Record-breaker Josh can’t save Scorpions

Mar 28th, 2016
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01. Auty leads Garrity in the rain
 SCUNTHORPE SCORPIONS 43 SHEFFIELD TIGERS 50 (LEAGUE CUP)

A BRILLIANT 16-POINT RETURN from No 1 Josh Auty was not able to save Henderson Insurance Scunthorpe Scorpions from a 43-50 League Cup home defeat to local rivals Sheffield Tigers at the Eddie Wright Raceway yesterday afternoon (Easter Sunday).

Auty entered the meeting level on points as Scunthorpe’s joint highest-ever points scorer, alongside the retired David Howe. The Yorkshireman broke that record in style, winning his opening four rides, and just missed out on a paid maximum after an enthralling tussle for second place with Jason Garrity in Heat 15. Auty now has 2136 points for Scunthorpe, compared to Howe’s 2120 points.

The damp Bank Holiday weekend weather did not prevent promoter Rob Godfrey and his track staff producing a fantastic racing surface, with some fine speedway on display, despite rain in the early and mid-stages of the meeting.

The two sides were close early on, before Sheffield decisively moved into a 14-point lead, with three 5-1s between Heats 5 & 9. The Scorpions outscored the Tigers by 23-16 in the last six races, but it was too late to stop an away victory.

Ryan Douglas backed Auty with a fine 11 paid 12 score, while young No 7 Josh Bailey scored a highly creditable paid 6.

But otherwise the Scorpions simply had too many riders off-colour on the afternoon. Sheffield were highly impressive visitors and will be in contention for the Premier League title in 2016.

Scorpions’ team manager Dave Peet reflected on the defeat: “It was a bad day at the office for us”, he stated.

“Looking at the positives, Josh Auty was back on song and an inspirational No 1 and captain. If Josh can stay clear of injures this season, I think there’s no doubt that he can have a big year.

“Dougie (Ryan Douglas) was another rider who was out for most of last season with injuries. Ryan scored well today, but I think there’s even better to come from him.

“Josh Bailey is a real talent, and he’s got a racing brain. We noticed he wasn’t sharp off the starts last week, and Josh Auty had a look at his clutch set-up and we made some changes and, against Sheffield, young Josh was faster from the tapes. He’s already been a plus, but he is simply only going to get better and better.

“The rest of the team didn’t have a good day, but we know what the problems are, and what we need to work on. In some cases, such as Alex Davies, I think it was just a one-off.

“The wet weather meant the track suited Sheffield more than it did us. But I don’t want to use that as an excuse, because even without the injured Simon Stead, Sheffield were, quite simply, the better team on the day and completely deserved the win.”

HENDERSON INSURANCE SCUNTHORPE SCORPIONS 43
1. Josh Auty 3 3 6# 3 1 (16)
2. Nicolai Klindt 1 FX 1 0 (2)
3. Alex Davies 2 1 0 1* (4+1)
4. Zdenek Holub 0 0 1 1* (2+1)
5. Ryan Douglas 2 2 2 2* 3 (11+1)
6. Carl Wilkinson 2 0 0 2 (4)
7. Josh Bailey 1* 1* 0 2 (4+2)

SHEFFIELD TIGERS 50
1. Lasse Bjerre (Guest) 0 3 3 TX (6)
2. Dimitri Berge 2 2* 3 1 (8+1)
3. Kyle Howarth 3 3 2 3 0 (11)
4. Josh Bates 1 1 1* 3 (6+1)
5. Jason Garrity 3 2 3 1 2 (11)
6. Richard Hall 3 1* 2* 2* FX (8+3)
7. Nathan Greaves 0 0 0 FX (0¬)

# = tactical ride

1: Auty, Berge, Klindt, Bjerre, 60.88 (4-2) (4-2).
2: Hall, Wilkinson, Bailey, Greaves, 63.00 (3-3) (7-5).
3: Howarth, Davies, Bates, Holub, 63.57 (2-4) (9-9).
4: Garrity, Douglas, Bailey, Greaves, 63.88 (3-3) (12-12).
5: Bjerre, Berge, Davies, Holub, 64.13 (1-5) (13-17).
6: (Re-run) Auty, Garrity, Hall, Klindt (fell, excluded), 64.69 (3-3) (16-20).
7: Howarth, Douglas, Bates, Wilkinson, 65.06 (2-4) (18-24).
8: Berge, Hall, Klindt, Bailey, 62.44 (1-5) (19-29).
9: Garrity, Hall, Holub, Davies, 64.00 (1-5) (20-34).
10: AUTY (TR), Howarth, Bates, Klindt, 64.82 (6-3) (26-37).
11: Bjerre, Douglas, Berge, Wilkinson, 63.19 (2-4) (28-41).
12: Howarth, Bailey, Davies, Greaves, 62.01 (3-3) (31-44).
13: (Re-run twice) Auty, Douglas, Garrity, Hall (fell, exclude), 60.38 (5-1) (36-45).
14: (Re-run) Bates, Wilkinson, Holub, Greaves (fell, excluded), 60.07 (3-3) (39-48).
15: Douglas, Garrity, Auty, Howarth, 59.18 (4-2) (43-50).

* In the second meeting, Halifax Dukes (30 points) won a four team tournament, ahead of Hull Vikings (25), Buxton Hitmen (21) and Scunthorpe Stags (16).

PHOTO: Josh Auty, Scunthorpe’s new highest all-time points scorer, leads Jason Garrity in the rain.

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