Rory blow caps a night to forget

Published on 7th June 2024
Author George Dodds
Lewis was one of only two Berwick heat winners

Scunthorpe Scorpions   62

Jewson Bandits, powered by Keenwood Karpets 28

Another drubbing in Lincolnshire paled into insignificance as our injury jinx struck again, Rory Schlein its latest victim.

His meeting ended with an ambulance ride to Hull Royal Infirmary suffering from shoulder and rib damage after crashing on the first bend of heat five.

The in-form skipper was trying to breathe life into the graveyard inside gate but had his nose chopped off on the first bend as countryman Jake Allen swooped from the all-conquering gate four and headed for the inside of the track.

Although it was a relatively straightforward looking spill his discomfort was immediately obvious both to those in the stadium and watching live on BSN. Initial reports suggested shoulder, collarbone and rib damage.

Racing was held up for around 45 minutes waiting for a county ambulance transfer him to hospital for further.

Even before the crash the Bandits were up against it as once again they failed to get to grips with the starts and were too often caught on the inside line as Scunthorpe roared to the top of the Cab Direct Championship .

Danyon Hume ploughed through the tapes in heat one to get the Bandits off to the worst possible start but Lewis Kerr had to work hard on the wide line to pass Simon Lambert for second place although guest Paul Starke used his experience to beat the otherwise youthful reserves’ heat line-up.

Problems with the automated starting gate only served to delay a heat three 5-1 for the home side, Schlein’s first ride of the night beginning badly as he looked as if he was starting in treacle from gate two. Allen was gone but Roo Boy found the racing line to account for Luke Harrison. It looked good for a shared heat until Starke went over the camber on the first bend and fell awkwardly after hitting the fence, the referee awarding the race.

Hume gated well in five but his decision to stick to the inside line allowed first Connor Mountain and then Lambert – who went from fourth to first in half a lap – to pass him.

With the skipper off to hospital – and excluded – it was left to Freddy Hodder to line up in the rerun and he could do nothing to prevent another 5-1.

Battling Drew

Even with the favourable gate four Kemp couldn’t hit the front in seven, Dan Gilkes filling the line he wanted to take but at least Berwick managed to halt the run of five heat deficits by sharing the spoils.

It was a brief respite as, despite a good start by Hume he found himself going backwards, Starke falling again.

Boss Stewart Dickson, who had arrived only minutes before the start of the meeting after spending hours stuck in traffic threw his big guns into nine, Kerr taking the tactical ride and Kemp the IIR and was rewarded with a maximum return, although Kemp had to repass Lambert to protect second place.

Kemp was fast off the line again in the following heat but Howarth – who was to end the night with a six-ride maximum – was not to be denied.

More success from the gate for the Bandits in 11 with Kerr making the drop but Allen turned hard inside him on the first bend and the returning number one again had to settle for second.

After another home 5-1 in 12, Kerr was again in the thick of the action as he got his revenge on Allen to take second place behind Howarth in 13.

Kemp had battled hard on his former track but was unable to prevent the Scorpions from finishing with back-to-back 5-1s, Allen using the fence to block his run around the outside in heat 15.

Kerr’s return from injury was a rare bright spot but overshadowed by Schlein who will be struggling to paly any part in the Bandits’ remaining league fixtures.

As they slipped out of the last play-off spot the trip to Plymouth on Tuesday takes on extra significance with Jye Etheridge due to return but guests needed to cover for Schlein and Bastian Borke.

Scorpions: Kyle Howarth 18, Michael Palm Toft R/R, Simon Lambert 10+1, Connor Mountain 8+2, Jake Allen 14+2, Nathan Ablitt 5+1, Luke Harrison 7+2

Bandits: Lewi Kerr 9, Danyon Hume 2, Dan Gilkes 3, Drew Kemp 8+2, Freddy Hodder 1, Paul Starke 3

Pictures: Taz McDougall

Bad break for the skipper
George Dodds
George Dodds

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