That Was The Year That Was (Part2)
Tuesday November 10, 2015
The visit of the Sheffield Tigers in April will stay in the memory for a long time but unfortunately for all the wrong reasons….

“I’d love to have a go at that,” is a phrase I hear quite regularly when I tell people I’m a speedway commentator. 99.9% of the time its great fun and I can safely say that my best times in the sport have been spent in the box with Camera Ken. Unfortunately the visit of Sheffield on April 18th was one of the 0.1%. Watching Steve fly through the third bend fence was bad enough but that was the kind of crash we’ve unfortunately witnessed many times before. What happened in Heat 15 left us both pale and speechless. Thankfully as I’m writing this I know Simon Stead has made a good recovery, at the time I’m sure we weren’t the only ones fearing the worse after his team mate Dimitri Berge ploughed into him on the home straight. Going home that night to the sound of the Air Ambulance and the image of the young Frenchman in tears was a sobering experience.

Not surprisingly the lads were still feeling it when they went to Ipswich the following Thursday as our League Cup chances disappeared thanks to a mathematical formula I don’t pretend to understand. Miss White always had trouble with me in the 5th form as my knowledge of all things mathematics took the turn of stroppy teenager who wanted to know why it was x and not w, and why drawing the emblem of my favourite football team across my maths book was considered a detention offence. Looking back I think she would have been in her rights to tell me where to shove my x but while life has moved on since then I’ve always had a deep suspicion of maths. Numerous attempts at calculating speedway averages have turned to disaster. Thankfully Microsoft Excel or Apple numbers now do the job.

The League Cup a memory the Premier League wasn’t looking much better until our perennial nemesis Somerset arrived at fortress Hoddesdon in May. Going into the action the signs weren’t good, they were unbeaten as my old mate Ian ‘Burper‘ Belcher reminded me in the fish bar over his cod and chips, while we were looking for our first league win. What a pleasure it was then to see Captain K, NBJ, and Young Kasper ably assisted by a lightning quick Steve Worrall send the Rebels packing. Kasper’s show was even more notable by the fact he was wearing a brace to protect his dodgy knee ligaments. I must admit I left the stadium feeling a bit green around the gills that night but it was my own fault for asking Kasper about his knee ligaments. I’m not sure if he’s a fan of Greys Anatomy but I got quite a medical education!

Unfortunately the following weekend it was straight back down to earth as we conspired to drop points at home to struggling Scunthorpe. Captain K was the main man with the first 18 pointer of the season but the ‘A‘ Train apart our patched up team were no match for the Scorpions old guard of Theo Pijper and Carl Wilkinson. Then of course there was Nike Lunna’s hair definitely one out of the Danny Warwick school of speedway coiffure! Like Sampson shorn of their blonde locks and the services of Josh Auty and Alex Davies early on the Scorpions crumbled as the lads got their revenge at the Eddie Wright Raceway a few days later. Next it was up for the cup and a chance to chase Comets.....