Bears 50 Eagles 40 – KOC semi-final, first leg

Redcar bring a ten-point lead to Arlington Stadium tomorrow (Saturday, September 7) for the second leg of the KO Cup semi-final.

A thrilling meeting unfolded tonight in the first leg at the North East club’s Media Prime Arena.

Eventually, the home side won by ten points – they lost the league match at Arlington a fortnight ago by ten points.

It sets things up perfectly for a second night of thrilling action which looks like it will go all the way to heat 15 tomorrow night before we know who will go into the final to face Newcastle.

As our match reporter Kevin Ling has just said: This is by no means over, folks.

Eastbourne joint team manager Trevor Geer said: “I was pleased with the result. Redcar expected to do a lot better than they did.

“All of our boys rode their hearts out tonight, especially our guest. He rode so well with a great heart.

“It is going to be a great meeting tomorrow at Arlington.

“A few 5-1s and we will be back in it. 

“It is going to be close and hopefully we can just nick it at the end.”

Redcar: Jake Allen 6+1(4), Kapser Andersen 6+1(4), Michael Palm Toft 8+2(5), Jordan Stewart 10(4), Erik Riss 13(5), Tom Woolley 2+1(3), Nathan Greaves 5+1(5) – 50.

Eastbourne: Edward Kennett 9(5), wood RR (2-points), Kyle Newman 8(5), Lewi Kerr 7+1(4), Richard Lawson 12(5), Danny Phillips 4+1(7), Jason Edwards 0(4).

Our match reporter had words of praise for guest reserve Danny Phillips.

“I will admit when he was named in the side (with the greatest of respect) I wasn’t expecting too much of the lad – well I was wrong and happy to admit it.

“He rode his heart out for the Eagles tonight and I for one extend my thanks to him for a brilliant effort.”

Kevin added: “All the Eagles gave it their all tonight – true to say the Bears had the edge and deserve their lead but the Eagles performed heroically to ensure the tie is by no means over – whoever goes through to the final will have richly deserved it for the effort and heart displayed by all 13 riders.

“Tonight proved a classic cup tie let us hope for the same tomorrow.”

Here’s how our live coverage unfolded this evening:

Two nights of terrific speedway get under way shortly (September 6) to decide whether Eastbourne or Redcar will reach the Championship KO Cup final.

The first leg of the semi-final between the two clubs is at the North East club’s Media Prime Arena.

As usual, our man Kevin Ling is trackside to bring you all the latest news and heat-by-heat details as the match unfolds.

The second leg is tomorrow (Saturday, 7.30pm) at the Eagles’ Arlington Stadium.

Winners of this semi-final will face Newcastle in the final.

Team news:

Eastbourne have David Wallinger in place as No 8.

Redcar: Jake Allen (guest for Charles Wright), Kasper Andersen, Michael Palm Toft (captain), Jordan Stewart, Erik Riss, Tom Woolley, Nathan Greaves.

Eastbourne: Edward Kennett (captain), r/r for Georgie Wood, Kyle Newman, Lewi Kerr, Richard Lawson, Danny Phillips (guest for Alfie Bowtell), Jason Edwards. No 8: David Wallinger.

Looks a tad chilly –Richard Lawson getting ready
Kelsey Dugard on the spanners tonight for the Eagles
Ken Burnett for Eagles in TV ready to film the semi-final action
Joint team boss Will Pottinger with members of Lewi Kerr’s pit team
Bike in place, biggest supporter (mum Dawn in place) but where’s Jason Edwards? Never fear, he’s at the Media Prime Arena
Sun setting over Redcar’s Media Prime Arena
Redcar programme with Championship Riders’ Individual winner Erik Riss on the front cover

Remember to refresh this page frequently to ensure you get the latest information.

Almost ready to go racing here at Redcar for the KOC semi final first leg – a dry evening (so far though there is a dark cloud lurking menacingly overhead) but cool and ever so slightly blowy.

Track looks in fine shape and the bikes are being lined up for the parade.

Alan Price with Simon Smith and his Dancing Bear playing on the loudspeakers, so a local flavour there – everybody’s happy ……. for now at least 😊

Just in case you didn’t know…Alan Price was born in Washington (that’s not DC in the USA, or the one the other side of Brighton in West Sussex but the one in County Durham, not far from Redcar.

Not sure if we should be linking a Geordie with Redcar but hey ho, we’ve done it.

Riders now on parade and being introduced to the crowd.

Just champion – Erik Riss on parade with the Championship Individual riders’ trophy. His win follows Charles Wright being crowned British Champion, although he is out of the tie with concussion.

Eagles win toss and select gates 1 and 3 in heat one – Redcar get pick in heat fifteen. Referee is Phil Griffin and heat one is at the tapes. Go Eagles!!!!!!

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Heat 1: Allen (r) Andersen (b) Kennett (w) Edwards (R/R) (y). Stopped in the interests of safety – Andersen eased Kennett wide into first turn – the domino effect seeing Allen part company with his machine – Jake disappears under air fence but thankfully is quickly up and seemingly okay – being given a lift back to the pits by Edward Kennett.

First race of the Championship KO Cup semi-final at tapes tonight at Redcar.

Heat 1 re-run: Edward gets the drop on Andersen and fires into the first turn – a brilliant all the way win for the Eagles skipper. He leaves the Dane trailing with Allen following in third – Jason never far from the action but was always going to be a tough ask for the youngster in this company, 3-3, 3-3, Time 54.3. Fourteen of those would be nice, says Kevin.

