Redcar Bears 47 Somerset Rebels 43

IT went to a tense last heat decider, but Redcar Bears kept up their unbeaten home record on a chilly night at South Tees Motorsports Park.


Up by eight points at one stage, they were powerless to prevent a spirited comeback by the visitors who twice fought back to level the match up.
The second of those occasions came in the penultimate race as reserve replacement Todd Kurtz and Pontus Aspgren notched a 5-1 over Jan Graversen and Carl Wilkinson.
That made it 42-42 going into the last heat – but with Richard Lawson and Aaron Summers going to the tapes for the Ecco Finishing Bears, you always fancied a home victory.
Summers had made a slow start but dropped just one point to an opponent after swapping bikes, pipping Ricky Wells on the line after a terrific wheel-to-wheel battle for second place in heat 11.
And The Law was once again on top form, scorching to an immaculate paid maximum – his third full house in four home meetings this season.
It added to a memorable week for the Great Britain international who scored 11 points at Rye House the previous night to book his place in next month’s British Final at Wolverhampton.
Rafal Konopka did his hopes of earning an extended stay no harm at all with a paid victory and a win.
He might have had more points too, but went wide and got out of shape in heat one, allowing Rebels pair Charles Wright and Ricky Wells past.
Wells had been drafted in as a guest for Nick Morris, who was riding for Elite League parent club Swindon, and it’s fair to say the visitors would have expected a higher return than three (paid four) from their regular No 1.
But it was nonetheless a spirited performance from the Bears against one of the Premier League’s top sides.
“At the interval we were leading by six points and I thought we could have sewed it up and taken all three points,” said team manager Jitendra Duffill who had to make do with just two as Somerset took a bonus point.
“But gates two and four certainly had quite a big advantage and they had them three times in the next four heats which played into their hands a little bit.
“It’s a shame we didn’t get all three but before the meeting I would have been happy with a win, so against a team as strong as that, it’s not a bad result and we shouldn’t be too disappointed.”
BEARS: Richard Lawson 14+1, Aaron Summers 8+1, Hugh Skidmore 6+1, Carl Wilkinson 6, Rafal Konopka 5+1, Jan Graversen 4+1, Luke Crang 4.
REBELS: Pontus Aspgren 9+1, Charles Wright 9, Todd Kurtz 8+2, Brady Kurtz 8+1, Paul Starke 3+1, Ricky Wells 3+1, Olly Allen 3.

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