Howe happy with opening night performance

Apr 7th, 2024
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DAVID HOWE, the new team manager of the Ellie Rose Travel Scunthorpe Scorpions, was delighted with the opening performance from his riders in the 52-38 BSN Series victory over Redcar Bears at the Eddie Wright Raceway on Friday.

Jake Allen was top-scorer with 13+1, while 20-year-old reserve Nathan Ablitt impressed with 12 points from reserve, and 16-year-old Luke Harrison scored paid five on his debut with Scorpions.

The meeting went ahead despite heavy rain the preceding night, which meant track conditions were not ideal, although there was still some decent racing on show.

Michael Palm Toft withdrew after two rides, after a painful fall after looping at the start in Heat 3. He was present – along with the rest of the side – in the clubhouse after the meeting and is expected to return this Friday (April 12) when Scorpions commence their defence of the Cab Direct Knockout Cup against the Plymouth Gladiators at the EWR.

Howe said: “I’m very happy with the result, but not at all surprised, because I know what these boys are capable of.

“I didn’t want to make one single programme change for the opening meeting, but Tofty (Michael Palm Toft) put a spanner in the works with his fall. I left it up to him if he continued in the meeting, and in the end, he wasn’t feeling right with his back, so he made the decision to pull out.

“It was a team performance, but I can’t help but pick out Nathan’s (Ablitt) performance, because if you think of the Nathan we signed last year to the one we saw on Friday against Redcar, he’s come so far. We knew it was coming – you could see by the end of last season and also I could see it by watching him practice pre-season.

“When I gave Nathan the injury rider replacement ride in Heat 9, I told him: ‘You’re not in this because you’re fit, you’re in it because you’ve earnt it.’ He’s a great ace up our sleeve at reserve.

“Luke (Harrison) isn’t under any pressure at all. He did very well, scoring paid five. But we can work with him, to see what changes he can make so that he can make some decent starts. We know he’s going to be a great asset to the team.

“It wasn’t a normal track on Friday. Had it been so, we could have won by eighteen points or by even more.

“I also want to congratulate Rob (Godfrey, Scunthorpe promoter) and his track crew. I walked the track with Gavin Parr, the Redcar manager, because we wanted to take a look at the track, before we also got the riders involved. We agreed, at that point, the track was untraceable. Rob and his team then got stuck in. It wasn’t what Rob wanted to do, because it undid some of the work that he’s done in recent weeks, but he did it, and it allowed the meeting to go ahead.”

PHOTO: David and the Scorpions on the track walk (pic: Ian Rispin)

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