Oxford Cheetahs coach rues pit telephone not working

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Oxford Cheetahs coach Peter Schroeck with  team manager Jason Crump. Picture: Fortitude Communications
Oxford Cheetahs coach Peter Schroeck with team manager Jason Crump. Picture: Fortitude Communications

OXFORD Cheetahs coach Peter Schroeck rued a controversial decision and a pit telephone not working as they took a point against Edinburgh Monarchs.

The hosts eventually won 48-42 at Armadale, but the Cheetahs were able to claim a point as the away loss was by six points or less.

Ricky Wells was the planned guest to replace the injured Scott Nicholls, but he was forced to withdraw, meaning Berwick’s Leon Flint came in at the eleventh hour.

The Cheetahs also continued to use a rider replacement for Kyle Newman, and Luke Killeen again stepped in to the replace the injured Josh MacDonald.

READ AGAIN: Oxford Cheetahs leave it to last race to beat Glasgow Tigers

Oxford took the lead with a 4-2 from Aaron Summers and Cameron Heeps in Heat 3, and that lead became six points after a 5-1 from Flint and Heeps in Heat 5.

Stand-in skipper Troy Batchelor was warned for moving at the start for a second time in Heat 9, leading to a 15-metre penalty, and Edinburgh clawed back a 5-1, before levelling the scores with a 4-2 in Heat 11.

Heat 12 was where controversy ensued, with Summers having bike problems before the race.

Batchelor came out the pits with a spare bike, and Summers seemed to make it with seconds to spare.

Under British Speedway racing rules, the rider has to be heading in the direction of the tapes, and Summers was doing just that, but the red lights came on and the Australian was excluded.

There was then confusion, due to the pit telephone not working, with Summers’ replacement Killeen also excluded for two minutes as Oxford went into the race with one rider.

Dillon Ruml passed Jacob Hook for second place, to restrict Monarchs to a 4-2, but the home side still took the lead for the first time at 37-35.

In Heat 13, Josh Pickering and Sam Masters took a 5-1 for Monarchs, and Oxford suddenly seemed under threat of taking nothing away from the meeting.

However, Summers and Ruml made no mistakes with a 5-1 in Heat 14, ensuring Cheetahs would pick up at least a point.

A 5-1 in the final race clinched victory for the home side.

READ ALSO: Ciaron Brown signs for Oxford United on two-year deal

Schroeck said: “It would have been gutting to go home without a point, so I’m glad that we got that. But, at the same time, I was a bit disappointed, because we maybe deserved even more.

“There was a couple of decisions that went against us.

“I felt Aaron’s exclusion from Heat 12 was harsh, because he seemed to be already heading to the tapes when the two minutes ran out.

“But what was more annoying was what followed, when I was unable to get through to the referee.

“I was told by the clerk of the course that the pit telephone was not working, but I don’t think that’s good enough in a professional sport.

“The promoter then told me that it would be fixed for next week, but that’s not a lot of good for us – we’re not back here next week.”

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