Guest Richie Looks To Hit The Front Image Credit: Ron MacNeill

Great fightback for four points

NEWS Sunday 10th September 2017, 9:46pm

by Mike Hunter

Few sports can give you as many highs and lows as Speedway, and we experienced both ends of the scale at Scunthorpe this afternoon where we fought back from a 23-31 deficit at heat 9 to astonishingly take all four points in a 49-41 victory.

On our previous visit this season we had turned an 8-point deficit into a 16 point win, though over a longer number of heats. It seems turnarounds at the Eddie Wright Raceway are our speciality . In making any lists of heroes on the day, guest Richie Worrall and reserve Mitchell Davey have to be high up on the list.

Team manager John Campbell said "It was an outstanding performance after the disappointment at Berwick last night. Mitchell Davey turned things round in an inspired heat 12 ride, and Richie Worrall was a great guest, very much part of the team. He was asking me over the latter heats what we needed to win.

"At one point with the drizzle falling I think Scunthorpe wanted to call it off, but I said we certainly don't want that - I think we can win this!"

Some factors worth mentioning about the match are that the track was left quite slick in expectation of poor weather, and that gate 3 was an absolute nightmare with a series of riders left stranded as they struggled to make their bikes move forward.

We didn't know it at the time but gate 3 worked against us in heat one as we lost a 5-1 to Kerr and Allen. Richie Worrall was the first man to experience the joys of gate 3 and could not improve on third place.

We lost heat 2 as well, Davey going to the back after a mistake but Max Clegg dashed through the field to finish second, close up with Aarnio after being well back at one stage.

Mark and Erik Riss both had the misfortune to come off gate three in their first rides though we shared both heats 3 and 4, Ricky Wells a comfortable winner in the former race.

Richie Worrall took his first win in heat 5 but at the stage Josh Pickering was a bit off the pace.

Brilliant home number 2 Jake Allen beat Erik Riss in heat 6 to open up an 8-point gap and on our side hopes probably didn't stretch beyond a point.

The next two heats were shared with Pickering coming to life with a second behind Allen in heat 8. Heat 9 was shared too with Erik Riss winning, only our third race winner up to that point.

Then things started to change. Ricky Wells was the first to beat Allen in heat 10, with Mark Riss third. Worrall took another win in heat 11, from which Aarnio was excluded on two minutes, and Josh Pickering (off gate three) passed Bailey for third.

Now we were just four down and the drizzle was getting heavier. When Aarnio crashed heavily in heat 12, and the air fence at the other end started to deflate, it did seem possible that the match might be abandoned. However a generator was wheeled out to sort the fence and the sun came out!

The heat 12 rerun was remarkable. Wells and Davey rode the outside dirt line while Michael Palm Toft plugged away on the slippery inside, our bold reserve passing MPT for a 5-1 to level the scores!

Josh Auty had gate 3 in heat 13. Worrall and Riss went to the front and made no mistake giving us a four-point lead. Although Ryan Douglas won heat 14 Mark Riss and Mitchell Davey shared it, meaning we were assured of at least a draw.

By this time our boys were not going to settle for that, and again it was Superguest Worrall and Erik Riss who cleared off to take an 8-point win and four precious league points.

We are now up to third place in the league and are 5 points ahead of Redcar who are realistically our rivals for the fourth qualifying place. The Bears have just three away matches left on successive days, and we have a superior points difference. Nevertheless we will be going in to the three matches between Thursday and Saturday going for as many points as we can muster.