SPEEDWAY News and Fixtures

(SPEEDWAY 1)

SOMERSERT have confirmed turnstiles will open at 5pm for Friday’s Premier League Pairs at the Oaktree Arena.The start-time for the meeting is 7pm, half an hour earlier than in previous seasons, and a bumper crowd is expected for one of the most popular events of the year, coming one day before the British Grand Prix at Cardiff. The pits will be open to supporters until 6pm.Somerset manager Garry May said: “We were requested by the BSPA if we could start the meeting earlier than usual as on a couple occasions in the past we have run perilously close to our 10pm curfew, and with Sky Sports broadcasting the meeting live they obviously wanted to make sure that we allowed as much time as possible in order to ensure that we finish ahead of that curfew.“I know that it is said every year, but this year’s Championship is wide open with no real clear-cut favourites amongst the teams, so it should make for a most exciting meeting, not only for the thousands who normally attend the event each year, but for the countless numbers watching in via Sky Sports.“All we need now is for the weather to be kinder to us than it has been on the past two Fridays and I am sure we’ll be in for a cracking meeting, one certainly not to be missed!”(SPEEDWAY 2 – MONDAY REVIEW)

COVENTRY reserve Jason Garrity scored an incredible 17 points as the Bees edged a dramatic local derby with a 46-44 win at Wolverhampton.Garrity had starred in the recent British Final at Monmore and won five of his six rides to help his club to three vital Elite League points.Despite Garrity’s heroics, Wolves took a four-point lead into the last three races – but Hans Andersen and captain Chris Harris took a 5-1 for Coventry over guest Rory Schlein and Tai Woffinden in Heat 13, and with a 4-2 following in the penultimate race the Bees’ top pair then closed out Schlein in the last race for the shared heat they required.Harris said: “That was a very good win for us. Everyone dug deep, everyone was trying, I know a few of our team were struggling but everyone was giving their all and that’s all you can ask for.“Jason was on fire, and that shows just how good he is around here. He was our match-winner with 17 out of 18, and we were giving him stick for dropping that point!”Woffinden said: “It was a tough meeting and we did everything we could, but at the end of the day we got beaten by a better team.“As much as I hate to say it Coventry were just better than us on the night. It's a disappointing result for us but we've just got to try and put it behind us and move onto the next one.”Belle Vue again showed their strength at home with a 54-38 win over third-placed Poole, for their second maximum-points haul over the Pirates at Kirkmanshulme Lane this season.The Aces never looked back after going ahead with a 5-1 in Heat 5 with the Pirates hampered by a crash for captain Darcy Ward in his second ride.Craig Cook top-scored for the home side, leading a solid chart with 11+2, whilst Vaclav Milik won three races on his way to nine points for the Pirates, a total matched by Przemyslaw Pawlicki.Belle Vue skipper Scott Nicholls said: “I think after our last home match we were definitely expecting a much stiffer Poole side, especially with Darcy Ward back at No.1, but we put in a brilliant all-round team performance and everybody did their bit from top to bottom.“It was fantastic to see Lee (Payne) get a 5-1 with Stefan (Nielsen) and of course Max (Fricke) did a superb job covering for Richie (Worrall), but at the same time we all had our moments!”In the National Trophy, there was a big away win for Mildenhall against a Kent side weakened by absence due to illness of David Mason and absence due to travel disruption of Danny Ayres.The Fen Tigers raced into an incredible 15-2 lead after two races and ended with a 56-38 victory for four more points to boost their chances of reaching the Final. Simon Lambert gave the home side some consolation by defeating Josh Bates to regain the Bronze Helmet.Kent boss John Sampford said: “In all my years in Speedway being 13 points down after only three heats is something I have never experienced. To say everything that could go wrong did go wrong is an understatement. “We did rally towards the end and pulled a few points back but Mildenhall are a very good side and credit to them once they had a stranglehold on the match they weren’t going to let us back into it.”

(SPEEDWAY 3 – TUESDAY PREVIEW)

PETERBOROUGH welcome back No.1 Ryan Fisher after a three-match absence when they face Rye House at the Showground in Tuesday’s Premier League action.Fisher has been out due to a collarbone injury and his return means the Panthers could be at full-strength against the Rockets, depending on Lewis Blackbird’s recovery from an eye injury.Peterborough boss Carl Johnson said: “It is a big few days with the Premier League Pairs coming up on Friday and our big League Cup semi-final at Workington on Sunday. Three points and a convincing win against Rye House would set us up nicely for what lies ahead.“Rye have already proved they have riders who can go well at the Showground, but we have to make sure we are firing on all cylinders.”National League leaders Cradley face Devon, who hand a debut to new signing Luke Chessell as a replacement for Ben Reade.But the Demons have been rocked by another rider quitting the sport, as Danny Stoneman joins Reade and Ben Smart in announcing his retirement.Co-promoter Ashley Taylor said: “Luke is very keen and he is an experienced rider, who will provide an excellent addition to our squad.”Cradley boss Will Pottinger said: “We’ll be having a chat before the meeting because there is an important spell of the season coming up now. We’ve had it too easy in many ways and we cannot afford to slip into any form of complacency.“It’s down to us to stay focussed and get the job done and that’s what we will be doing against Devon. Three more league points is the target.”

(SPEEDWAY 4)

POOLE have made a change in their Fast Track reserve position with local rider Brendan Johnson joining the club.The 22-year-old has been signed to take the place of Ben Hopwood and will make his debut in the Pirates’ home fixture against Belle Vue on Wednesday.Johnson said: “It has always been my dream to ride for my home club and I am delighted that Matt (Ford) has allowed me to realise that dream. My goal this season was to become a heat leader in the National League and to gain a Fast Track team place.“I'd like to thank Matt for giving me the chance and I'm determined to make the most of it. I'm under no illusions, it is going to be tough, very tough, but I'm going to give it my absolute best shot.”(FIXTURES)

TUESDAY JULY 8:PREMIER LEAGUE: Peterborough v Rye House 7.30NATIONAL LEAGUE: Cradley v Devon 7.30

WEDNESDAY JULY 9:ELITE LEAGUE: Birmingham v Eastbourne OFF, Poole v Belle Vue 7.30PREMIER LEAGUE: Scunthorpe v Sheffield 7.30

THURSDAY JULY 10:ELITE LEAGUE: Swindon v Poole 7.30, King’s Lynn v Lakeside 7.30PREMIER LEAGUE: Ipswich v Plymouth 7.30, Redcar v Berwick 7.30

FRIDAY JULY 11:PREMIER LEAGUE PAIRS: Somerset 7pmNATIONAL LEAGUE: Devon v Kent 7.15