Speedway News and Fixtures

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JOE Haines was crowned British Under-21 Champion for the second time in his career after a dramatic, incident-packed meeting at Monmore Green on Tuesday.Haines, a Wolverhampton asset who rides for Sheffield in the Premier League, has battled back from career-threatening injuries to repeat his triumph of Lakeside two years ago.Haines held off the challenge of Dudley star Tom Perry in the Final with Workington’s Kyle Howarth completing the rostrum finishers in third place.There was disappointment for Richie Worrall who broke the tapes in the Final and was disqualified after four earlier race wins, whilst brother Steve was eliminated in the semi-final along with Kyle Newman after a spectacular third-bend crash.

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BRITISH Under-21 Champion Joe Haines spoke of his delight to be a title-winner once again after his triumph at Wolverhampton.Haines was seriously hurt in Australia in the winter following the 2010 season, and has been attempting to rebuild his career ever since.He said: “That was so hard, I didn’t really feel fast all night but I came through at the end. From where I’ve come from in the last two years, from the hospital bed to this, I’m over the moon.“I’d like to thank Ty Proctor, my Dad and all my team around me. It was a real team effort, and thanks to everyone who has helped me out heaps this year.”

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HOME star Tom Perry hailed the biggest result of his speedway career after finishing runner-up in the British Under-21 Final Urged on by Dudley fans Perry, who is at the start of only his third season in the sport, came close to winning the title itself but was still ecstatic with a rostrum finish.He said: “I’m over the moon with that, I didn’t even expect to make the Final so I’m absolutely delighted. Joe (Haines) covered me off pretty well in the Final, but he’s a good rider and so is Kyle (Howarth), so after missing the gate I’ve got to be happy to come through to second.“The reaction I got from the fans on the rostrum was amazing, and I couldn’t ask to be riding for a better team.”(SPEEDWAY 4)

LAKESIDE have stepped in to stage a semi-final of the World Under-21 Team Cup at Purfleet next month.The Hammers have taken over the event which was pencilled in for Scunthorpe on May 27, as the Lincolnshire venue is unable to meet some of the FIM’s criteria at this stage.The event features four nations including Great Britain, Denmark and Australia who will battle for places in the Final in Poland on September 1.And Hammers co-promoter Jon Cook feels it is fully appropriate for his club to run the meeting, especially as Great Britain Under-21 co-boss Neil Vatcher is also team manager of the Hammers, and their Elite League squad includes Richie Worrall who is a likely starter for his country.Cook said: “We are absolutely delighted to take the event on. It’s another first for the club as we’ve never staged a full FIM event.“With Neil and Richie here, we felt it was a natural step to offer to stage the event for the BSPA.”Scunthorpe promoter Rob Godfrey is philosophical about the situation but says his club retains the ambition to stage FIM events in the future.Godfrey said: “We are extremely disappointed but I do not believe we have an alternative. There were certain issues that cropped up when the FIM made their track inspection and we have been working very hard since then to find a solution that will satisfy all parties.“Unfortunately, we have not managed to do that so far and we are rapidly running out of time. Sadly, it is not to be for this year but I can confirm that in the long-term, we still have aspirations to become an FIM-licensed track and will continue to work hard to achieve our goal.”

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BIRMINGHAM have agreed a deal with Ipswich for skipper Danny King to join the Perry Barr club as a full asset.King made the move to the West Midlands last year when the Brummies went into the Elite League with the Witches going Premier.Birmingham co-promoter Graham Drury said: “We are acutely aware that our asset base is insufficient at Elite League level and we are taking steps to put that right.“This news once again underlines the commitment put in by our new owners, Alan Phillips and Chris Luty. I first worked with Danny a decade ago during my time in charge of Mildenhall and he’s a delight to deal with.”

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BELLE Vue’s Danish star Patrick Hougaard is targeting next Thursday as his return date from a broken collarbone.Hougaard has been out since crashing at Lakeside at the end of March, and plans to rejoin the Aces at Birmingham after a busy comeback schedule of practice and matches in Denmark.Belle Vue boss Jim Lynch said: “Patrick is going to be sore coming back from a broken collarbone after a month but we are looking at including him for the Birmingham match.“We have a few decisions to make but first we will have to wait while Patrick tests his fitness levels and lets us know how he feels.”

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PLYMOUTH have confirmed James Cockle is the man to make way for recent signing Todd Kurtz.Devils promoter Mike Bowden made his move after the club’s opening three matches of the season, with Kurtz set to make his debut at Somerset on Friday.Bowden said: “I would like to thank James for his efforts during last season and again at the beginning of the present season.“But we needed to strengthen the side and, unfortunately for James, he had to be the one to make way for the inclusion of Todd Kurtz.”(FIXTURES)

FRIDAY APRIL 27:LEAGUE CUP: Edinburgh v Glasgow 7.30, Somerset v Plymouth 7.30, Scunthorpe v Redcar 7.30

SATURDAY APRIL 28:LEAGUE CUP: Berwick v Newcastle 7pm, Rye House v Ipswich 7pm

SUNDAY APRIL 29:LEAGUE CUP: Glasgow v Edinburgh 4pm, Leicester v Plymouth 6pm, Newcastle v Redcar 6.30NATIONAL LEAGUE: Mildenhall v Buxton 4.30


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