Awesome Harris helps Witches secure draw
SPECIAL guest Chris Harris was truly awesome as he helped Witches end their long wait for an away point.And you can take that from the man who really should know - captain Chris Louis.
SPECIAL guest Chris Harris was truly awesome as he helped Witches end their long wait for an away point.
And you can take that from the man who really should know - captain Chris Louis.
Harris, the new darling of the Grand Prix circuit, did the near-unthinkable by passing home hero Nicki Pedersen in heat 15 to salvage a 45-45 draw at Eastbourne Eagles.
The visitors led 19-11 after great team riding gave them two maximums in the first five heats.
But their under-strength hosts chipped away at the advantage and expected to finish the job with the scores tied at 42-42 and Pedersen due to go off gate one in heat 15.
Eastbourne were fleetingly on a 5-1 but Harris, guesting from Coventry, eased his way past Davey Watt, then reeled in Pedersen, got inside him coming off bend four third time around and held firm as the Dane looked to regain control.
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Skipper Louis said: “That race from Bomber (Harris) at the end was unbelievable - awesome.
“You could see he started to realise he could reel him in after about the second lap and he just kept it wound on in typical Bomber style.
“We came here realistically looking just to hang on to the bonus point.
“But with the start we made we could see a win could be on the cards.”
Eastbourne got back on terms with three races to go but Harris came up trumps in heat 13.
He outgated Pedersen and the home skipper's efforts to muscle his way back saw him fall and, rightly, be excluded by ref Christina Turnbull.
Harris and fast-gating Robert Miskowiak got a 5-1 in the re-run.
Eastbourne replied in a re-staged heat 14 after, for the second time of the night, Zibi Suchecki went spinning on bend two.
Harris's only blemish came in heat 11 when, prompted by a twitch from David Norris inside him, he touched the tapes and was put back in off a 15-metre handicap. Even then, he was not last by much.
He said: “If I didn't touch the tapes we might have got away with a win. We don't know. But I think we are happy with the draw.”
An away win looked very possible in the first half of the meeting.
Louis rode a superb inside line around the tight 275-metre track with Suchecki on his right shoulder to give Witches their first 5-1 in heat three.
Harris and Kim Jansson converged to snuff out Watt as they took a tapes-to-flag maximum in heat five.
Witches, though, had luck on their side when Norris, making a surprise return from injury, saw his bike seize up on the last lap when heading for a 5-1 with the impressive Stefan Andersson.