(SPEEDWAY 1 – SATURDAY REVIEW)
SWINDON took a giant step towards the Elite League play-offs with a 52-37 win at Leicester on Saturday.Nick Morris scored a paid maximum from four rides for the Robins with Peter Kildemand picking up 12+2 against an injury-hit Lions team who went into the meeting without Simon Stead and then lost Josh Bates (shoulder) and Mads Korneliussen (hip) after crashes.Swindon boss Alun Rossiter said: “It was a big win for us, and it's was a great performance from the boys. We are feeling confident at the moment and seem to be coming into some form at the right time, which is good.“Our top five in particularly are all riding superbly at the moment which is really encouraging, and we are building up some momentum now.”Leicester manager Norrie Allan said: “It was disappointing the way we lost the match having gone six meetings without losing at home. “There was no way that we could compete on equal terms with Swindon after such adversity of being down to four riders after Heat 8, and in addition Max Clegg was carrying an injury following a fall.”Swindon now join Coventry on 51 points with the clubs in third and fourth places – five ahead of Eastbourne, who defeated leaders King’s Lynn 49-44 at Arlington.The Eagles, who were held to two points after Kenneth Bjerre won Heat 15 to secure an away point for the Stars, now have six matches remaining – all on the road, and boss Trevor Geer insists they can still make the top four.Geer said: “We certainly can get the points we need away from home to make the play-offs. Our lads like some of the tracks we are going to and I fully believe we will break our duck away from home and climb back into those play off places.”In the Premier League, Rye House promoter Len Silver admitted there had been no stopping visitors Edinburgh, who secured a thumping 59-36 away win at Hoddesdon.Craig Cook scored a six-ride paid maximum and Sam Masters added 16+1 as the Monarchs picked up four league points on a night where the teams above them both lost.Silver said: “They are an unbelievable team. It is rare to find a team so consistently good, but they are just that. And it wasn’t just about getting out of the gate; if they missed the start they were going around people.”Edinburgh are now back into second place, ahead of Ipswich by a point after the Witches went down 52-41 at Plymouth with Kyle Newman scoring a five-ride paid maximum – and the result provided great encouragement for the Devils ahead of a KO Cup semi-final between the clubs.Plymouth boss Lee Trigger said: “This result gives us an idea of what we need to do at Ipswich. They had six points from a win on a tactical ride, which would not be allowed in the cup, so our winning margin was effectively 14 points.“Kyle Newman played a true captain’s role and all the other boys chipped in with some points. If we all do what we are capable of achieving we can go to Ipswich in an optimistic mood.”Leaders Somerset missed out at Workington, with the Comets giving their play-off hopes a major boost by claiming all six points on offer in a dramatic double-header at Derwent Park.Both matches were curtailed after Heat 12, while injuries to Chris Mills and Joe Jacobs caused significant delays to each meeting, with Glasgow guest Mills requiring an Air Ambulance to take him to hospital after his opening ride crash.Mills has suffered a broken scapula and a small bone in his back and neck, and remains in hospital, whilst Jacobs has been released with bad bruising to his neck region but no breaks.The Comets beat Glasgow 48-27 and then Somerset 40-32, and boss Tony Jackson said: “That was quite an eventful night even for us – and we’ve had a few of them at Workington this year!“We all had a good chat beforehand about what we needed to do this evening, so it was fantastic to get all the points on offer and there was some great racing throughout. Our thoughts are with both injured riders and hopefully they can both be back racing soon.”Berwick and Scunthorpe are both set for the play-offs and the two sides fought out a close contest which was edged 47-46 by the home side at Shielfield Park.The Scorpions hit back from a ten-point deficit after Heat 7 to go 36-33 up, only for Berwick to regain the advantage in Heat 13 and two shared races followed with Matej Kus passing Scunthorpe top-scorer David Howe for third place in the decider.Berwick boss John Anderson said: “Again we started well, as we had done at Somerset, but again lost ground as the match went into its’ second half, but at least this time after some brilliant racing we held on to the win - but the Scorpions gave us a massive test and well done to them for that! “We have got to work on keeping the pressure on all through the match – especially with the play-offs coming where 15 good heats will become all the more important without bad patches.”Scunthorpe promoter Rob Godfrey said: “The last race could have gone either way – we did have a 4-2, but Matej Kus got past David for third. But I can’t fault David, as he was magnificent in this meeting, he is riding like a No 1.”In the National League, a 16-point haul for James Cockle boosted King’s Lynn’s play-off hopes as they took a 50-42 win at Stoke.And in the final round of the British Youth Championships at Redcar, there were class wins for Luke Ruddick (500cc), Lewis Whitmore (250cc), Leon Flint (150cc) and Kyle Bickley (125cc).
