YOU can take the boy out of the speedway, but you can’t take speedway out of the boy.
Unfortunately I missed last week’s derby day demolition of that lot up the road as I was enjoying a well-earned holiday in Venice.
And what a great time I had, I might add. A wonderfully unique place packed with sights to see, things to do and lovely places to eat and drink.. even if they do serve black spaghetti because it’s coloured with cuttlefish ink.
But although Piazza San Marco is a far cry from South Tees Motorsports Park, I was glued to my phone on Thursday evening, checking updates from the Bears’ meeting against Newcastle on the internet and the messages sent from my pals at the track.
After the tonking our boys were given at their place on the opening weekend of the season, this was always going to be a test of how thoroughly those infamous cobwebs had been swept away.
And, mama mia, what a feather duster they had to do the job.
It proved to be a huge exercise in restoration of local pride, of course, and I must admit, I raised a glass of Birra Moretti in celebration. I’d have raised a glass of spritz too if I hadn’t already finished it.
Being on my jollies meant I missed the trip to Scunny as well, and all the shenanigans that went with it. I picked a fine week to be off, didn’t I?
So my ‘comeback’ meeting was the League Cup clash down at Sheffield where victory was wrested agonisingly away from us right at the very death.
The Tigers hadn’t been in front all night until they snatched a 4-2 in the very last race – a cruel blow indeed.
But for five of the Bears it was a very good night at the office, especially Carl Wilkinson who was at his spectacular best. If every side in the league had seven Carl Wilkinsons, speedway would draw bigger crowds than a visit of the Pope.
And a valuable point on the road inched the Ecco Finishing Bears closer to top spot in the League Cup Northern Group. Could this be the year we end that wait for another trophy? Dare to dream…