SPEEDWAY POSTPONEMENTS WEDNESDAY SEPTEMBER 27:
SGB PREMIERSHIP PLAY-OFF SEMI-FINAL 2nd leg
Belle Vue v Wolverhampton - OFF
TRAVEL PLUS NATIONAL LEAGUE
Cradley v Eastbourne - OFF
SHEFFIELD secured their place in the SGB Championship Grand Final – but have a double injury concern after Tuesday’s aggregate win over Glasgow.
The Owlerton side lost both Josh Bates and Josh Grajczonek after crashes early in the second leg, and are now sweating on both riders with the Final less than 48 hours away.
Despite being down to five men, they still comfortably defended their first leg lead, with the home side leading 34-31 on the night when a halt was called after the first running of Heat 12 due to the curfew, giving Sheffield a 25-point aggregate victory.
Skipper Kyle Howarth led the way with 10 points, whilst Aaron Summers notched 10+1 for the hosts, whose attention now switches to the KO Cup.
Howarth said: “It’s a hard one to swallow. Obviously we are not celebrating, that’s impossible. We just want to know how the other boys are.
“It’s hard to know how to feel until we know how they are for Thursday. All I do know is that we battled on brilliantly tonight to get through.
“It’s just as well we had a big lead otherwise it could have been tricky. But we’ve got a great spirit and we’ll keep battling.”
PETERBOROUGH stretched their winning SGB Championship run by seeing off Scunthorpe in a terrific East of England Arena clash on Tuesday.
A four-ride maximum by number one Jack Holder - and sparkling displays from Chris Harris and skipper Ulrich Ostergaard - helped the Panthers to a 51-39 success.
A brilliant last-to-first surge from Holder in heat 13 was arguably the highlight of a meeting which threw up a host of spectacular races.
Holder (12), Harris and Ostergaard (12+1 each) were all in double-figures for the hosts, whilst Jake Allen carded 10+1 for the Scorpions. The sides meet again in the KO Cup at Scunthorpe on Friday.
Ostergaard said: “It’s important to keep picking up the wins. We need to keep building momentum and getting results for the fans.
“We’ve said all along that our full team is one of the best in the SGB Championship and everyone can now see that.
“It was great to for Jack get a maximum and I could have had one myself. I made a little mistake in heat nine after I had actually passed Josh Auty and that cost me a couple of points, but it was still a good night.”
Scunthorpe boss Dave Peet said: “I don’t think the final scoreline quite reflects the effort we put in. We played our full part in this meeting, and we gave Peterborough a good run for their money, before they pulled away at the end.
“I think our performance gives us an important boost before we entertain the Panthers in the KO Cup at the Eddie Wright Raceway on Friday.
“We showed that we could stay with them for almost the whole match around their own track. I feel on Friday if we attack them from the off, then we’ve got a chance of getting back those 18 points.”
BELLE Vue have another double-figure target to chase when they host Wolverhampton in the second leg of their SGB Premiership play-off semi-final tonight (Wednesday).
The Aces overturned an 11-point deficit against Swindon in the KO Cup last week, but 13 is the margin on this occasion following Monday’s dramatic encounter at Monmore.
Wolves, however, are without Swedish favourite Jacob Thorssell, who suffered a broken T12 vertebra in his lower back in a Heat 14 crash.
The visitors operate rider replacement, whilst Rob Shuttleworth continues at reserve for the Aces in place of the injured Jack Smith.
Aces boss Mark Lemon said: “This team has an uncanny ability to respond well under pressure. Just looking at how they handled themselves against Swindon last week tells me they’re capable of big surprises on the night.
“Monday wasn’t the most auspicious of nights but this is the play-offs. Everybody steps it up a notch at home so we need to follow suit at the National Speedway Stadium if we’re to keep our hand in.
“The guys know as well as I do that we’ve worked too hard for too long to throw in the towel. We know we deserve to be in that grand final so we’ve certainly got a point to prove come Wednesday.”
Wolves boss Peter Adams said: “Having a double digit lead to defend gives us a chance – but we’re still going there for the win.
“We know it’s going to be tough being without Jacob but every rider in the team, including Freddie (Lindgren), can take one of his rides so hopefully the team can cover his points well.
