The Plymouth Devils had a mid-meeting rally to reduce a 12 point deficit at heat 7 to come within 4 points of the rampant Cradley Heathens by heat 10 with a revitalised Richard Andrews part of two maximum 5-1 heat wins in heats 8 and 10.
Andrews rode two superb races in those heats to back up rising star Henry Atkins in heat 8 and Steve Boxall in heats 10 , which proved be the only heat wins and advantages in an entertaining night’s racing. Maybe the management’s decision to switch him from the captaincy role and concentrate on his racing will pay dividends judging by this performance.
New skipper Benji Compton had a hard first race back when opposition number 5 Danny Ayres, who secured a five ride maximum , drove hard inside him causing him to fall as he picked up drive coming down on his injured knee. The tough Northerner shrugged it off and continued riding despite clearly being in some pain .
Rookie teenager Atkins gets better every meeting and again was in the thick of the action and scoring well. His night ended a little painfully when trying to round the opposition in heat 14 when his bike lifted leaving bend two and launching him sky high as he landed on his rear end , jumped up and cleared his bike off the track .
Callum Walker had a steady night picking up points in every race and looking better with each outing he had to pick up paid 7 points.
Number one Steve Boxall, riding with the burns sustained at a BBQ the previous weekend , was finally beaten at the St Boniface Arena after three successive home maximums. His bikes seemed down on power and after the meeting he took his engine out to have it refreshed and tuned in readiness for the Devils visit to Swindon on Thursday in a Trophy clash and the next tough home meeting against reigning champions Birmingham next Friday night. Boxall still notched double figures with 11 points but had some classic battles with the Heathens on form heat leaders.
The scoreline did not do justice to a great night of racing or the effort put in by the home side and they now get ready for another hard battle next Friday.
Plymouth Devils = 39
1. Steve Boxall - 2, 2, 3, 2, 2 = 11
2. Richard Andrews - 1', 0, 2', 2', 0 = 5+3
3. Lee Smart - 0, 2, 2, 2 = 6
4. Callum Walker - 1, 1', 1', 2 = 5+2
5. Benji Compton - F/X, 2, 2, 0 = 4
6. Robert Parker - 1', 0, F, (HA - F/X) = 1+1
7. Henry Atkins - 2, 1, 3, 1', F/X = 7+1