Sheffield v Redcar and Redcar v Sheffield preview
It is going to be a busy couple of days for the SG Petch Bears, as they firstly travel to Sheffield on Thursday to take on the Tigers (7:30pm start) before the return fixture at the Media Prima Arena on Friday (7:30pm start).
Redcar start the meetings 1 place and 1 point above Sheffield in the league, albeit having raced 3 more meetings and they will be keen to pick up points to help maintain their place in the top 4. After a good week last week for the Bears, manager Jitendra Duffill knows this will be a tough test against a good Tigers side:
Sheffield were one of my tips for the play off’s this year and they have certainly lived up to the pre season hype so far. I see this as one of our biggest challenges to date and it will be a big test for us. Having said that, we come into this fixture with a lot of confidence. After a convincing win at home last week over league leaders Edinburgh nobody should faze us. The victory away at Berwick on Saturday was another great result for us as we must keep picking up points away from home to claim a play off spot.
The Tigers are led by Josh Grajczonek, and include ex-Bears Lasse Bjerre and Rob Branford in their ranks. Josh Bates has also had some excellent meetings at the Media Prima Arena in the past. As Jack Parkinson Blackburn is still missing for Sheffield, Nathan Stoneman will guest in his place on both Thursday and Friday.
For Redcar, boss Duffill has been delighted with the efforts of the whole side recently. In the absence of Jason Garrity, the Bears strength in depth has shone through with all riders scoring vital points:
It’s very pleasing for me to be getting contributions from everybody and we certainly look to have a lot of strength in depth. We will need more of the same as we must look to send Sheffield home empty handed on Friday. I’m sure that this is going to be a thrilling match and could go all the way to the wire.
Garrity will unfortunately be out for around 3-4 weeks with a wrist injury. Stuart Robson will guest in his place on Thursday with Rory Schlien replacing him at home on Friday. The rest of the side is unchanged. Duffill admits it is hard to get replacements who could match Garritys scoring:
Jason Garrity will be missing for 3-4 weeks as his injury has been confirmed as a broken Scaphoid. Finding guests to replace him is proving to be very difficult and there are few riders of equal ability available to cover his absence. I promise you that I am doing everything I can to find the best guests that I can.
Redcar (Thursday): Stuart Robson, Jonas B Andersen, Ben Barker, Ellis Perks, Charles Wright, Coty Garcia, Danny Ayres
Redcar (Friday): Rory Schlein, Jonas B Andersen, Ben Barker, Ellis Perks, Charles Wright, Coty Garcia, Danny Ayres
Sheffield (both fixtures): Josh Grajczonek, Todd Kurtz, Lasse Bjerre, Josh Bates, Kyle Howarth, Rob Branford, Nathan Stoneman.