“By his own admission too, Sam (Masters) had a poor meeting by his own high standards on Monday, but I highly doubt he’ll have two poor meetings in succession.
“Sam stormed to 17 points the last time we were at the National Speedway Stadium and we’re certainly going to need him back on form along with everyone else contributing what they’re capable of too.”
CRADLEY race their final National League match of the season tonight (Wednesday) when they host Eastbourne at Perry Barr.
The Heathens have missed out on the play-offs with their team decimated over recent weeks, whilst the Eagles will return to the top for the table with a win.
After missing last week’s defeat at the Isle of Wight, vice-captain Richard Hall, who bagged a stunning maximum on his last outing at Perry Barr, and key reserve Conor Dwyer return to the Heathens’ line-up.
Popular guest Connor Coles is handed another booking at No.1 while youngster William O’Keefe stands in at reserve once more.
Eastbourne are without No.1 Jake Knight, Charley Powell and both reserves and have booked in-form Birmingham man Liam Carr amongst their guests.
Cradley’s Luke Harris said: “We haven’t had a proper Cradley team for the last couple of meetings but we look a lot stronger again on Wednesday and hopefully we can finish off with a win.
“The majority of supporters have stuck by us and encouraged us along the way and we owe them a win after a tough couple of weeks.”
IPSWICH will be boosted by the return of Cameron Heeps for this week’s SGB Championship Grand Final against Sheffield.
But reserve Connor Mountain is likely to be ruled out after a crash at Stoke last weekend, with Tom Bacon booked to guest for the Witches.
Manager Ritchie Hawkins said: “Connor has damaged shoulder ligaments. It is not as bad as first feared and there is a chance he might ride in the Final and he is desperate to ride.
“He has been superb in both meetings at Sheffield and he is desperate to race there as he is very good there. It is what it is and with Cam back and having r/r the reserves are very important.
“Cam was like a caged animal, he was desperate to ride in the semi-final but I wouldn’t let him and so hopefully a bit of that pent-up frustration can be used in the final. He is fully fit now and I have complete confidence in him.”
TALENTED teenager Jason Edwards will get his first taste of senior speedway at Lakeside on Friday – and he’s in at the deep end!
Edwards, who turned 15 last month, has been handed a dream debut for Hammers in their National League play-off semi-final 1st leg showdown with Belle Vue at the Arena Essex Raceway, replacing Connor Locke for the home side.
Co-promoter Jon Cook said: “We are delighted to offer a local youngster the opportunity to race for the club.
“We aren’t putting any pressure on him, even though it’s a play-off meeting, we just want him to go out there, enjoy himself and see what he can achieve.
“Kelvin Tatum and myself have watched him progress throughout the course of the season and believe he has the potential to have a very bright future in the sport.”
READING were crowned champions of the inaugural Southern Development League with a 20-16 win at Kent Kestrels on Monday.
Taylor Hampshire scored a nine-point maximum for the Racers, who have been out of the sport since the closure of their Smallmead home in 2008.
The SDL side was run by the Reading Speedway Action group, which was formed last year by a dedicated group of supporters whilst the search continues to find land to build a new track.
Club spokesman Gene Carter said: “It's been an unbelievable return for us, and myself and Mat (Carter) have had a great time working with the young riders, who have had a really good attitude towards their racing.
“Our thanks go to them for their efforts, they've really pulled it out when it’s been needed.”
WEDNESDAY SEPTEMBER 27:
SGB PREMIERSHIP PLAY-OFF SEMI-FINAL 2nd leg: Belle Vue v Wolverhampton 7.30
TRAVEL PLUS NATIONAL LEAGUE: Cradley v Eastbourne (at Birmingham) 7.30
THURSDAY SEPTEMBER 28:
CHAMPIONSHIP GRAND FINAL 1st leg: Sheffield v Ipswich 7.30
FRIDAY SEPTEMBER 29:
CHAMPIONSHIP KO CUP 2nd leg: Scunthorpe v Peterborough 7.30
NATIONAL LEAGUE PLAY-OFF S/F 1st leg: Lakeside v Belle Vue 8pm
NATIONAL LEAGUE KO CUP S/F 1st leg: Plymouth v Eastbourne 7.15