SPEEDWAY News and fixtures

(SPEEDWAY 1)

SOMERSET star Sam Masters became the second Rebels rider to become Premier League Riders’ Champion with victory at Sheffield on Sunday.Australian youngster Masters followed in the footsteps of Magnus Zetterstrom in 2006 by winning the crucial Final at Owlerton ahead of home man Ricky Ashworth, with Leicester’s Kauko Nieminen third and Ben Barker of Plymouth fourth.Masters said: “This is just awesome. You always come into a meeting like this hoping that it will be your night, but I just can’t believe that I am the Champion, it hasn’t sunk in yet.“There are so many people I should thank for helping to get me here, but for fear of missing anyone out I will just say a big thank you to everyone that has helped me since I started out riding speedway. But I would like to say a special thanks to my mum and dad for all their sacrifices, this one’s for them.”

(SPEEDWAY 2)

POOLE promoter Matt Ford is hoping the home atmosphere at Wimborne Road can play a big part as the Elite League leaders bid to overcome King’s Lynn in the play-off semi-final.The Pirates go into Monday’s second leg three points adrift after a late rally at the Norfolk Arena last week, and they expect to have Davey Watt and Dennis Andersson back from injury.Ford said: “Despite all the injuries we have somehow achieved the impossible by winning at Eastbourne to reach the Cup Final and running a full-strength, totally committed King’s Lynn side to three points on their own track a week ago.“It has been an unbelievable story, but it means nothing if we don’t manage to get these points back to reach the Final. What we have to do is make home territory count. And having a cauldron of noise and a huge crowd supporting the Pirates in their bid for the Final would be a massive, massive help.”

(SPEEDWAY 3)

EASTBOURNE co-promoter Mike Bellerby is calling for plenty of backing for his side in their attempt to reach the Elite League Grand Final for the first time since 2002.The Eagles are just a point behind local rivals Lakeside going into Monday’s second leg, having recovered from an early ten-point deficit at Purfleet last week.Bellerby said: “A big, noisy crowd of home supporters works wonders for the team. They really respond to the encouragement they get from the terraces and appreciate the support from fans.“It will make for a great atmosphere and help propel us into the final. That’s been the target this year and we are now in touching distance.”

(SPEEDWAY 4)

STOKE boss Malcolm Vasey was satisfied with the outcome of the first leg of the National League KO Cup Final, with home side Mildenhall establishing an eight-point lead.That represented a strong fightback from the Potters who trailed 38-20 with five heats to go but pulled back to 51-43 thanks to an outstanding display from the unbeaten Simon Lambert in a highly-charged meeting.Vasey said: “Things boiled over at one stage in what was a very tense first leg, but I'm pleased that we have pulled the tie around as at one stage things looked grim.“The phoenix rose from the ashes and we have given ourselves a very good chance of taking the cup in the second leg which takes place at Loomer Road on October 22.”

(FIXTURES)

MONDAY SEPTEMBER 26:ELITE LEAGUE PLAY-OFF SEMI-FINAL 2nd leg: Eastbourne v Lakeside 7.30, Poole v King’s Lynn 7.30 PREMIER LEAGUE: Glasgow v Sheffield 5pm

WEDNESDAY SEPTEMBER 28:NATIONAL LEAGUE PLAY-OFF SEMI-FINAL 1st leg: Belle Vue v Scunthorpe 8pm INTERNATIONAL YOUNG GUNS: King’s Lynn 7.30

THURSDAY SEPTEMBER 29:PREMIER LEAGUE: Ipswich v Newcastle 7.30, Sheffield v Workington 7.45 TEESSIDE SILVER HELMET: Redcar 7.30

FRIDAY SEPTEMBER 30:ELITE LEAGUE KO CUP SEMI-FINAL 1st leg: Lakeside v Belle Vue 8pm PREMIER LEAGUE: Edinburgh v Leicester 7.30, Plymouth v Sheffield 7.30, Scunthorpe v Glasgow 7.30 SOMERSET OPEN: Somerset 7.30