PETER Schroeck focused on the positives after Oxford Cheetahs’ tight defeat at Redcar Bears.

The visitors went down 47-43 at the ECCO Arena after taking their opponents to a last-heat decider on a thrilling evening.

The lead changed hands several times in the early part of the meeting and the teams were locked at 39-39 with two races to go.

Redcar’s Kasper Andersen passed Dillon Ruml in the penultimate heat to secure a 4-2 and the hosts won the decider by the same scoreline to clinch victory.

Cheetahs earned a SGB Championship point by virtue of the margin of defeat being fewer than seven and team manager Shroeck felt it was deserved.

He said: “When you lose by two or four points, especially when you’ve made a long journey, it’s a bit gutting.

“One positive of a narrow defeat away from home is that we get a league point for our efforts and that point could be very important come the end of the season.

“I’m chuffed we didn’t come away completely empty-handed – it would have been cruel had we done so.”

He added: “It was another good away performance for us that again showed what we’re capable of.”

Cheetahs used rider replacement for Jack Thomas, who broke both wrists in a crash at King’s Lynn 24 hours earlier.

The away team edged ahead with a 4-2 from Ruml and Josh MacDonald in heat two, before Kyle Newman was put back 15 metres in No 3 for touching the tapes – despite Jason Edwards escaping a penalty for a similar offence in the previous race.

Bears took the lead with a 5-1 but Cheetahs stayed in the hunt and levelled at 18-18 in the sixth after Redcar skipper Charles Wright was excluded.

The captain crashed into MacDonald, allowing the visitors to pick up a 4-2 in the re-run.

Newman and Cameron Heeps took a 5-1 in heat seven, with Ruml winning the eighth to maintain the gap, but Redcar’s Jordan Jenkins – who rides for Oxford Chargers in the National Development League – earned a point to make it 36-36 with three to go.

Redcar edged ahead when Ruml went wide in race 14 and Andersen pounced, before the hosts held on to take victory.

It was still a good meeting for the American, who top-scored with 12 points ahead of Scott Nicholls.

Ruml said: “When we were here in the cup, I scored just one point.

“It’s difficult to understand how there can be such a difference, although a big change this time was winning my first ride.

“After that, I just felt comfortable, so we didn’t really make a lot of changes to the bike and the evening just went well for me.

“I was happy to let the track come to me and I had a good night.

“I threw away a point in my final ride. It was a silly mistake, but it meant we had one less point going into heat 15.”


REDCAR 47: Charles Wright 12, Adam Roynon 5, Erik Riss 13, Kasper Andersen 5+1, Lewis Kerr 6, Jason Edwards 3, Jordan Jenkins 3+2.

OXFORD 43: Scott Nicholls 10, Jack Thomas R/R, Kyle Newman 4+1, Cameron Heeps 6+2, Troy Batchelor 9+3, Dillon Ruml 12, Josh Macdonald 2, Luke Crang (No 8) DNR.

Championship points: Redcar 3, Oxford 1.