HISTORY repeated itself for Oxford Cheetahs as they lost at high-flying Plymouth Gladiators.

Jason Crump’s men went down 55-35 for the second meeting in a row after Leicester Lions triumphed by the same scoreline on Saturday.

Cheetahs’ misery was compounded by a back injury for Troy Batchelor, who will be replaced by three-time British champion Chris Harris for tonight’s clash with Redcar Bears at Oxford Stadium.

READ MORE: Oxford Cheetahs lose at Leicester + Chargers beat Armadale

The Australian was due to undergo check-ups on the problem this morning but his replacement has plenty of pedigree, having previously been teammates and rivals with captain Scott Nicholls for Great Britain and Coventry.

"You don't get much better than Chris Harris," said Peter Schroeck, who is part of Cheetahs' management team.

"'Bomber' is very well-received at all the tracks, so I'm sure people will enjoy seeing him going around Sandy Lane.

"He brings calmness in the pits and he's a good inspiration for other riders.

"I love working with him and we have a very good relationship. 

"He and Scott have been old sparring partners for a long time, so what they don't know about each other doesn't exist.

"It will be a good combination and we're looking forward to it."

Batchelor top-scored for the visitors with 10+1, while Scott Nicholls chipped in with eight and Dillon Ruml collected 7+1.

But Plymouth claimed race advantages in the final three heats to build an unassailable lead and climb to third in the SGB Championship.

Cheetahs have the chance to end a run of three defeats at home to Redcar tonight (7.30pm).

Their second stop of a manic week is at Sandy Lane, as they aim to repeat their 47-43 home win over the Teesside team in the Knockout Cup a fortnight ago.

Cheetahs will be out for revenge, though, after losing the second leg of the tie 51-39 to exit the competition.

Crump’s men head north after tonight's meeting for Friday’s trip to Scunthorpe Scorpions.


PLYMOUTH 55: Ben Barker 12+2, Hans Andersen 11, Michael Palm Toft 10+2, Ben Morley 9+1, Alfie Bowtell 8+1, Paul Starke 5+1, Richrd Andrews 0.
OXFORD 35: Troy Batchelor 10+1, Scott Nicholls 8, Dillon Ruml 7+1, Jack Thomas 4+1, Cameron Heeps 2+1, Kyle Newman 2, Nathan Stoneman 2.

Championship points: Plymouth 3, Oxford 0.