(SPEEDWAY 2 – SUNDAY PREVIEW)
WORKINGTON have moved into the top six of the Premier League as they prepare for two vital away matches.The Comets visit Glasgow on Sunday and then Peterborough on Tuesday, and positive results in either could make them hard to catch in the race for the play-offs.Their double win at home on Saturday has dropped Newcastle one place outside the play-off zone as the Diamonds prepare to host Peterborough.There are just three points between the sides with the Panthers still keen to make up ground having suffered a tough week of results on the road.In the National League, the match between Mildenhall and King’s Lynn at West Row has taken on added significance following the Young Stars’ win at Stoke on Saturday.The Fen Tigers are now only three points ahead of their visitors either side of the line for play-off qualification.Mildenhall chairman Kevin Jolly said: “The lads know what they need to do, basically the same as the last two home meetings. Everyone at the club seems totally focused again and there is an excellent team spirit back around the place.”Second-placed Coventry face two away matches on the same day, as they visit Buxton in the afternoon before moving on to Stoke in the evening.Storm boss Laurence Rogers said: “There’s the potential there for another eight points, and we’re capable of that even without Stef (Nielsen). It’s a worry to be without him, but the boys have all knuckled down well.”Nielsen’s absence is covered by rider-replacement, whilst Buxton will use the same facility for Liam Carr and the Hitmen hand a debut to Paul Bowen at reserve after recent success in the Midland Development League.
PETERBOROUGH’S Richard Hall has pulled out of the Showground club’s line-up with immediate effect.Hall has endured a torrid time since returning to racing with the Panthers as part of a triple team change last month, and notified club bosses of his decision on Saturday morning.Co-promoter Trevor Swales said: “Richard has decided he cannot continue racing in 2014 due to personal and financial reasons. It is a huge shame that it hasn’t worked out for him since he returned to the club.“His equipment has been letting him down massively and hopefully he can get things right to return to the sport next year.”
SUNDAY SEPTEMBER 7:PREMIER LEAGUE: Glasgow v Workington 3pm, Newcastle v Peterborough 6.30NATIONAL LEAGUE: Buxton v Coventry 3pm, Mildenhall v King’s Lynn 3.30, Stoke v Coventry 7pm
MONDAY SEPTEMBER 8:ELITE LEAGUE: Belle Vue v Leicester 7.30, Swindon v Coventry 7.30, Wolverhampton v Eastbourne 7.30NATIONAL TROPHY: Kent v Leicester 6.30
TUESDAY SEPTEMBER 9:PREMIER LEAGUE: Peterborough v Glasgow 7pm, Peterborough v Workington (follows previous fixture), Scunthorpe v Berwick 7.30NATIONAL LEAGUE KO CUP S/F 1st leg: Cradley v Coventry 7.30
WEDNESDAY SEPTEMBER 10:ELITE LEAGUE: Belle Vue v Swindon 8pm, Poole v Eastbourne 7.30PREMIER LEAGUE: Berwick v Workington 7.30NATIONAL LEAGUE: King’s Lynn v Kent 7.30