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DRAWS have been made for both the Elite and Premier League Riders’ Championship events which take place later this month.Somerset’s Olly Allen defends the PLRC title at Sheffield on Sunday September 21, and former winner Craig Cook (Edinburgh) is also in the line-up, along with home favourite Simon Stead.All 13 Premier League clubs are represented in the Owlerton showpiece with Edinburgh, Workington and Peterborough having two riders in the meeting.DRAW: 1. Steve Worrall (Edinburgh), 2. Ryan Douglas (Scunthorpe), 3. Rene Bach (Workington), 4. Simon Stead (Sheffield), 5. Ben Barker (Plymouth), 6. Craig Cook (Edinburgh), 7. Rohan Tungate (Ipswich), 8. Edward Kennett (Rye House), 9. Ulrich Ostergaard (Peterborough), 10. Danny King (Newcastle), 11. Theo Pijper (Glasgow), 12. Claus Vissing (Berwick), 13. Richard Lawson (Redcar), 14. Lasse Bjerre (Peterborough), 15. Josh Grajczonek (Workington), 16. Olly Allen (Somerset).
*THE draw has also been confirmed for the Elite League Riders’ Championship at King’s Lynn on Thursday September 25.Home man Rory Schlein defends the title he has won in two of the last three seasons and is joined by fellow Stars rider Kenneth Bjerre in the line-up.World Champion Tai Woffinden is drawn at No. 12 whilst the other former winner in the field is Eastbourne’s Bjarne Pedersen, who took the title back in 2004.Former Birmingham skipper Danny King will represent the Brummies after being handed one of the wildcard places.The move has been made as a goodwill gesture from Elite League bosses and a show of support for the efforts to bring the sport back to Perry Barr next year.Jon Cook, the Lakeside promoter and vice chairman of the British Speedway Promoters’ Association, said: “We have two wildcards, Rory Schlein as the defending champion, but Danny King remains extremely popular with Birmingham fans and he will ride in the meeting as a show of support from the Elite League for efforts to reopen the club next season.”DRAW: 1. Bjarne Pedersen (Eastbourne), 2. Davey Watt (Lakeside), 3. Matej Zagar (Belle Vue), 4. Maciej Janowski (Poole), 5. Chris Harris (Coventry), 6. Vaclav Milik (Poole), 7. Richard Lawson (Lakeside), 8. Hans Andersen (Coventry), 9. Peter Kildemand (Swindon) 10. Scott Nicholls (Belle Vue), 11. Rory Schlein (King’s Lynn), 12. Tai Woffinden (Wolverhampton), 13. Jason Doyle (Leicester), 14. Danny King (Birmingham), 15. Troy Batchelor (Swindon), 16. Kenneth Bjerre (King’s Lynn).
*BRITISH Youth bosses Neil Vatcher and Phil Morris have reflected on a hugely successful six-round series which concluded at Redcar last Saturday.The main Youth titles were won by Luke Harris (500cc) and Lewis Whitmore (250cc) with the 150cc and 125cc classes supporting those events at each round as well as having their own stand-alone Finals.Vatcher said: “Phil and I would like to thank the promoters of the six staging venues of the 2014 British Youth Championships - Scunthorpe, Leicester, Northside, Eastbourne, Rye House and Redcar.“We also want to thank the series sponsors Wessex Marine, Friends of Speedway, Nuneaton Speedway Supporters’ Club and Duck Smart Cleaning Products, and also the riders’ Mums and Dads for making the 2014 series the biggest and best to date. We look forward to doing it all again in 2015!”
