The Monarch Oxford Cheetahs slipped to a narrow home defeat to defending Championship winners Poole Pirates in front of a packed home crowd at Oxford Stadium on Wednesday.
Despite winning 10 of the evening’s 15 heats, it was Poole who packed the minor points scoring positions to restrict Cheetahs to three race advantages on the night and secure a 43-46 victory.
Skipper Scott Nicholls raced to a faultless 15-point maximum while Lewis Kerr and Cameron Heeps weighed in with 9 and 8+1 from their rides respectively.
Poole’s points tally was aided by former Cheetah Kyle Newman who ended the night with 13+1 from six rides while Richard Lawson also returned with a double figure haul with 9+2.
Despite the narrow defeat, Monarch Cheetahs team manager Peter Schroeck took the positives from the evening and thanked the club’s supporters for turning out in force.
“We can’t thank our fans enough for turning out in good numbers again,” said Schroeck. “The weather was truly against us again, but fortunately the worst of the forecast blew over and we were able to get the meeting on.
“Of course we’re disappointed with the result, no one ever wants to lose. But we had a few hiccups along the way and Poole are a team which will punish any mistakes which is what happened.
“I’m encouraged by the amount of race wins we recorded, that’s definitely something we can build on as a team. We’ve kept the aggregate scores close and that’s what we have to go for at Wimborne Road on Good Friday.”
The Monarch Cheetahs return to action on Good Friday in the BSN Series away to Poole Pirates. Tapes-up at Wimborne Road is at 7.30pm.
Oxford Cheetahs: Sam Masters 6, Cameron Heeps 8+1, Lewis Kerr 9, Jordan Jenkins 2, Scott Nicholls 15, Henry Atkins 1+1, Luke Killeen 2.
Poole Pirates: Steve Worrall 5, Anders Rowe 4+1, Ben Cook 8+1, Zach Cook 6+2, Richard Lawson 9+2, Kyle Newman 13+1, Adam Roynon 1+1.