06.08.12: Grandstand finish clinches Saints away win
|BUXTON HITMEN 43 SCUNTHORPE SAINTS 46 (NATIONAL LEAGUE)
JOTUN PAINTS Scunthorpe Saints snatched a dramatic 46-43 away win at Buxton yesterday afternoon (Sunday), after taking three 5-1s in the final three races. It is their first away win of the season.
Gary Irving and guest Ashley Morris scored 5-1s in Heats 13 & 15, but the real clincher for the Saints was a fine 5-1 by Oliver Greenwood and Tommy Fenwick in Heat 14 (both making their first visit to the track), who kept their heads in a race where both Buxton Hitmen riders took a tumble.
A shower leading up to the meeting made for heavy conditions. A somewhat chaotic opening race saw mistakes from both Ashley Morris and Buxton’s guest Byron Bekker. Morris lost third with an engine failure on the final lap, while 15-year-old Max Clegg rode a steady race to come through from fourth to second place, to finish behind the vastly experienced Dean Felton.
After Buxton reserve Ryan Blacklock fell in Heat 2, there was a delay while gremlins with the track equipment were sorted out to allow the track to be graded. The re-run saw the Saints level the scores, with Oliver Greenwood and Danny Phillips posting a 4-2.
The Hitmen took control of the meeting with a 5-1 in Heat 3, while Gary Irving started a great afternoon’s work with a tapes-to-flag victory in Heat 4. Greenwood missed out on third, after an absorbing battle with Bekker.
Conditions were still a little tricky, and race-leader Luke Priest came a cropper in Heat 5, as the Saints took a 4-2.
Tommy Fenwick was finding things tough, and fell and remounted in Heat 7. Chris Widman pulled up after seemingly throwing a chain, which allowed Fenwick into third. But Fenwick clouted the fence on the third lap. Although he stayed on his bike, the loss of momentum allowed Adam McKinna to lap Fenwick, and the race ended up as a 3-2 to the Hitmen.
Buxton extended their lead to nine points after 10 races, with Tom Young sliding off on the second bend of Heat 10 while looking well poised on the outside, allowing the Hitmen to take a 5-1.
Morris and Clegg took a 4-2 in Heat 11, but Blacklock pressured early leader Greenwood into making a mistake in Heat 12 and came through, as the Hitmen seemingly edged towards the finish line with a 4-2.
Irving & Morris took a fine 5-1 in Heat 13, but the Hitmen only needed a shared race in Heat 14 to clinch the meeting. However, McKinna overcooked it on the second bend and remounted in fourth place, and the Saints held a 4-2. Second-placed Blacklock fell on the second bend of Heat 14, while trying to chase down race-leader Greenwood. Fenwick moved through into second and held off McKinna on the final bend, although it transpired that the referee had actually stopped the race after Blacklock had fell. The result was the same either way: a 5-1 to the Saints which moved the scores to Buxton 42 Scunthorpe 41 with just a race to go.
Irving & Morris make no mistakes in the final race, leading all the way to take a 5-1 which moved the Saints ahead for the first time on the afternoon – the perfect time to take the lead. Irving, having completed a full maximum, was given the bumps on his return to the pit gate by the jubilant Saints’ management and riders.
Stuart Parnaby (Saints’ team manager) –
“This is a fantastic result for us. It would have been great to come here and grab a point, but to get a win is just great. We did have a little bit of luck for once, but all our riders dug in and gave it a go, and I’m proud of them.
“Gary (Irving) had a great meeting, while we thank Ashley Morris for coming in and giving a good guest performance.
“The track was very tricky early on – actually it stayed quite tricky all throughout the meeting. Several of our lads were finding it difficult.
“Tommy’s (Fenwick) head was a bit down early on. But in Heat 14, he produced the ride that made all the difference to the final score.
“Oliver (Greenwood) gets better every time I see him. He was muscling himself to the first corner. Max (Clegg) rode steadily and scored some useful points.”
“This is almost as good a feeling as winning the league last season. All the lads are buzzing after that. I’m over the moon – it was a fantastic effort from every one of them to come back into the meeting and win it.”
Oliver Greenwood –
“I’ve never rode this track before (I did come along to watch the meeting last week), so I’m delighted how it went.
