Scunthorpe Scorpions stay on track for top two speedway league finish with fine home win
The Henderson Insurance Scunthorpe Scorpions kept on target for a top two finish in the Speedway Premier League with a 55-38 win over the Redcar Bears at the Eddie Wright Raceway last night (Friday Sept 14).
With Workington losing heavily at league leaders Somerset (31-59) in another match last night, the Scorpions can clinch either first or second place in the table with a win over Glasgow next Friday, providing Leicester do not win their remaining three away matches. Newcastle are still favourites to top the table, although they do need points from an away match at Plymouth next Friday to put themselves out of reach of the Scorpions.
After a shared Heat 1, Scunthorpe reserve pairing Gary Irving and Michael Palm Toft fired in a 5-1 in Heat 2. That was followed by another maximum from Ashley Birks and guest Hugh Skidmore in Heat 3.
The Bears closed back in with a 5-1 in Heat 5, but the next few races all belonged to the Scorpions, who again impressed with their all-round strength.
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Matej Kus enjoyed a fine evening for the Bears and won Heat 9 as a tactical ride. But Josh Auty and Nick Morris took a 5-1 in Heat 10, and then a tactical ride for the previously unbeaten Ulrich Ostergaard in Heat 11 was thwarted by Toft and Morris, who both passed Carl Wilkinson to take a 5-1 which moved the scoreline onto 43-26.
The Scorpions had all three league points in the bag with two races remaining, with Birks and Toft scoring the home team’s sixth 5-1 of the evening in Heat 14.
Richard Hollingsworth, the Scorpions’ team manager, said afterwards: “It was another good, solid team performance tonight. All six of our riders got amongst the points, and we only had three last places in 15 races.
“Redcar rode better than the final scoreline suggests. We knew we would receive a tough test because all their top five can ride our track. Matej Kus was outstanding for them, with only Josh (Auty) getting the better of him.
“There was some good racing tonight. It was a bit cooler, so the moisture stayed in the track (rather than needing manual watering) and that lends itself to good racing.
“The highlight was Heat 11. Wilko (Carl Wilkinson) was out in front, but Michael (Palm Toft) produced a storming move to go around him on the fourth bend. Nick (Morris) then also passed Wilko on the final lap.
“All-in-all, it was a very pleasing night. We need another performance like that against Glasgow next Friday, and then we’ll keep our fingers crossed on results elsewhere, because I would love for us to top the regular Premier League table. The championship may be decided in the play-offs, but it would still mean a great deal to this club if we could finish top of the regular table.”
Henderson Insurance Scunthorpe Scorpions 55: Josh Auty 12+1 (5), David Howe R/R, Hugh Skidmore 6+1 (4), Ashley Birks 9+2 (6), Nick Morris 10+3 (5), Michael Palm Toft 11+2 (6), Gary Irving 7+1 (4).
Redcar Bears 38: Ulrich Ostergaard 7 (5) (incl. 0-point tactical ride), Carl Wilkinson 5+1 (4), Kevin Doolan 6 (4), Aaron Summers 1 (4), Matej Kus 17 (5) (incl. 6-point tactical ride), Max Dilger 1 (4), Jade Mudgway 1 (4).