Monday, July 15, 2024
CheetahsOxford Speedway

REPORT: Cheetahs smash Comets into orbit to move three points clear

LEAGUE leaders Monarch Oxford Cheetahs totted up their largest score of the season, with a convincing 57-33 victory over second-placed Workington Comets at Oxford Stadium last night (Wednesday).

The result means that Cheetahs move three points clear at the top of the Cab Direct Championship at the halfway stage of their regular league fixtures.

Cheetahs took the lead with a 5-1 from teenage reserve pairing Ashton Boughen and Jody Scott in Heat 2 and never looked back. Scott was replacing Adam Roynon, who picked up a knock at Redcar last week.

By the end of Heat 8, Cheetahs stood 30-18 ahead.

Comets’ manager James Denham placed a successful tactical substitute in Heat 9, as Craig Cook came into Heat 9 to join Troy Batchelor for a 5-1 to reduce the gap to eight points.

Both Sam Masters and Cameron Heeps flew inside Claus Vissing at the same time on the third bend of Heat 10, as Cheetahs took a 5-1 and quickly re-established their 12-point advantage.

In a grandstand finish, Cheetahs opened up the gap with three successive maximum heat advantages between Heats 12 and 14.

Luke Killeen and Scott are the leading lights for the Oxford Chargers in the WSRA National League, and they combined for a 5-1 in Heat 12, after Antti Vuolas fell in pursuit of Killeen.

Cook was easily the pick of Comets, winning five of his six outings – the only heat wins by a Comet on the evening – but he trailed in last in Heat 13, after Oxford skipper Scott Nicholls thrust inside both him and Batchelor on the opening two laps of the race to join Masters for a 5-1.

Jordan Jenkins likewise burst from fourth to second in Heat 14, including pushing inside Vissing with a lap remaining, to join Boughen for a 5-1.

Such was Cheetahs’ dominance that they could afford to leave out top guns Masters and Nicholls from the nominated Heat 15, with Heeps and Jenkins taking a well-deserved extra outing and shutting out Batchelor to follow home Cook for a concluding 3-3.

Heeps top-scored for Cheetahs with 11+2, with Masters (10+1), Nicholls (also 10+1) and Jordan Jenkins (9+2) all paid for double-figures. Both reserves – 16-year-old Boughen and 17-year-old Scott – scored paid eight for Cheetahs.

For Scott, it was the third full outing he has been given by Cheetahs this season as a replacement rider, but his first full appearance at home at Oxford and he grabbed the opportunity with both hands.

Jody Scott said: “I’m really happy to score six paid eight for Cheetahs tonight – scoring points for Cheetahs was my aim.

“Pete (Schroeck, Oxford team manager) gave me the opportunity tonight and I’m buzzed that I’ve responded to that by scoring good points.

“Getting out of the start is key for me to be able to do well at this level, and that’s why I’ve been practicing my starts because it does make a big difference and it’s paying off.

“I just want to keep on progressing. I’ve been working as hard this year as I ever have been, because it’s what I want to do with my career. Hopefully the opportunities for Cheetahs will continue to come and I can continue to score points.”

In the meantime, the OXS Oxford Spires take the forefront at Oxford Stadium next week with two meetings in three days. They host Sheffield Tigers on Monday (July 1) and Ipswich Witches on Thursday (July 4) in what will be a crucial week for Spires’ play-off hopes in the ROWE Motor Oil Premiership.

Tickets are already on sale for the Sheffield home meeting at https://oxfordspeedway.club/tickets/

Monarch Oxford Cheetahs 57: Sam Masters 10+1, Cameron Heeps 11+2, Luke Killeen 4+1, Jordan Jenkins 9+2, Scott Nicholls 10+1, Ashton Boughen 7+1, Jody Scott 6+2.

Workington Comets 33: Craig Cook 15, Tate Zischke 2, Antti Vuolas 3+1, Claus Vissing 5+1, Troy Batchelor 6+1, Celina Liebmann 2, Sam McGurk 0.

PHOTO: Jody Scott and Luke Killeen celebrate their 5-1 from Heat 12 (pic: Steve Edmunds)