Monday briefing

Published on 24th June 2024
Author George Dodds

Well not the way we wanted to go into our mid-season break, losing home and away to the Tigers was certainly not in the script.

The fact that Chris Harris, Leon Flint and Steve Worrall ride Shielfield Park well came as a surprise to no-one – ten heat wins between them 36 points tells a tale.

Bomber was unstoppable all weekend – except if you were Drew Kemp that is.

His heat five victory showed nerves of steel as he held on during that last lap. Their heat 15 encounter and the contested decision by referee Gary Allen has been the most watched – and replayed – segment on BSN this weekend.

And it all goes to show that no matter what technology you have at hand, it all comes down to an official’s interpretation and gut instinct at the end of the day.

Heat 15 and there’s a decision to be made

And, as anyone within earshot of the pits’ telephone on Saturday night will attest, it normally leaves one rider happy and another, to say the least, not. It’s a view backed up by Scott Nicholls and Peter Shroeck from the previous night.

“I respectfully submit that your interpretation of the aforementioned incident is fundamentally flawed”

A tough night for two of our guests too who face some dental bills.

Teenager Sam Hagon snapped a tooth – the medics managed to find it and preserve it in milk in case it can be reattached!

Obviously the force of impact to break a tooth is such that, despite passing the concussion protocols, young Sam was withdrawn from the meeting as he was feeling a big groggy and in considerable pain.

He also missed Leicester’s trip to Belle Vue in the Championship on Monday night but was expected to take his place in the National Development League Riders’ Championship on Wednesday night.

Even if it wasn’t on his home Championship track the British under-21 champion would start as favourite, especially with Oxford’s Luke Killeen absent on Championship  duty.

Sam has enjoyed a hugely impressive campaign in 2024. In fact along with Luke Harrison, Ben Trigger and Jake Mulford he has shown that a first season of struggle in the Championship is the perfecting grounding for progress in the second.

Food for thought for some keyboard warriors?

Probably not.

Sam survives the heat eight carnage at Ashfield

While the Tigers were prowling Shielfield Park, reserve Freddy Hodder was watching it rain in Poland. The European under-19 Pairs final was abandoned after one heat and restaged the next day when a superb performance from Oxford’s Ashton Boughen – 13 points from six rides – helped Great Britain into a three-way tie for the bronze medal. He was pipped by Denmark’s Bastian Pedersen in the run-off.

Freddy didn’t get a ride in the final but picked up plenty of experience over the weekend along with former Berwick Academy and current Scunthorpe reserve Luke Harrison.

Freddy is also in the NDLRC at Wimborne Road on Wednesday – it’s being streamed by PiratesTV if you want to watch – along with former Bullets Jamie Halder, Ace Pijper and Connor Coles.

The Brits … Neil Vatcher, Luke Harrison, Ashton Boughen and Freddy Hodder at Pila
Dad n lad, the proud Hodder family
Supporting role … Freddy congratulates Ashton

Jason Garrad would probably have been in line for a call-up for the big night with Oxford Charger Jody Scott expected to replace the injured Adam Roynon – he damaged a shoulder avoiding young Jody at Redcar on Friday – when the Cheetahs face Workington on Wednesday.

Instead he is having further x-rays on what is feared to be a broken wrist. Jason’s another heading for the dentists as a result of his violent off in heat 14. The second knocked out tooth of the night.

Maybe more will consider following skipper Lewi Kerr’s lead and add a gumshield to the list of safety equipment.

Incredible to think that probably more than half in attendance on Saturday can remember a time when riders wore open face helmets and cloth monkey masks while racing. It doesn’t bear thinking about just how bad Jason’s facial damage would have been with a 1980s set-up!

Unlucky guest Jason Garrad (Taz McDougall)

No speedway here at Shielfield for the next four Saturday. When we return to action – at Oxford on July 24 before Edinburgh visit Shielfield Park two days later, there’ll be a new set of green sheet averages in place and the Cab Direct Championship table will give more of an indication of who’s going to the play-offs.

So fellow stattos, enjoy along with a pictorial reminder of the weekend just past.

Rolling averages (20 meetings, season 2022-2024 only)

Lewis Kerr 20 93 201 8.65
Rory Schlein 20 100 202 8.08
Drew Kemp 20 88 130 5.91
Jye Etheridge 20 85 121 5.69
Danyon Hume 20 84 106 5.05
Bastian Borke 20 95 115 4.84
Freddy Hodder 12 39 12 2.00

2024 only (14 meetings, bonus points don’t count in averages)

Rory Schlein 11 55 109 1 7.93
Lewis Kerr 5 24 46 3 7.67
Drew Kemp 14 63 130 9 6.10
Bastian Borke 9 46 67 12 5.83
Jye Etheridge 12 46 61 11 5.30
Danyon Hume 14 48 69 7 4.76
Freddy Hodder 12 39 12 3 2.00
Guests 19 92 128 19 5.57
Great Britain Pictures courtesy: Steve Hone
Bandits v Tigers Pictures: Taylor Lanning
(including 21 June)
Team P W D L F A Ag Pt
Oxford 7 4 1 2 340 288 2 11
Workington 7 5 0 2 326 304 1 11
Poole 5 4 1 0 251 199 1 10
Scunthorpe 7 4 0 3 314 315 2 10
Redcar 10 4 0 6 437 462 0 8
Glasgow 5 3 0 2 223 226 1 7
Berwick 10 3 0 7 416 482 1 7
Plymouth 5 2 0 3 229 220 1 5
Edinburgh 6 2 0 4 250 290 0 4
Focussed … Drew
Jye fends off them attention of Leon and James Pearson
Erik Riss pulls out all the stops to keep Bomber at bay

George Dodds
George Dodds

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