Awesome Auty can’t save Scorpions from defeat

Apr 6th, 2015
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04. Josh hiding on his tactical

SCUNTHORPE SCORPIONS 40 SHEFFIELD TIGERS 53 (LEAGUE CUP)

A BRILLIANT performance from Josh Auty was not enough to save the FluidAir Power Scunthorpe Scorpions, supported by Henderson Insurance, from a 40-53 League Cup defeat to local rivals Sheffield Tigers in the opening meeting of the season at the Eddie Wright Raceway yesterday afternoon (Easter Monday).

In front of a bumper bank holiday crowd, Auty twice lowered the colours of Sheffield No 1 Simon Stead, previously unbeaten for the Tigers in 2015.

And Auty did it in style, with a breathtaking move in Heat 11. As the riders began the second lap, Auty somehow negotiated a route between Stead & Andre Compton and the safety fence, to move from third to first in a single bound.

It was thrilling stuff, and gave the home supporters something to shout about on an afternoon where the visitors were the ones in command.

Stead again trapped on his rival in Heat 13. But Auty switched back to roar inside Stead on the third bend, and Stead then hit the deck as he attempted to roar back around on the fourth bend. Stead was excluded from the re-run, where Auty and David Howe took Scunthorpe’s only 5-1 of the afternoon.

Auty was massively unlucky not to complete a superb maximum in Heat 15. His engine died just before the start of the race, and he found himself off a 15m handicap. Even so, he looked to have placed himself in just the right place to overhaul both Josh Bates and David Bellego, when he lost grip and fell on the third bend of lap 3.

Auty (15 points) proved most of the cheer for the Scorpions’ fans, although Carl Wilkinson (11) finished with a hat-trick of wins. David Howe (6+1) had an up-and-down afternoon, while both reserves, Ellis Perks and Nike Lunna, showed that they both have considerable promise.

But the Tigers, who raced into a 14-4 lead after just three races, will be very satisfied with what was an impressive all-around team performance.

Scorpions’ team manager Dave Peet said: “Sheffield gave us a bit of a spanking, but we are still looking very rusty. We’re not going to worry too much about things yet; it’s still very early days.

“Josh (Auty) was just brilliant – he was on it from the word go. Meanwhile, Wilko (Carl Wilkinson) has had one of the best starts to a season that he’s ever had.

“David (Howe) is slowly getting there, while Alex (Davies) just needs track time after his year out. And our two reserves, Nike (Lunna) and Ellis (Perks), certainly didn’t disgrace themselves.

“It’s all progressing, just more slowly than we’d like.”

Scorpions’ captain David Howe said: “I didn’t have a great meeting, but it was better. I’m starting to get to grips with the problems I’ve had on the mechanical side of things. My gating was 200% better than it’s been.

“I think, collectively as a team, we just need to get some meetings under our belts. Personally, I’ve had a different type of winter, and not rode a bike much.

“We traditionally are slow starters to the season. But hopefully we can sort things out in the next week or so, ready for the home meeting against Newcastle.

“Josh looks extremely sharp while Wilko has done well in both meetings. So there are some positives there.”

FLUIDAIR POWER SCUNTHORPE SCORPIONS SUPPORTED BY HENDERSON INSURANCE 40
1. David Howe 1 3 0 2* (6+1)
2. Theo Pijper R 0 2 1 (3)
3. Alex Davies 0 R 0 0 (0)
4. Carl Wilkinson 1 1 3 3 3 (11)
5. Josh Auty 3 6# 3 3 FX (15)
6. Ellis Perks 2 1 R 0 (3)
7. Nike Lunna 0 0 1* 1 (2+1)

SHEFFIELD TIGERS 53
1. Simon Stead 3 3 1* FX (7+1)
2. Andre Compton 2* 2* 3 2 (9+2)
3. Ashley Birks 3 0 3 3 (9)
4. Ty Proctor 2* 2 2* 2 (8+2)
5. David Bellego 2 1* 1* 1 1* (6+3)
6. Josh Bates 3 2 2 2* 2 (11+1)
7. Arthur Sissis 1 1* 0 1* (3+2)

# = tactical ride

1: Stead, Compton, Howe, Pijper (ret), 56.43 (1-5) (1-5).
2: Bates, Perks, Sissis, Lunna, 57.50 (2-4) (3-9).
3: Birks, Proctor, Wilkinson, Davies, 58.81 (1-5) (4-14).
4: Auty, Bellego, Sissis, Lunna, 56.75 (3-3) (7-17).
5: Stead, Compton, Wilkinson, Davies (ret), 57.13 (1-5) (8-22).
6: Howe, Bates, Bellego, Pijper, 58.44 (3-3) (11-25).
7: AUTY (TR), Proctor, Perks, Birks, 57.44 (7-2) (18-27).
8: Compton, Pijper, Lunna, Sissis, 57.91 (3-3) (21-30).
9: Wilkinson, Bates, Bellego, Davies, 58.00 (3-3) (24-33).
10: Birks, Proctor, Pijper, Howe, 58.19 (1-5) (25-38).
11: Auty, Compton, Stead, Perks (ret), 57.06 (3-3) (28-41).
12: Birks, Bates, Lunna, Davies, 58.75 (1-5) (29-46).
13: (Re-run twice) Auty, Howe, Bellego, Stead (fell, excluded), 58.06 (5-1) (34-47).
14: Wilkinson, Proctor, Sissis, Perks, 58.19 (3-3) (37-50).
15: Wilkinson, Bates, Bellego, Auty (fell, excluded), no time – awarded (3-3) (40-53).

* In the following National League challenge match, the Scunthorpe Stags defeated the Buxton Hitmen by 51-40, with Martin Knuckey scoring a maximum for the Stags. Full report to follow on Tuesday evening.

PHOTO: The all-action style of tactical ride Josh Auty against Ty Proctor in Heat 7, with Ellis Perks in the background.

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