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Comets WIN AWAY at Redcar!
Photo by Dave Payne
Fri 19 May 2017 by Comets Press Office
Redcar Bears 42 Comets 48
The Comets chalked up their first away victory of the 2017 season with an excellent 48-42 win at Redcar, and in doing so picked up three more league points.

This saw the Comets gain some revenge over Redcar following the Bears draw at Derwent Park almost three weeks previously, and in doing so the Comets ended the Bears 100% home record.

Top-scoring for the Comets once again was skipper Craig Cook with 13 points having lost out to Ben Barker in heats 11 and 13 before taking revenge in the final race.

Former Redcar rider Ty Proctor scored 10 points while Thomas Jorgensen weighed in with 7 points despite being clearly unwell, and Matt Williamson continued his fine run of form from the reserve berth with an 8 paid 11 return.

The Comets took the lead in the opening heat with Craig winning the race and Mason coming home third and held the lead from then on.

Matt won a shared heat 2 after Rob, who had been in third place was pushed wide by the Bears guest Tom Bacon of Peterborough as they entered the first turn for the second time. This caused Rob to slide off on a surface that was still quite greasy from the pre-meeting watering.

Ty won heat 3 while James rode a good third to hold off Charles Wright as the Comets doubled their lead to four points before Ben Barker won heat 4 and, with Bacon holding off Rob for third place the Bears picked up their first heat advantage of the night to reduce the Comets lead to two points.

However, that was as close as the Bears ever got when another Comets 4-2 in heat 5 through Craig and Mason saw the gap opened up to four points once more, with Craig winning the race in the fastest time of the season so far, which was just 0.9 of a second outside Chris Harris's October 2009 track record!

The Comets pairings followed Redcar race winners Garrity and Barker home in heats 6 and 7 respectively before a tape to flag success from Mason in heat 8, with Matt in third place, stretched the Comets lead to six points.

A big effort from an 'off-colour' Thomas saw him take the chequered flag in heat 9 while Garrity saw of Ty's challenge in heat 10. However in that race all eyes were on the tussle for third place with James thwarting Coty Garcia's challenge throughout before the Bears second-string made a run for the outside as they came off the final bend and snatched third place on the line by half a wheel; and so cutting the Comets lead down to four points once again.

Barker lowered Craig's colours for the first time in heat 11 but with Mason following Craig home the points were shared. However that advantage was doubled to eight when the Comets took maximum points in heat 12 through Ty and Matt, in what was the only 5-1 of the entire match for either side (see photo above). For the Bears Charles Wright was a third lap faller in that heat when he fell as he entered turn three when in third place chasing Matt.

A tense heat 13 saw Garrity receive his second warning of the night for moving at the start from Referee Willie Dishington (having previously been warned in heat 1) and his exclusion saw him put back to the 15-metre handicap line.

We then got two races in one as, at the front, Craig chased Barker while a clearly incensed Garrity went charging after a tiring Thomas before catching him on lap three and then moving into third place to give the Bears a 4-2 heat advantage, which cut the Comets lead back to six points.

But, with James and Matt following the hitherto disappointing Jonas B Andersen home in heat 14 the shared heat meant that the Comets were assured of victory going into a potentially thrilling final heat, which certainly didn't disappoint.

Redcar had choice of gates and opted for gates 1 and 3, with the unbeaten Barker taking gate 1 and Garrity having gate 3. Meanwhile the Comets selection saw Craig starting from the outside and Ty coming off gate 2.

The Bears made the better start and, briefly on turn two, looked to be set for a 5-1 but that was before Craig sensationally burst through on the inside to take the lead as they headed into turn three for the first time.

From then on Craig held the constant threat of Barker at bay, even surviving a 'Barker dive-bomb' as they entered turn three for the third time. Meanwhile, at the back, Ty pushed Garrity throughout but without success as he fought to try and get third place, which would have given us an extra match point.

But, nevertheless, an excellent team performance and a well-deserved away victory!

Thursday 18th May 2017
REDCAR 'SG PETCH' BEARS 42
WORKINGTON 'THOMAS ARMSTRONG' COMETS 48
Match Points: Redcar 0 Workington 3
Referee: Willie Dishington

REDCAR BEARS 42
Jason Garrity (c) 10+1, Coty Garcia 3, Charles Wright 3+1, Jonas B Andersen 7, Ben Barker 14, Richard Hall 2, Tom Bacon (guest) 3+1.

WORKINGTON COMETS 48
Craig Cook (c) 13, Mason Campton 6+1, Ty Proctor 10, James Sarjeant 4+1, Thomas Jorgensen 7, Matt Williamson 8+3, Rob Shuttleworth 0.
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Last Updated :  Sat 20 May 2017, 08:59 UK
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Photography
Dave Payne, Adrian Randall