The Monarch Oxford Cheetahs are 15 races away from booking a spot in the 2023 Cab Direct Championship Grand Final after beating Redcar Bears 53-37 at Oxford Stadium on Sunday evening.
Riding at full strength, Cheetahs completed the double over their Yorkshire rivals less than 48 hours after registering a remarkable come-from-behind win at the Ecco Arena.
Those results – coupled with Cheetahs’ home triumph over Glasgow Tigers – mean Peter Schroeck’s side can guarantee their place in the Grand Final by either beating Glasgow at Ashfield Stadium on Tuesday night or losing to the Scottish outfit by nine points or less, which would secure the all-important aggregate bonus point.
Led by skipper Scott Nicholls, Cheetahs’ win over Redcar was helped by the hosts’ strong start which ensured they opened a 20-10 lead after five heats. Brave Redcar fought back in the middle part of the meeting by reducing their deficit to six points with five heats to go. But victory was wrapped up in Heat 13 when Nicholls and Sam Masters teamed up for a convincing 5-1.
Lewis Kerr top scored on the night with 13+1 while Nicholls registered a 12-point maximum from his four scheduled rides. Sam Masters weighed in with 10+1 while there were heat wins for Cameron Heeps (5+1) and Jordan Jenkins (7+2). Henry Atkins (5+1) and Ashton Boughen (1) again contributed vital points at reserve.
Team Manager Peter Schroeck said: “We knew Redcar wouldn’t throw the towel in after we made a good start, and so that proved to be the case.
“We had to work hard for every point tonight but personally I see it as perfect preparation for the biggest fixture of the club’s new era on Tuesday when we travel to Glasgow. It could be a huge night in our history so all our focus is on doing the job in front of us.
“We’ve got the win, which is great. But we need to pull together one final time to complete the next step on our journey this season.”
Tapes-up at Ashfield Stadium on Tuesday night is at 7.30pm. Regular updates will be available via @OxfordSpeedway across social media.