SORRY Scunthorpe, but now you know how we felt at the weekend!
Redcar Bears bounced back from their massively disappointing opening weekend of the season in the most emphatic way possible.
From one to seven they gave a stunning performance to brush aside their Premier League Cup visitors in their first home meeting of the campaign and give one in the eye to the knockers who had written them off on the basis of two early season away matches.
The victory was every bit as convincing as the scoreline suggests and just one point off equalling the club’s biggest ever winning margin, set against Berwick in 2012.
New No 1 Richard Lawson was in sublime form, scorching to a 15-point maximum on his home debut despite writing off his first choice bike in his opening race.
But the entire team gave a performance to be proud of, with every rider winning at least once and to a man looking sharper and quicker out of the traps than at the weekend.
And the rider of the night award went to raw rookie Luke Crang who scored paid seven from reserve and won his first ever race at Premier League level, taking the formidable scalps of ex-Bear Josh Auty and Ryan Douglas along the way.
The visitors were unlucky to lose No 1 Anders Mellgren almost straight away, the Swede falling going into the second turn in the opening race with Lawson unable to avoid him.
However even with him in the side, it’s unlikely they would have been able to prevent a landslide home victory.
The meeting was held up for 45 minutes while Mellgren received treatment from the track paramedics as a county ambulance made its way to South Tees Motorsports Park to take him to hospital with a suspected back injury.
Lawson too was on the deck for a while but the damage was confined to his machine.
And when racing finally resumed, the Ecco Finishing Bears got stuck straight in and never let up.
On a beautifully prepared track they racked up 5-1s in nine of the 15 races, six of them on the spin, to knock the stuffing out of the Scorpions.
Sales of the match DVD will surely go through the roof after this one, with so many memorable moments for Bears fans to celebrate.
Crang’s first win brought the biggest cheer of the night as he gated like lightning and, with Aaron Summers playing the captain’s role to perfection behind him by keeping Douglas at bay, he took the chequered flag to rapturous applause,
Then next time out Richard Hall gave a performance reminiscent of his South Tees Silver Helmet win, blasting round the boards from last to first. Douglas shed a chain and suffered one of his four falls on the final lap, but Hall had the bit between his teeth and you wouldn’t have bet against him getting past before the end anyway.
Hall was at it again in heat 14, possibly the best race of the night, taking his trademark wide line to get past Ashley Birks.
The biggest hero of that race, however, was Jan Graversen, who battled his way past Douglas for his second win of the night.
Like Summers, the Dane finished behind an opponent just once all evening and will be a phenomenal reserve if he can keep that form up.
In contrast, whatever Scunthorpe tried seemed to go wrong.
When Birks came out for heat seven on a tactical ride he made a hash of turn two and ended up last while Douglas was excluded when he wore black and white next time out for falling and taking Carl Wilkinson with him.
“Like I said, there was no need to panic beforehand,” said team manager Jitendra Duffill in reference to last weekend’s big defeats at Berwick and Newcastle. “Usually you pick up your confidence in home meetings carry it into the away meetings, which we didn’t have the opportunity to do.
“We asked the lads to respond, and didn’t they do that? It was a superb performance.
“What pleased me most was that there were contributions right through from one to seven. We were built around a team with a good No 1 and a strong reserve and Jan proved he is able to do that.
“It was pleasing to see Luke win his first race and beat a rider like David Howe. It’s his first season at Premier League level and only his second in total so it was a phenomenal performance.
“I knew Richard Lawson would be a good signing for us but I believe he has the potential to put a good point on his average. I really do think he’s going to be one of the stars of the league this year.
“It was a superb performance and we saw some great racing. It will do the lads’ confidence a lot of good and we all believe we can go to Scunthorpe in the return match on Sunday and beat them.”
BEARS: Richard Lawson 15, Aaron Summers 11+3, Jan Graversen 9+2, Richard Hall 8+1, Carl Wilkinson 7+2, Hugh Skidmore 7+1, Luke Crang 6+1.
SCORPIONS: Thomas Jorgensen 7, David Howe 6, Ashley Birks 4+1, Matt Williamson 4, Ryan Douglas 3, Josh Auty 3, Anders Mellgren 0 (w/d).