REPORT Sunday 29th March 2009, 10:00pm
Disappointment at Ashfield ? it?s been a long time since we have had to say that after a visit to the west. But a 19-point defeat in the Spring Trophy second leg was a poor show indeed.
There can be no real complaints. We didn?t gate well, we were 19-5 down after four heats and we lost three 5-1s in the final four races when we should at least have been able to secure the aggregate win.
Heat 1 was the first of a couple of stoppages for Ross Brady flyers. At the time Ryan was in second but at the next attempt he was third! He chased hard on Brady and just missed grabbing second by a whisker.
Heat 2 was another home 5-1 with Michal Rajkowski chasing hard but to no avail.
Grajczonek led heat 3 but Andrew Tully made a strong inside passing attempt on the bar corner. Opinions vary but he seemed to most to be unlucky to earn an exclusion for bringing the Aussie down. At least we got two in this one.
We looked like getting 2 in heat 4 as well after Matthew passed Anders Andersen, but the Dane showed both tenacity and speed to repass. Already we were just two up on aggregate!
Things had to get better, and they did. Ryan took a TR in heat 5 and jetted away, with a good steady second to Aaron giving us an 8-1 advantage.
Then we saw a fine ride by Matthew Wethers, who led Parker, and even managed to repass after the home star slipped through.
Our gating was duff again in heat 7 won by Grieves, but Fisher and Tully managed to pass Davey.
Aaron then won heat 8 while Michal took an exciting third place, dicing between Brady and Andersen. We were back to 5 down and seemed to have steadied the ship.
Matthew took his second win in heat 9, in which we chose to get rid of Sean?s third ride. Sean was never in the hunt for points and will have to do better.
Heats 10 and 12 were killers, as we lost our grip on the match. Parker won heat 10, no surprise, but Ross Brady comfortably headed Aaron and Andrew to make it a 5-1. Our gating was killing us.
Heat 11 was an exciting tussle between Ryan and James Grieves with some passing and repassing, won by Ryan. James seems to enjoy his races with Ryan more than Shane Parker does.
Tully and Rajkowski were our pair in heat 12, but they missed the start again and the apparently vulnerable Danish Tigers took 5. We were in trouble now, though if Tigers took an advantage in heat 13 we would be in a position to use a second TR in heat 14.
Fisher held second behind Grieves for a bit but was passed round the outside by Parker, an excellent move. Parker then cut across Fisher a bit, and Fisher came down. Ryan wasn?t happy but it was hard to argue with the decision to exclude him.
Now we could use that TR ? but we didn?t. Why not? Did the management not have the right score? It was inexplicable, two points thrown away as Andersen packed up. Needless to say Grajczonek gated, and we could not peg him back.
So we were just one point up on aggregate and that never looked like enough as Grieves and Parker raced away to the delight of the home fans.