“It is quite a difficult track to ride. The conditions were a bit iffy early on, but I’ve ridden more difficult tracks while doing grasstrack, so it didn’t bother me. I knew if I could get in front in my first race, then I could win it.
“In Heat 12, I messed up the pits bend while I was in the lead, and lost a race I should have won. So in Heat 14, I made sure I stayed focused and didn’t make any mistakes.
“We were close at getting a win in our last away meeting at King’s Lynn, and now we’ve got an away win here. It’s brilliant!”
Max Clegg –
“I’ve only been here once before for an under-16 round and the track was quite slick for that.
“I’ve never rode a track like the one today, not here or anywhere else really, so it was a case of finding the right set up that suited both the track and me.
“It makes a nice change for us to win away from home; it’s our first away win of the season.”
Tommy Fenwick –
“It’s the first time I’ve been here, and I haven’t ridden many grippy tracks. It was really deep on the inside early on and I was struggling.
“But I got used to the track in my final ride. Stuart spoke to me before Heat 14 and told me to stay on and keep it steady and score some points. I did stay on, and at the same time, the Buxton riders made mistakes and we ended up with a 5-1 and that was perfect.
“My aim is to get better by the end of each meeting, and today I did that, so I’m very pleased with that.”
Gary Irving (Saints’ skipper) –
“This isn’t the easiest track to ride at the best of times, and today it was particularly tricky. It was a bit rough early on, but it did improve as they graded it.
“I don’t think I’ve ever scored much above 5 points here before. I’m not a big fan of the track – it doesn’t suit a tall rider such as myself. I don’t think I was that fast today, but I was making starts today and that made it simple.
“I’m very happy with the result today. The younger and more inexperienced riders in the team are improving every time they ride the bike.
“Last year, we had four Premier League riders in the team. But people forget the year before that, those four Premier League riders (Ash Birks, the Worralls and myself) were novices. So now we’re trying to do the same again. As Rob (Godfrey, promoter) has said, it’s a two-year plan, so hopefully next year the new kids will be going out and winning honours.
“I’m here to help them out, and also get more meetings for myself. The more I can ride the bike, the more I improve. The team is a good mixture between us and it’s working well.”
Buxton Hitmen 43 – Byron Bekker (guest) 8+2 (6), Dean Felton 8+1 (5), Luke Priest 7+1 (5), Adam McKinna 10+1 (6), Robert Branford R/R, Chris Widman 2 (3), Ryan Blacklock 8 (5).
Jotun Paints Scunthorpe Saints 46 – Ashley Morris (guest) 10+2 (5), Max Clegg 4 (4), Tom Young 3 (3), Tommy Fenwick 3+1 (4), Gary Irving 15 (5) (FULL MAXIMUM), Danny Phillips 1 (4), Oliver Greenwood 10 (5).
1: Felton, Clegg, Bekker, Morris (ret), 59.5 (4-2) (4-2).
2: (Re-run) Greenwood, Widman, Phillips, Blacklock (fell, excluded), 59.0 (2-4) (6-6).
3: McKinna, Priest, Young, Fenwick, 59.8 (5-1) (11-7).
4: Irving, Blacklock, Bekker, Greenwood, 59.2 (3-3) (14-10).
5: Morris, McKinna, Clegg, Priest (fell, excluded), awarded – no time (2-4) (16-14).
6: Irving, Felton, Bekker, Phillips (ret) (3-3) (19-17).
7: McKinna, Young, Fenwick (fell, remounted then excluded, lapped), Widman (ret), 63.9 (3-2) (22-19).
8: Blacklock, Greenwood, Felton, Clegg, 59.4 (4-2) (26-21).
9: Irving, Priest, McKinna, Phillips, 59.0 (3-3) (29-24).
10: Bekker, Felton, Fenwick, Young (fell), 57.7 (5-1) (34-25).
11: Morris, Priest, Clegg, Widman, 57.7 (2-4) (36-29).
12: Blacklock, Greenwood, Priest, Phillips, 58.2 (4-2) (40-31).
13: Irving, Morris, Bekker, Felton, 57.2 (1-5) (41-36).
14: Greenwood, Fenwick, McKinna (fell, remounted), Blacklock (fell, excluded), awarded – no time (1-5) (42-41).
15: Irving, Morris, Bekker, McKinna, 57.4 (1-5) (43-46).
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