Speedway round up


BRITISH Speedway’s 2011 major events series will be concluded with there-staging of the Premier League Fours Final at Leicester on Sunday (October23, 5pm).The original meeting was abandoned due to heavy rain after the semi-finalsin early August, but now the four qualifying clubs will compete over anexpanded 20-heat programme, with increased tactical options for managers.Hosts Leicester, Ipswich, Somerset and Workington make up the line-up – andseries co-ordinator David Hoggart says organisers have worked hard to ensurea special occasion after the disappointment of the rain-off.He said: “We have taken a number of steps to make this up to our customerswith the lowering of admission and programme prices to club level, a furtherreduction of £5 for re-admission ticket holders and an extension from 12 to20 heats for the Grand Final.“We have also amended the rules to make this a tactical challenge for theTeam Managers with the inclusion of tactical rides and reserve replacements.

“I have to say that every rider involved in the abandonment deserves greatcredit, there was no dissent and they must be congratulated on theirexemplary conduct in very difficult circumstances.”BELLE Vue boss Jim Lynch has paid tribute to Aces star Rory Schlein, who wascrowned Elite League Riders’ Champion at Swindon last Saturday.Schlein, who had his first top-flight outings with the Manchester club in2004 and has advanced to the No.1 race-jacket on his return this season, gotthe better of a high-class field at Blunsdon. He won a dramatic Final aheadof Scott Nicholls, Freddie Lindgren and Bjarne Pedersen.Lynch said: “It was a wonderful performance by Rory to win such a big prizeas the Riders’ Championship. It was no more than he deserved for amagnificent season.“He couldn’t have done any more than to be the top-scoring qualifier andthen to win the Final. Rory’s whole demeanour and attitude is exemplary andit was a fantastic night for him.“He has come through a difficult period of riding with a hand injury and isback to his best just in time.”Series co-ordinator David Hoggart said the meeting had proved to be one ofthe big highlights of the 2011 season, with the outcome not decided untilthe final yards.Hoggart said: “That was some of the best racing we’ve seen for a very longtime, and the Final itself was an absolute thriller.“Most people probably had Rory down to win after his performance but hemissed the start off gate four and had to work his way through from fourthto first and it was gripping to watch. It was a great night and Icongratulate Swindon for the efforts they put in to ensure a successfulmeeting.”



BELLE VUE boss Jim Lynch believes his team have the in-form riders necessaryto put up a strong challenge against Poole in this week’s Knockout CupFinal.Lynch said: “Rory Schlein, our No 1, beat (Chris) Holder and (Darcy) Ward atthe weekend to win the prestige Elite League Riders’ championship.“Chris Harris has sorted out his mechanical problems at last. He’s out tomake amends to the fans and, on top of that, he’s really buzzing becausehe’s been handed a wild card back into the 2012 Grand Prix. In additionPatrick Hougaard showed he has come through a struggling period afterinjuries by winning the Pride of the Midlands open title at Leicester lastFriday.”COVENTRY co-boss Alun Rossiter says there will be plenty of pride at stakewhen the Bees take on local rivals Wolverhampton in their season-endingMidland Bowl clashes.Rossiter said: “We want to go out on a high, and we want it to be a realspectacle for the fans which I’m sure they will see from the teams that bothsides have put together.“And obviously we want to put one over on Wolves. It’s always been a bigrivalry, Coventry and Wolves, and local derbies are very important to theclubs and to the fans.”POOLE promoter Matt Ford is predicting a hard-fought battle in the KnockoutCup Final this week as the Pirates bid to secure the Double.Ford said: “Whilst Poole should have the all round strength, Belle Vue willhave the hunger. Rory (Schlein) was a deserved winner of the ELRC onSaturday and it is those kind of results that can lift a team.“I think we have two potentially exciting meetings to look forward to thisweek and it would be fantastic to see us win the Double, it would cap amarvellous season.”WOLVERHAMPTON star Ty Proctor has thanked the club for sticking by himduring a tough run of results earlier this season.Proctor said: “I want to thank Chris (Van Straaten) because at many othertracks I would have been shown the door but I said to him that I knew what Icould do and just wanted to give it another try.“We changed engine tuners during the season and we were still struggling forthe right set-up, Dan (Giffard) and me have worked our socks off to try andget it right and I’m just so pleased it all came together in the end, I’mpretty happy right now.”


