Speedway: Redcar 46 Somerset 38
PUBLISHED: 09:11 31 August 2019 | UPDATED: 09:11 31 August 2019
Somerset 'Cases' Rebels were denied a potentially valuable league point by the clock on Teesside on Friday night when seeking a heat 15 advantage from high-flying duo Nick Morris and Chris Harris.
The same pairing had been out together in heat 13 and delivered such an outcome in its enforced rerun, after opposing riders Erik Riss and ex-Rebel Charles Wright took heavy first bend falls.
Wright required extensive on-track medical care before being withdrawn from the meeting with reported concussion.
In the final heat the Rebels pair that had scored nine points apiece linked up again, but this time it was Morris who was sent crashing when moved out by Riss.
And whilst the Australian, making his final ride in the number one berth ahead of the new September averages, was swiftly back to his feet and taking a pillion ride back to the pits with mechanic Adam Roynon, by the time the two minutes was ready to be switched on the clock had ticked past the 10pm deadline for racing and the meeting was declared over.
For the first seven heats Somerset were well within striking distance of the team that earlier in the season had dumped them out of the Knockout Cup.
But Redcar delivered a sucker punch when Kasper Andersen and Nathan Greaves banked a 5-1 in heat eight, despite the gallant and battling efforts of Anders Rowe, who despite finishing with a paid five score rode his heart out for the Rebels cause.
Somerset could not find the breakthrough they needed to counter that score.
Harris had to work intensively to get by Jordan Stewart in heat nine to prevent another potential Bears' 5-1 as Michael Palm-Toft was taking his personal account to eight from a possible nine.
And tactical substitute Rory Schlein eventually managed to get past Stewart too on the last lap, meaning a third duck egg for Stewart who had occupied every position in that race.
But it was Schlein's turn to miss out in a furious heat 10 which saw Redcar extend their lead further and still the important heat advantages evaded the visitors, until that turning point of heat 13.
With the referee feeling it was a first-bend incident, it allowed all riders to return for the restart, some three quarters of an hour later, with Redcar forced to replace Wright with reserve Nathan Greaves.
Morris took the victory but Riss denied Harris the important 5-1 and edged Redcar nearer to the line that would promote them above the Rebels in the SGB Championship table.
Nico Covatti and Stewart fought an intense heat 14 battle out front, whilst the two reserve Nathans - Greaves and Stoneman - slugged out their own contest at the rear.
The Redcar reserve just got the verdict to ensure victory on the night but the consolation point was will within team boss Garry May's eyeline and he became one hugely disappointed figure once the bar was put on completing the meeting.
"I'm gutted, simply gutted," he said.
"I believed we could have done them in that last race had we been given the chance to complete it, but they called time on us. Obviously there was nothing that could have been done about the long delay in heat 13 and our thoughts are with Charlie [Wright] in the hope that his injuries aren't too serious.
"But to come all this way and get so near to a point is gut-wrenching. With that point it would have put even more pressure on the four teams that are now left with a mathematical chance of catching us.
"As it is, they all need good away results but we don't want to look at it like that, we want to be sufficiently clear of any threats at all from them, so we need some points next week when we face Edinburgh twice in 48 hours."
Redcar: E Riss 10, K Andersen 6+1, M Palm-Toft 10, J Stewart 2, C Wright 8, T Woolley 3+2, N Greaves 7+3.
Somerset: N Morris 9, A Rowe 3+2, R Schlein 9+1, N Covatti 7+1, C Harris 9, N Stoneman 1, L Harris 0.