SPEEDWAY News and fixtures

(SPEEDWAY 1)

SHEFFIELD No.1 Shane Parker says his confidence is at an all-time high as he goes into Sunday’s Premier League Riders’ Championship at Owlerton.Parker retires at the end of next month to return to Australia after a stunning season in Tigers colours, and he admits that victory in the showpiece event would be a special way to sign out.Parker said: “Confidence is a major factor in speedway and I’ve never felt more confident at any time in my career. Knowing it’s my last year I’ve just tried to relax and not put too much pressure on myself.“The PLRC is the biggest individual event of the year for me, but I’m not making any predictions. All I can promise the Sheffield fans is that I will be doing my best, of course I’d love to win it.”

(SPEEDWAY 2)

EASTBOURNE boss Trevor Geer is determined that his side avoids complacency when they race the home leg of their Elite League play-off semi-final against Lakeside on Monday.The Eagles are only one point down from the first leg, but Geer is mindful of a recent home defeat against Poole in the Knockout Cup when they also appeared to be in a strong position.He said: “In the KO Cup semi-final we went into the second leg at home only two points down but lost the home leg and, of course, the whole tie. That was a bitter disappointment to us all.“That defeat does serve as a warning as to what can happen, and everyone connected with the club has taken that message to heart. We will give it everything on Monday to win the second leg and go through to the Final.”

(SPEEDWAY 3)

SOMERSET reserves Alex Davies and Kyle Newman clocked up a massive paid-31 haul between them to steer the Rebels to victory over Edinburgh - despite losing two riders early-on.Cory Gathercole and Dakota North both crashed out of the meeting in Heat 3 leaving the home side effectively a four-man unit – but Davies and guest Newman came to the rescue, with James Wright and Sam Masters wrapping up a 48-41 win in Heat 15.Somerset boss Steve Bishop said: “When both Cory and Dak were forced to withdraw my immediate reaction was that hopefully we could keep things close, and perhaps come out of the meeting with a degree of credibility.“But both Alex and Kyle really stepped up to plate and were absolutely superb, they battled for every point as if their lives depended on it. It would have been very easy for heads to drop, but instead it just gave the rest of the guys extra resolve to get out there and get the job done, and that is exactly what they did.”(SPEEDWAY 4)

ISLE of Wight co-promoter Kevin Shepherd says there is much to discuss at the end of a season in which the club have not featured in the National League play-off battle.The Islanders completed their campaign with a 50-43 home defeat against second-placed Scunthorpe, and Shepherd says club officials are determined there will be an improvement in 2012.He said: “We are very down at the moment and we will sit down, reflect on what went wrong and address it for next season, when we can assure all supporters that we will not find ourselves this low in the league table again. “We assembled a team that we thought would go on and do well but it has proved not to be the case, the difference in class showed when we raced the top teams and we really have not been resolute enough when under pressure.”

(FIXTURES)

THURSDAY SEPTEMBER 22:PREMIER LEAGUE: Ipswich v Berwick 7.30, Redcar v Leicester 7.30 MIDLAND CUP 1st leg: Birmingham v Coventry 7.30 BOB KILBY MEMORIAL: Swindon 7.30

FRIDAY SEPTEMBER 23:PREMIER LEAGUE: Edinburgh v Somerset 7.30, Scunthorpe v Newport 7.30 MIDLAND CUP 2nd leg: Coventry v Birmingham 8pm

SATURDAY SEPTEMBER 24:PREMIER LEAGUE: Leicester v Redcar 7.30, Newport v Scunthorpe 7pm, Rye House v Sheffield 7pm, Workington v Ipswich 7pm NATIONAL LEAGUE: Stoke v Newport 7.30 FENCE FUND CHALLENGE TROPHY: Berwick v Edinburgh’s Tartan Army 7pm

SUNDAY SEPTEMBER 25:PREMIER LEAGUE RIDERS’ CHAMPIONSHIP: Sheffield 5pm NATIONAL LEAGUE: Newport v Scunthorpe OFF NATIONAL LEAGE KO CUP FINAL 1st leg: Mildenhall v Stoke 4.30 BRITISH YOUTH CHAMPIONSHIP ROUND 6: Stoke 1pm