SPEEDWAY News and Fixtures

(SPEEDWAY 1)

GREAT Britain boss Alun Rossiter insists a win in tonight’s World Cup opener at King’s Lynn and an automatic place in the Final is a realistic target.Rossiter’s team face Australia, America and Italy at the Norfolk Arena, with the victors progressing to Bydgoszcz next Saturday and the second and third placed teams also going to Poland for the Race-Off on Thursday.And Rossiter feels his quartet of Tai Woffinden, Chris Harris, Danny King and Simon Stead have what it takes – especially with the backing of the crowd.He said: “I don’t want to put the boys under any unnecessary pressure, but as far as I’m concerned it is not unrealistic to think we can win on Saturday.“We should be full of confidence on home soil. We certainly won’t be thinking about finishing second or third because that creates the wrong mindset.“I’ve never experienced the atmosphere at King’s Lynn on World Cup night in person before and I can’t wait to sample it. It always looks terrific on TV and I feel sure the backing of a partisan crowd can give us an extra edge.”

(SPEEDWAY 2 – FRIDAY REVIEW)

SOMERSET maintained their powerful home Premier League record with a comprehensive 58-34 win over local rivals Plymouth at the Oaktree Arena.The victory made it maximum points from six home matches for the Rebels, despite the Devils holding the margin to four points on the night after the first six races.Somerset boss Garry May said: “It showed the character of the boys in the way they bounced back from (Thursday’s) disappointing defeat at Ipswich. After a slowish start we moved it up another gear and were just too good for Plymouth to contend with, though in saying that there was some great action out there to entertain the fans.”Meanwhile Scunthorpe were 54-39 winners over Redcar at the Eddie Wright Raceway with Ryan Douglas piling up a 17-point haul for the home side, whilst Hugh Skidmore collected 9+1 for the Bears.The result moves the Scorpions back level on points with second-placed Ipswich, whilst Redcar are left one point outside the play-off places although several rivals have matches in hand.Edinburgh are emphatically through to the semi-finals of the Knockout Cup with a 67-23 demolition of Berwick at Armadale.The Monarchs quickly turned around their 12-point deficit from the first leg and there were paid maximums for Sam Masters and Craig Cook.Edinburgh boss Alex Harkess said: “I wasn’t happy with how things went in the first leg on Wednesday and I drummed it in to the boys that we must attack from the start tonight and pile up as many points as we could get. They didn’t let me down.”Berwick manager John Anderson said: “We know we don’t go well here, but that’s no excuse as generally we were terrible and Edinburgh thoroughly deserved their semi-final place. We have got to lay the ghost of Armadale soon as we really are not that bad a side, but the lads possibly come here now hearing all the folklore and start to believe they’re defeated before they hit the track.”Stefan Nielsen won eight races out of eight at Brandon as Coventry Storm advanced to the National League KO Cup semi-finals and also secured maximum league points against King’s Lynn.The home side defeated Buxton 60-34 in the Cup, with veteran Tony Atkin scoring 15 for the visitors, whilst in the league the Storm beat the Young Stars 47-37 in a match curtailed one race early due to the curfew.Coventry boss Laurence Rogers said: “We made a bit hard work of the second meeting, whether tiredness crept in and we also had a few bike problems, but all credit to King’s Lynn for pushing us hard, and our boys came through in the end. Two maximums for Stef was a brilliant performance, and well done to all the boys.”Atkin said: “I’m enjoying my speedway this year and the bikes are going well – I particularly enjoyed the victory in heat 15.”(SPEEDWAY 3 – SATURDAY PREVIEW)

BERWICK are keen to enhance their push for a Premier League play-off place in Saturday’s home meeting with Rye House.The Bandits were eliminated from the Knockout Cup at Edinburgh on Friday and now turn their attentions firmly back to league competition.Bandits co-promoter Ryan Anderson said: “We are firmly in the top six in the Premier League standings, with some matches in hand. This is ultra-important, and only the top half-dozen at the end of term will qualify for the play-offs to decide the Premier League championship. We’re in that top six, and we aim to stay there.”The Rockets go into their Northern tour, which also includes a trip to Newcastle on Sunday, without Luke Bowen who is missing due to a family bereavement.Boss John Sampford said: “While we haven’t achieved a positive result at Shielfield Park in a long time, we have come very close in recent years. Clearly, we will be targeting the win, but we will also consider it a successful night if we can come away with a match point.”Plymouth and Somerset reconvene at the St Boniface Arena for the second of back-to-back fixtures between the clubs, with the Rebels having won on Friday but the Devils returning to full strength tonight.Plymouth co-promoter Ashley Taylor said: “We will be looking to take all three points this time around to continue climbing away from the bottom of the table.“We owe it to our supporters to do everything possible to finish the season on a strong note. The play-offs may be out of reach but our aim is to finish as high up the table as possible.”Somerset boss Garry May said: “I would expect Plymouth to be a totally different proposition when we head down to their place, but hopefully we’ll come back with some league points to our name.”(FIXTURES)

SATURDAY JULY 26:WORLD CUP EVENT 1: King’s Lynn 7pmPREMIER LEAGUE: Berwick v Rye House 7pm, Plymouth v Somerset 7.15

SUNDAY JULY 27:PREMIER LEAGUE: Glasgow v Berwick 3pm, Newcastle v Rye House 6.30, Workington v Sheffield 3pmNATIONAL TROPHY: Leicester v Mildenhall 4pmBRITISH YOUTH CHAMPIONSHIP Round 4: Eastbourne 3.30

MONDAY JULY 28:PREMIER LEAGUE: Sheffield v Somerset 7.30NATIONAL TROPHY: Kent v Leicester 6.30

TUESDAY JULY 29:PREMIER LEAGUE: Somerset v Sheffield 7.30F.A.S.T GOLDEN HAMMER: Cradley 7.30

WEDNESDAY JULY 30:PREMIER LEAGUE: Rye House v Redcar 7.30NATIONAL LEAGUE: King’s Lynn v Devon 7.30