DARCY Ward and Chris Holder both scored paid maximums as Poole won the clash of unbeaten sides with a 48-42 success at Lakeside.Ward celebrated his 20th birthday in style, combining with his fellow Australian for a last heat 5-1 to secure victory as the Pirates made it their best start to a season since 1989.
Promoter Matt Ford said: “It was a terrific victory tonight. Few felt that we had a chance against the Hammers as they look - and are - a strong side, but we showed our mettle and I congratulate all the riders as each of them scored with valuable contributions again, even beyond Darcy and Chris. “Hopefully we can now go on to better the best-ever start which I am told was in 1955 when the side went unbeaten in the first ten matches.”
COVENTRY skipper Chris Harris scored a paid maximum in the Bees’ emphatic 59-31 win over Belle Vue at Brandon.Harris, with 12 (paid 15), was joined at the top of the scorechart by Scott Nicholls with 13 (paid 14) as the home side dominated, with Belle Vue’s night summed up by both Rory Schlein and Patrick Hougaard crashing out of the final race.
Harris said: “It’s always nice to get a maximum. To be fair, the track was very hard and you had to use your head a bit. I was making some reasonably good starts to get to the front, and then I had a bit of luck in the last one when the other two fell.
“I can’t say it gives me extra confidence because in a meeting like that you can’t really find out if your bikes are working good or bad, but it was about using your head and I’m a bit older than I used to be! But the engine went well and it was nice to get amongst the points.
INJURED Wolverhampton rider Nicolai Klindt is staying positive despite differing reports on his damaged shoulder.The hugely popular Dane crashed out of last Monday’s Elite League thriller with Poole, suffering a broken shoulder in three places and the diagnosis has varied throughout the week.
He said: “It started off that I’d be out for 4-6 weeks, then I was told it could be four months. But the four months was all about getting it totally fit, not riding a bike, and the doctors always give you more time than you really need!
“I’m going to stay positive and I want to be back as quickly as possible. I will go and see a specialist back in Denmark and then come back here to support the boys.”
SOMERSET remain on course for the League Cup semi-finals after a comprehensive 58-35 home win over Leicester.The Rebels were pegged back to a three-point lead by a Lions’ 8-1 in Heat 8 before the home side stepped up a gear to go back to the top of the Southern group.
Manager Steve Bishop said: “It was an awesome display by everyone in the team, and despite Leicester making full use of their tactical ride it made little difference as the boys just went out and exert their authority over them once again.
“The crowd were certainly entertained by some superb riding by the team, some of the passes they made had to be seen to be believed, and to cap it all Tom (Perry) won his first race in Somerset colours, his overtake on Kauko Nieminen was simply breath-taking.”
ANDREW Tully and Theo Pijper were both unbeaten in Edinburgh’s hefty 59-33 League Cup win over Berwick.The Monarchs had been concerned by the injury absences of Derek Sneddon and Charles Wright but they made light work of the Bandits with Craig Cook also dropping just one point.
Edinburgh chief Alex Harkess said: “I don’t know what we were worrying about, we never had any problems winning this one in spite of the injuries.”
WORKINGTON star Rene Bach has been declared fit to race this weekend despite suffering a heavy crash at Redcar on Thursday.Comets boss Tony Jackson said: “We were delighted when he got in touch to say that although very sore, which was hardly surprising considering the battering he took in the crash, he would be fit enough to race against Sheffield (Saturday). He did not want to let the team down, which typifies the tremendous spirit we have in the camp this season.”Meanwhile Glasgow have an injury doubt over James Grieves for their home clash with Leicester on Sunday, after his foot was struck by an object at Sheffield on Thursday.Co-promoter Stewart Dickson said: “I would have been more confident if the team were at full strength but we will keep our fingers crossed for James as he is such an important part of the team. Our season is all about the league and I cannot emphasise enough to the team just how important a win will be.”
RYE House have completed the signing of Jason Garrity on a full transfer from Belle Vue.Garrity has started the season on-loan to the Premier League club from the Aces, but an undisclosed fee has been agreed for the reigning British Under-19 Champion.Rockets chief Len Silver said: “I would like to thank Chris Morton for the friendly way in which the negotiations took place, ensuring that relationships between the two clubs continue to remain at a high level.“I have promised Chris that I will work very hard to ensure a good future for Jason, this factor being of major concern to the Belle Vue boss.”
FIXTURES:SATURDAY MAY 5:SKY SPORTS ELITE LEAGUE: Eastbourne v Coventry 7.30PREMIER LEAGUE: Leicester v Redcar 7.30LEAGUE CUP: Berwick v Edinburgh 7pm, Rye House v Plymouth 7pm, Workington v Sheffield 7pmSTAFFS CUP 2nd leg: Stoke v Dudley 7pmSUNDAY MAY 6:PREMIER LEAGUE: Glasgow v Leicester 4pm, Newcastle v Scunthorpe 6.30NATIONAL LEAGUE: Mildenhall v Scunthorpe 4.30NATIONAL LEAGUE KO CUP 1st leg: Buxton v Dudley 3pmMONDAY MAY 7:SKY SPORTS ELITE LEAGUE: Belle Vue v Eastbourne 6pm, Poole v Swindon 8pm, Wolverhampton v Coventry 7.30PREMIER LEAGUE: Ipswich v Sheffield 2.30, Rye House v Somerset 2pm, Scunthorpe v Edinburgh 3pmNATIONAL LEAGUE: Rye House v Buxton (follows PL fixture)NATIONAL LEAGUE KO CUP 1st leg: Scunthorpe v Stoke (follows PL fixture)TUESDAY MAY 8:NATIONAL LEAGUE KO CUP 2nd leg: Dudley v Buxton 7.30CHALLENGE: Isle of Wight v Stoke 7.30