Alex and Charlie prepare to chat for the benefit of the nation Image Credit: Ron MacNeill


NEWS Monday 24th August 2009, 8:47am

by Mike Hunter

On Saturday we bypassed a curfew to give the home team the chance of a draw - at Redcar on Sky we stopped before the last heat rerun and were denied the chance of what would in any case have been a fortunate point.

It was not a memorable night for the team although good fortune and some measure of improvement dragged us back into contention for a point. We would have had one had we stopped Arlo Bugeja romping home with the heat 14 rerun in what was his best performance for ages.

The rain was once again a big player in the situation, with heavy showers pre-match causing a half hour delay in the start. Had the match not been on Sky it would surely have been cancelled, though in fact there seemed very little wrong with the track once we got under way.

Kevin Wolbert showed up well again though he didn't win a race, and Ryan Fisher came good with two wins after a slow start. That's about where our good performances stopped.

Michal Rajkowski started with two awful rides before winning heat 8, but was again passed in heat 10 when on a 5-1. Being passed by Havelock isn't a disgrace but in reality there was very little overtaking on the night, and most riders could hold position.

Matthew Wethers started with a win but struggled again with his gating thereafter, while Aaron Summers score of 5+3 is flattering. He beat only one opponent.

Max Dilger had his best match so far with 6 though admittedly he also benefitted from some gifts, while Byron Bekker was well off the pace.

We were 16 down at heat 10 with both TRs used but won heat 11, which might have been a 5-1 had Rajkowski held position.

With Stuart Swales excluded from heat 12 for bringing down Dilger, and Ben Wilson falling while leading, we accepted a 5-1 gift, then took a 4-2 in heat 13 which was easily the best heat of the night with several overtakes.

Suddenly we were just 8 down, and when Wilson fell again (he has a broken heel) we should have capitalised on that. However Bugeja had the home fans cheering as he repassed Matthew Wethers to keep the 8-point gap.

A first bend 'domino' in the last race sent Fisher and Havelock spinning, with Havvy coming off worst, but that's when we were hit with the curfew.

A pretty unsatisfactory end but we can't claim to have performed well in front of the cameras.