Redcar Bears v Edinburgh Monarchs

REPORT Monday 24th August 2009, 10:00pm

by Mike Hunter

Sometimes it is fun to be on Sky, other times you wonder if it is worth the hassle. That?s certainly what we were thinking as we sat waiting for the delayed start time as the rain pelted down at Redcar.

The match would have been off with all that rain had the cameras not been there. The rain did stop, and contrary to expectations the track did not seem difficult to ride. We started at 8 and a few minutes later we were 10-2 down!

This was a poor show for the Sky viewers so we perked up as Matthew won heat 3 after a rare reasonable start, and Max picked up a third ahead of Bugeja who was on for his best night for a long time.

Kevin W?lbert gave us some thrills again when he chased very close to Havelock?s back wheel all the way in heat 4. In this one Aaron beat Stuart Swales, a collector?s piece as it was the only opponent he beat.

Kevin squeezed round Carl Stonehewer in heat to take second, a race notable for the fairness of Stoney who gave Kevin room to race.

We were slipping behind though and rushed out the first TR with Matthew in heat 7. His gating fell back to its usual level though and this time Arlo flew, not even really needing any shepherding from Havelock.

We had seen nothing from Rajkowski this far but he woke up and flew home in heat 8, but without backup from Aaron. A TR for Kevin brought a heat 9 4-4 and another loss in heat 10 left us a dismal 23-39 behind.

Suddenly things got better. Fisher won heat 11 with Rajkowski third after being passed by Havelock, and we got a 5-1 in heat 12 with a bit of help from a Swales exclusion and a Wilson fall.

Heat 13 was the best race of the night, Fisher steaming under Havelock then Proctor racing past Wolbert and pressing Ryan. Fine heat and now we were just 8 points down with a glimmer of a chance of something.

Wilson fell unaccountably once more in heat 14, but we were unable to stop Bugeja winning the rerun. We needed a 4-2 in the last heat which started with a first bend tangle ? and wasn?t rerun due to a curfew. A very unsatisfactory end.