SPEEDWAY News and Fixtures

(SPEEDWAY 1 – THURSDAY REVIEW)

SWINDON climbed to third place in the Elite League by defeating play-off rivals Lakeside 57-35 at the Abbey Stadium.Troy Batchelor scored a 15-point maximum for the Robins, who provided 13 of the 15 race winners in a meeting which went ahead despite heavy rain in the build-up. The Hammers’ two successes came from guest Craig Cook in the early stages, with skipper Davey Watt suffering an elbow injury in a Heat 1 crash.Swindon boss Alun Rossiter said: “A lot of credit has to go to the track staff, because the boys are confident in the track now. They know they can race on it, even in difficult conditions.“Normally it can be a banana skin when the track is like that, because the away team can adapt faster, but the boys really did well and I was very proud of them tonight.”In the Premier League there were two away wins with Ipswich strengthening their position by winning 51-42 at Sheffield.The Witches have moved level on points with second-placed Edinburgh after a solid showing at Owlerton, with all seven of their riders scoring between five and ten points, led by Rohan Tungate on 10+3. Home skipper Simon Stead was out on his own at the top of the Tigers’ scorechart on 17.Ipswich boss Brian Messenger said: “Somerset apart, they just keep on improving with every meeting and the team spirit was excellent again tonight. “Every single rider contributed to this win with the reserves both in excellent form and all I ask is that they do the same again on Saturday!”Sheffield manager Joe Screen said: “It was one of those nights again to be honest. I thought we could have done it, but we were just slow away from the start all night.“We weren't riding particularly badly, but fair play to Ipswich - they had their gating gloves on and when you aren't making starts it's tough.”There was also a vital away win for Scunthorpe, who completed the double over Redcar with a second narrow victory in two nights in a dramatic contest at the South Tees Motorsports Park.The teams traded a two point lead throughout the meeting with the Scorpions hitting the front at a crucial stage with a 5-1 from David Howe and Josh Auty in Heat 14.Nicolai Klindt and the previously unbeaten Thomas Jorgensen lined up for the visitors in Heat 15 and although Klindt was overtaken by Richard Lawson the Scunthorpe riders held on for second and third ahead of Aaron Summers.Jorgensen said: “Both Nicolai and myself were gating well. It meant we could plan our races. We were talking about them in the pits beforehand. We got a couple of 5-1s between us and both got selected for Heat 15.“We knew that second and third would be enough. I wasn’t quite if Aaron Summers had passed Nicolai because it was getting close, but Nicolai got it. It’s an important result for us.”

(SPEEDWAY 2 – FRIDAY PREVIEW)

SOMERSET will look to maintain their lead at the top of the Premier League table when they host Peterborough at the Oaktree Arena on Friday.The Rebels currently hold a seven-point lead and will continue to operate the rider-replacement facility for the injured Brady Kurtz.Co-promoter Debbie Hancock said: “I know the boys want to put right the fact that the Panthers are the only side not to be beaten at the Oaktree Arena this year, going away with a draw to their name in our League Cup match here back in April.“But more importantly, they want to collect another maximum three league points to keep Somerset at the top of the Premier League table.”Peterborough boss Carl Johnson said: “We will be heading to Somerset in a positive mood after picking up the two wins we needed on Tuesday.“I must admit it will be nice to go into an away meeting with a full one-to-seven and we will go there aiming to get something. The riders have the potential and ability to do that.”Edinburgh have four matches in hand on the Rebels as they head into their Scottish derby against Glasgow at Armadale.The Monarchs are at full strength for the fixture with Aaron Fox set to return after aggravating a previous injury last week, whilst the Tigers bring in Alex Edberg to guest for the injured Dimitri Berge at reserve.Plymouth face Workington at the St Boniface Arena, with the Comets twelve points adrift of the play-off places but having multiple matches in hand on their rivals.Stuart Robson guests for the home side in place of Ben Barker, who has to miss the meeting following a crash at Peterborough on Tuesday.Devils boss Lee Trigger said: “When you look at their team, they are very strong and we will be in for a difficult time if they show their true form. But, if all our riders perform as well as they can, we are capable of beating any team on our own track.”A National League double-header at Brandon sees the Storm taking on Buxton and then Devon as they look to boost their play-off chances.The home side operate rider-replacement for the injured Stefan Nielsen, and can move back into the top two with maximum points on the night.Coventry manager Laurence Rogers said: “It seems an age since we had any track action, but with a double-header the boys will soon be back in the swing of things.“With the lull in fixtures, Kent have overtaken us in the league table, but with maximum points we can regain that position and help towards qualification for the play-offs.”

(SPEEDWAY 3)

COVENTRY asset Ben Barker is rejoining the club for the final weeks of the season – after the Bees parted company with Michael Jepsen Jensen.The Dane had made himself unavailable for the trip to Belle Vue on Monday in order to ride in a re-arranged match in Sweden, which would not have given the Bees a facility, and he is now replaced by Barker who started the Elite League season with Birmingham,Promoter Mick Horton said: “Michael had a contract to race for us at Belle Vue. He was obliged to fulfil that fixture and has chosen not to do so. We haven’t accepted that, so he has refused to come over and has chosen to resign from British Speedway. We have accepted that resignation.“We are the innocent party in this – we’ve done absolutely nothing wrong, and the club is now making a stand. Clearly Michael has put his Swedish club before his British club, and we cannot have these conflicts of interests so close to the play-offs.“Ben is pleased to be back in the Elite League and he will be fired up to race, and I think this is a far more preferable option than going down the route of rider-replacement and so on.”(FIXTURES)

FRIDAY AUGUST 29:PREMIER LEAGUE: Edinburgh v Glasgow 7.30, Plymouth v Workington 7.15, Somerset v Peterborough 7.30NATIONAL LEAGUE: Coventry v Buxton 7pm, Coventry v Devon (follows previous fixture), King’s Lynn v Kent 7.30

SATURDAY AUGUST 30:ELITE LEAGUE: Eastbourne v Lakeside 7.30PREMIER LEAGUE: Berwick v Redcar 7pm, Ipswich v Sheffield 7.30, Workington v Rye House 6.30, Workington v Scunthorpe (follows previous fixture)NATIONAL LEAGUE: Stoke v Mildenhall 7pm

SUNDAY AUGUST 31:ELITE LEAGUE: Coventry v Leicester 2.30, Leicester v Coventry 7.30PREMIER LEAGUE: Glasgow v Rye House 3pm, Scunthorpe v Workington 3pmNATIONAL LEAGUE: Buxton v King’s Lynn 3pm, Scunthorpe v Stoke (follows PL fixture)NATIONAL TROPHY: Mildenhall v Leicester 3.30BRITISH YOUTH CHAMPIONSHIP Round 5: Rye House 2pm


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