David had a night to forget with two non-finishes but you get nights like that in speedway. He has advanced this season and he just needs to bounce back the next time he rides”.
The next opportunity for amateur riders to race at the Eddie Wright Raceway will be on Sunday 7th October when the club hold their 11th amateur meeting of the year.
There are three adult classes (open, support and novice) plus up to four junior classes (80cc, 125cc, 250cc and 500cc). Anyone wanting to book a place can do so by calling 07832 402167.