SPEEDWAY News and fixtures

EASTBOURNE established an eight-point advantage from a tense first leg of the Elite League Grand Final against Poole.In-form reserve Cameron Woodward was again a key figure with 14 (paid 17) as the Eagles won 49-41, whilst Pirates’ No.1 Chris Holder won his opening four rides before being upstaged in Heat 15 when Bjarne Pedersen and Joonas Kylmakorpi collected a 4-2.Eagles boss Trevor Geer said: “It was a fantastic meeting from start to finish, and the last race has given us a bit of confidence when we go down to Poole that their boys can be beaten.“Bjarne has been struggling for the last half-dozen meetings but he looked good, and I’m sure he will really want to have a good one down at Poole.”

(SPEEDWAY 2)

POOLE promoter Matt Ford admitted to mixed emotions after an eight-point defeat at Eastbourne with the Elite League Grand Final at the halfway stage.Ford had said prior to the meeting that a six-to-eight point deficit would be an acceptable margin, but the Eagles doubled their lead from four to eight across the final four heats of the first leg.Ford said: “Having got so close to them so late on in the meeting, I guess I am a little disappointed. There is no doubt that they will fancy the chances of holding on to as much of that lead as possible, and so we will have to be at our best next Monday.“I really felt for Davey (Watt). He rode through the pain barrier for the greater cause of the club after aggravating that shoulder again. He said during the meeting that he wasn't sure how much more he could give, but believe me no-one can ask for more commitment than he showed.”

(SPEEDWAY 3)

PLYMOUTH have announced that No.1 rider Ben Barker will miss the remainder of the season because of a leg injury.Barker requires an operation on the leg he broke over two years ago, having further aggravated the injury in a crash in the Czech Republic last week.Promoter Mike Bowden said: “It is a blow to be without our number one, but I am sure the other riders will rise to the challenge.“I was encouraged by the way the rest of the team responded to beat Sheffield last week when Barker had to pull out of the meeting after the first race.”

(SPEEDWAY 4)

STOKE reserve Gareth Isherwood has broken two vertebrae having crashed out of the Potters’ play-off semi-final at Mildenhall on Sunday.Team-mate Tim Webster is also on the sidelines, suffering ligament damage to his hand as well as broken knuckles and fingers after falling in the same meeting.Potters promoter Dave Tattum said: “Gareth had a scan yesterday afternoon and it confirmed a couple of breaks. He remains in hospital in Cambridge and we send our best wishes to him for a speedy recovery.“Tim’s hand is so swollen the doctors cannot make out if he has broken the ligaments - if he has then that will mean an operation. Everyone at the club wishes Tim a speedy recovery.”

(FIXTURES)

WEDNESDAY OCTOBER 5:ELITE LEAGUE KO CUP SEMI-FINAL 2nd leg: Belle Vue v Lakeside 8pmCHALLENGE: King’s Lynn v USA Touring Team 7.30

THURSDAY OCTOBER 6:PREMIER LEAGUE: Ipswich v Leicester 7.30 NATIONAL LEAGUE PLAY-OFF S/F 2nd leg: Sheffield v Belle Vue 7.45CHALLENGE: Redcar v USA Touring Team 7.30

FRIDAY OCTOBER 7:SKY SPORTS ELITE LEAGUE: Peterborough v Swindon 7.30 PREMIER LEAGUE: Edinburgh v Newport 7.30, Plymouth v Ipswich 7.30, Scunthorpe v Redcar 7.30, Somerset v Glasgow 7.30 NATIONAL LEAGUE: Hackney v Scunthorpe (at Lakeside) 8pm