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Heat 2: Ht 2 Woolley (r) Greaves (b) Phillips (w) Edwards (y). A lot at stake tonight – this time a tight first turn sees a coming together for Woolley and Phillips – the latter hitting the deck – again soon up and okay – correct decision sees all four riders come back under orders. Re-run: Super way to go Danny Phillips – a fine gate and a superb win for the Eagles guest – Jason fought hard but just couldn’t split the team riding Greaves and Woolley 3-3, 6-6, Time 56.4. 13 more of those would be nice, says Kevin!

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Heat 3: Ht 3 Palm Toft (r) Stewart (b) Newman (w) Kerr (y). Ht 3 Good gate from Stewart to lead – Kyle and Lewi holding second and third but go wide on second turn allowing Palm Toft a route through on the inside. That was the all the invitation the Dane needed and its a big 5-1 to the Bears Stewart taking the win from MPT with Kyle in third 5-1, 11-7, Time 55.4

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Heat 4: Ht 4 Riss (r) Greaves (b) Lawson (w) Philips (y) replacing Edwards. A controlled win for the newly crowned CLR champ as he led Richard from gate to flag – another fine effort from Phillips but he got hung out on the wide line and try though he might just couldn’t gain ground on Greaves, 4-2, 15-9, Bears leading by six, Time 55.6

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Heat 5: Track grading taking place before race five. MPT (r) Stewart (b) Kennett (w) Edwards (R/R) (y). Edward on fire so far and he blitzes around the outside on bends one and two to leave Stewart and MPT trailing  – Kennett wins at a canter but no such luck for the unfortunate Jason who comes home adrift of the Bears, 3-3, 18-12, Time 55.1

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Heat 6: Allen (r) Andersen (b) Lawson (w) Phillips (y). This time Richard hits the first bend in front and in spite of the ever pressing challenge of Allen, it is Lawson who takes the 3-points – Andersen follows in third ahead of Phillips (last place but putting in a shift be aware Eagles fans) for the 3-3, 21-15, Time 54.8

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Heat 7: Riss (r) Woolley (b) Newman (w) Kerr (y). YES, YES, YES. Riss gates fast but Lewi fires around him off bend two to leave the German chasing shadows – with Kyle getting the better of Woolley for third this hands Eagles their first heat advantage of the evening a 4-2 that sees the progressive scores at Redcar 23 Eastbourne 19, Time 55.7

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Heat 8: Track grading before race 8. Andersen (r) Greaves (b) Newman (R/R) (w) Phillips (y). Brilliant race – Kyle looked to have it in the bag but credit where due, Andersen fought his way past in fine style to secure the win – with Phillips getting the better of Greaves once again the points remained shared keeping Eagles within sight of their hosts 3-3, 26-23, Time 55.9

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Heat 9: MPT (r) Stewart (b) Lawson (w) Edwards (y). Another fantastic four laps of speedway – Richard wanting this one but Stewart was superb riding the wide line to deny him – MPT also well in the mix with the proverbial ‘throw a blanket over the three of them’ quote proving appropriate – a 4-2 to the Bears, however, and they now lead 30-24, Time 56.4 

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Heat 10: Allen (r) Andersen (b) Newman (w) Kerr (y). Race stopped. Lewi warned. Kevin says this has so far been a terrific meeting. Eagles on a 5-1 down the the back straight but a flash of brilliance, not once but twice from Allen carried him first past Lewi and then Kyle to secure the win – a fantastic win for the Bears’ guest, one has to be fair about these things – Kyle second and Lewi third but credit to them too – Andersen been riding superbly tonight and they pegged him at the back, 3-3, 33-27, time 56.0

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Heat 11: Interval before 11 gets under way. Riders at the tapes for race 11. Riss (r) Woolley (b) Kennett (w) Phillips r/r (y). Emphatic win for Riss who brings Ed’s unbeaten streak to a close – it is Greaves who has the Bears’ fans cheering however as he puts pressure on the Eagles’ captain in the early part but then fends off Phillips in the latter to hand the home side a 4-2, 37-29, and the Bears lead by eight; Time 57.1

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Heat 12: MPT (r) Greaves (b) Newman (w) Phillips (y). Match now reaching a critical phase. The Bears seize another 4-2 as their lead moves to 10-points 41-31 – Kyle keeps MPT honest but just can’t get on terms while Greaves fends off another tenacious effort from Phillips, 4-2, 41-31, time 57.0

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Heat 13: Allen(r) Riss (b) Kennett (w) Lawson (y). Another cracking race –  time 56.1. Kennett leads into first turn. Riss passes him but Lawson rides around the German coming out of the second bend – poetry in motion – Kennett keeps pressure on Riss and Allen keeps pressure on Kennett – a 4-2 back for the Eagles. It finished: Lawson, Riss, Kennett, Allen, 2-4, 43-35, time 56.1

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Heat 14: Stewart (r) Woolley (b) Kerr (w) Phillips (y) replacing Jason. Race awarded. Kerr takes a flying win – Eagles lead initially in the 5-1 position with Phillips again riding with heart – Stewart battles past the latter and then Woolley also applies pressure – second turn sees Phillips go down – thankfully quickly up and okay but disqualified – bad luck to the lad, 3-3, 46-38, entering the final race, no time.

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Heat 15: Heat 15 MPT (r) gate 2, Riss (b) gate 4, Lawson (w) gate 1, Kennett (y) gate 3. Gosh this tense. Here we go. Hold on to your hats. This promises to be a humdinger of a race but first the tractor is out for some grading. And it’s 10-points the difference folks as Riss takes the final heat from Richard – a great race to finish. MPT keeping the heat on Richard while Ed does the same to him – Ed just couldn’t make it stick, 4-2, 50-40, Time 57.3 

Images Credit: Kevin Ling and Mike Hinves