SPEEDWAY News and fixtures

(SPEEDWAY 1)

POOLE star Darcy Ward scored a paid maximum as the Pirates were crowned Elite League Champions with victory over Eastbourne in the Grand Final.The home side trailed by eight points from the first leg but wiped out that deficit in four races – although the Eagles remained in touch until the closing stages thanks to the efforts of skipper Cameron Woodward.Woodward, though, was disqualified from Heat 14 for bringing down Kevin Wolbert, a result which confirmed Poole as champions, with Ward and Chris Holder setting the seal on a 13-point aggregate win with a last-heat 5-1.Pirates promoter Matt Ford said: “I am absolutely thrilled that we pulled this one off tonight. We were up against a very good Eastbourne side but I have been saying all season that this Pirate crew is something special. You cannot even begin to single out a star, it is a great team and has been all year.”

(SPEEDWAY 2)

BELLE Vue have been rocked by the loss of Polish rider Lukasz Jankowski on the eve of their biggest match of the season.Jankowski has made the shock decision to return home with his equipment as the Aces prepare for the second leg of the Knockout Cup semi-final against Lakeside at Kirkmanshulme Lane on Wednesday.The Aces have applied for permission to bring in a guest replacement with an average up to Jankowski’s four points for the re-arranged tie.Team manager Jim Lynch said: “Lukasz informed us that he couldn’t ride on Wednesday because he had a meeting to attend in Poland. Then he told us he was taking his gear home as well. We are waiting for confirmation that we can use a guest.”(SPEEDWAY 3)

PLYMOUTH skipper Ben Barker could make a surprise return to action in the Devils’ home clash with Newcastle on Friday.Barker had an operation on his injured leg last Friday and was thought to be out for the rest of the season – but he intends to practice at Stoke on Wednesday to see if he is fit to resume.Plymouth promoter Mike Bowden said: “Ben is optimistic that he will be able to race against Newcastle.“But I need to be sure that he is fully fit before including him in the side and I have Emiliano Sanchez on standby to come in as a guest replacement if necessary.”

(SPEEDWAY 4)

RORY Schlein has confirmed his acceptance to race in the Pride of the Midlands at Leicester on Friday night.Belle Vue No.1 Schlein is one of a number of Elite League riders – also including Patrick Hougaard, Ryan Fisher and Ty Proctor – to be named in the line-up for the first individual event to be staged at Beaumont Park.Premier League Riders’ Championship rostrum finishers Kauko Nieminen and Ricky Ashworth are both included, along with Niemien’s Leicester team-mates Magnus Karlsson and Henning Bager, and retiring Australian Shane Parker.

(FIXTURES)

TUESDAY OCTOBER 11:NATIONAL LEAGUE PLAY-OFF S/F 2nd leg: Scunthorpe v Belle Vue 7.30CHALLENGE: GB U21 v USA, Dudley 7.30

WEDNESDAY OCTOBER 12ELITE LEAGUE KO CUP SEMI-FINAL 2nd leg: Belle Vue v Lakeside 8pm

THURSDAY OCTOBER 13:PREMIER LEAGUE: Redcar v Somerset 7.30CHALLENGE: Sheffield v The Americans 7.45

FRIDAY OCTOBER 14:PREMIER LEAGUE: Newport v Glasgow 7.30, Plymouth v Newcastle 7.30, Somerset v Scunthorpe 7.30, Workington v Ipswich 7.30 PRIDE OF THE MIDLANDS: Leicester 7.30