BERWICK had to settle for a point from their trip to Newcastle on Sunday,which was added to the three they gained at home to Workington 24-hoursearlier.Manager Ian Rae said: “We really had this match in our control mid match,but all credit to the Diamonds who, when it mattered showed us how to racewith increased determination and really we threw the win away. We certainlydeserved to get the league point out of it, which we did.”EDINBURGH boss John Campbell has defended Monarchs rider Craig Cook, who hasendured a frustrating run of form and has claimed he is struggling tomaintain his equipment.But Campbell said: “Craig has had a long season riding for Belle Vue andourselves and probably needs a rest. He did very well at the start of theseason and I’m sure he can return to that form. I have not given up on himbecause I think he has loads of ability.”GLASGOW will have former favourite Shane Parker in their side as a guest forthe injured Joe Screen in their final two matches of the season, when theyface rivals Edinburgh in the Scottish Cup. They are likely to be Parker’sfinal meetings before retirement.IPSWICH still have second place in the Premier League in their sights afteran impressive 50-40 win at Rye House on Sunday, a result which saw themcollect all four points.Boss Pete Simmons said: “It was a great team performance. Mat (Tresarrieu)was superb on a track I don’t think many thought he would go that well on,seeing as he does so much long-track. But so many of our riders were good.Jerran (Hart) had a good meeting, and what a difference it makes when ourreserves outscore the home reserves.”LEICESTER manager Jason Attwood is hoping his side can provide a winningconclusion to their first season back in the sport when they host there-staging of the Premier League Fours Final on Sunday.Attwood said: “September was a good month for us which has hopefully givenour fans heart for the winter and going into next year, and it would bereally nice to put a trophy on the mantelpiece for them. But I’m sureIpswich, Somerset and Workington are all thinking the same, so it will be afantastic competition with every heat having something at stake.”NEWCASTLE boss George English was a relieved man after the Diamonds mounteda spirited recovery to overcome local rivals Berwick in a close contest lastSunday.English said: “We really were not sure where the firepower was going to comefrom to do the job, but Mark Lemon was not a happy guy after his last placeand he managed to fire up to a magnificent local victory. Great stuffindeed.”NEWPORT are planning a special Halloween-themed season finale for their lastmeeting of the season against Edinburgh on October 29.Co-promoter Nick Mallett said: “We decided to try and make it somethingcompletely different. Being so close to Halloween we thought that using thistheme would create a fun atmosphere for our final meeting of 2011. We arestarting an hour earlier at 6pm to get everything fitted in, and then partytill late.”PLYMOUTH have a double incentive to defeat Berwick at the St Boniface Arenaon Friday, as they are seeking revenge for their heaviest home defeat of theseason which was inflicted by the Bandits in early August.Promoter Mike Bowden said: “We want to turn things around this time and putone over on Berwick. Our target will be to win by at least seven points, sowe can pick up the maximum three match points. That would be sufficient totake us off the bottom of the table and hand the wooden spoon to Leicester.”RYE HOUSE have put Scunthorpe star David Howe on stand-by to guest in theirhome fixture against Berwick on Sunday should skipper Chris Neath be ruledout by an ankle injury. Howe scored a 15-point maximum for his regular clubat Hoddesdon earlier in the month.SCUNTHORPE boss Richard Hollingsworth says a narrow defeat at Somerset lastFriday should not overshadow the improvement made by the Scorpions thisseason.Hollingsworth said: “Not winning here might cost us a place or two in thePremier League but it won’t hide the progress we are making and I’m alreadyexcited about next year. I’m confident we will make progress whatever thepoint limit and team building rules are.”SHEFFIELD are facing a vital trip to Ipswich on Thursday in the battle forsecond spot in the Premier League – but promoter Neil Machin says the Tigersteam had the capability of going one place higher this season.Machin said: “We can still hang on to second place, and that would be apretty good achievement. But I think everyone realises that we could havegone on and won the league this year with more consistency away from home.”SOMERSET are looking to overcome injury and availability problems tomaintain their impressive podium-finishing record in the Premier LeagueFours Final at Leicester on Sunday.Promoter Debbie Hancock said: “On paper we probably rank the lowest of thefour teams contesting the final, but we don’t race on paper and anything canhappen once the tapes goes up on Sunday’s meeting. A bit of good fortune ourway and not so good luck going the way of the opposition, and who knows?”WORKINGTON lost their unbeaten home record with a home defeat againstSheffield on Sunday, in a major blow to their chances of finishingrunners-up in the Premier League.Comets owner Keith Denham said: “I am very disappointed, but on the night wegot beaten by the better team. Sheffield wanted to win, they adapted to thetrack better than we did, and we couldn’t seem to get out of the gate.”




THURSDAY OCTOBER 20:ELITE LEAGUE KO CUP FINAL 2nd leg: Poole v Belle Vue 7.30 PREMIER LEAGUE:Ipswich v Sheffield 7.30

FRIDAY OCTOBER 21:PREMIER LEAGUE: Plymouth v Berwick 7.30, Somerset v Newport 7.30 NATIONALLEAGUE PLAY-OFF FINAL 1st leg: Scunthorpe v Mildenhall 7.30 MIDLAND BOWL 1stleg: Coventry v Wolverhampton 8pm SCOTTISH CUP 1st leg: Edinburgh v Glasgow7.30

SATURDAY OCTOBER 22:PREMIER LEAGUE: Newport v Berwick 7pm, Workington v Ipswich 7pm NATIONALLEAGUE KO CUP FINAL 2nd leg: Stoke v Mildenhall 7.30 TEST MATCH: GB U23 vYoung Australia, Eastbourne 7.30

SUNDAY OCTOBER 23:PREMIER LEAGUE FOURS FINAL: Leicester 5pm PREMIER LEAGUE: Newcastle vPlymouth 6.30, Rye House v Berwick 2pm NATIONAL LEAGUE GRAND FINAL 2nd leg:Mildenhall v Scunthorpe 4.30 SCOTTISH CUP 2nd leg: Glasgow v Edinburgh 4pm

MONDAY OCTOBER 24:MIDLAND BOWL 2nd leg: Wolverhampton v Coventry 7.30


FRIDAY OCTOBER 28:PREMIER LEAGUE: Plymouth v Edinburgh 7.30

SATURDAY OCTOBER 29:PREMIER LEAGUE: Newport v Edinburgh 6pm, Workington v Plymouth 7pm

SUNDAY OCTOBER 30:PREMIER LEAGUE: Workington v Edinburgh 3pm ACE OF HERTS: Rye House 6pmJUNIOR GOLDEN HELMET: Glasgow 3pm



BANKS'S OLYMPIQUE, at Wolverhampton

1.      Freddie Lindgren (Wolverhampton) 142.      Scott Nicholls (Swindon) 113.      Chris Harris (Belle Vue) 10 After a run off4.      Ty Proctor (Wolverhampton) 10

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