SPEEDWAYGB EVENTS SERIES 2014:ELITE LEAGUE RIDERS’ CHAMPIONSHIP: King’s Lynn, September 25BRITISH UNDER-21 FINAL: JOSH BATESBRITISH FINAL: TAI WOFFINDENPREMIER LEAGUE PAIRS: EDINBURGHPREMIER LEAGUE FOURS: SOMERSETPREMIER LEAGUE RIDERS’ CHAMPIONSHIP: Sheffield, September 21NATIONAL LEAGUE MAJOR EVENTS:NATIONAL LEAGUE PAIRS: STOKENATIONAL LEAGUE FOURS: Coventry, October 26NATIONAL LEAGUE RIDERS’ CHAMPIONSHIP: Rye House, September 28BRITISH SPEEDWAY FIM EVENT DATES:WORLD UNDER-21 CHAMPIONSHIP Semi-Final: MIKKEL BECHGRAND PRIX QUALIFIER: LINUS SUNDSTROM
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BELLE VUE skipper Scott Nicholls says the Aces are determined to avoid ninth place in the table by securing a run of home wins in their remaining fixtures.Nicholls said: “We want to get ourselves off the bottom of the table and push ourselves up as high as we can, and to do that we need to take as many points as possible from the rest of our home matches.“We need to be determined and smart, and we need to ride well as a team. We've got the strength, the ability and the riders to do just that so there's no excuse.”COVENTRY manager Gary Havelock says his side will bounce back quickly from their heavy defeat at Swindon on Monday, with their home double-header against Eastbourne this week vital to the play-off battle.Havelock said: “We didn’t seem to have the right set-ups early on, our guys were just spinning and when theirs were going around you could hear their engines had a completely different tone.“It’s one of those nights, a bad day at the office, but I don’t think it was any lack of effort or commitment. We’ll go away and re-group quickly.”EASTBOURNE boss Trevor Geer insists the Eagles will fight on in their play-off chase following the loss of skipper Cameron Woodward to a broken thigh after a crash in Poland – with Lewis Blackbird also still on the sidelines.Geer said: “These are major blows to our hopes of making the Play Offs but we are not giving up. “Cameron is a great leader and we will miss him on track and in the pits but we are not just going to roll over and let our chance go.”KING’S LYNN boss Rob Lyon is calling for a major effort from his troops to regain top form as they look to convert a terrific season into Elite League title glory.Lyon told edp24.co.uk: “We’ve got to come together and encourage. We’ve got to encourage the riders, including the fans, as a whole club. This feeling of doom and gloom isn’t going to help anyone. “We desperately want to win this league. It would be the first time Lynn have lifted the Elite League trophy. I know people are frustrated and disappointed, but if we stick together I still believe we can make this happen.”LAKESIDE co-promoter Jon Cook says he will take the positives from the 2014 campaign after a tough run-in saw the Hammers miss out on play-off qualification.Cook said: “We’ve enjoyed a fantastic season of excitement and great racing at the Raceway and though we’ve come up short in the League, I can’t fault the riders for their efforts of late. “Ultimately defeat at home to Coventry came too late in the day to recover from, but we’ve finished the year with predominantly a young team of chargers and our time will come.”LEICESTER saw their impressive home run come to an end with defeat to in-form Swindon – with both Mads Korneliussen and Josh Bates crashing out of a meeting which the Lions had already started without Simon Stead!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.”POOLE promoter Matt Ford says the chase is still on to finish top of the Elite League table with matches over the next week crucial ahead of the cut-off.Ford said: “Realistically King's Lynn are still in the driving seat but whilst there remains a chance for us to overhaul them and claim top spot then we will take the challenge on.“Essentially we need to maximise our points return over our final three meetings and with visits to Coventry (Monday) and Leicester (Wednesday) next week completing our programme we need to collect as many of those 11 available points as we possibly can.”SWINDON boss Alun Rossiter is delighted to see his side hitting top form at just the right time, with their 60-31 demolition of Coventry on Monday significantly enhancing their play-off chances.Rossiter said: “Our boys are happy, especially at home. The track is to their liking and there is confidence throughout the team, but we will continue to take things one meeting at a time.“Having said that, I'm pleased with the run of results we are on, we are flying and the challenge now is to keep it going."WOLVERHAMPTON manager Peter Adams was pleased to end the Monmore league season on a high with a convincing win over Eastbourne after a tough campaign.Adams said: “It was a very good win in our last home meeting of the season, and it was a good all-around performance."We expected a lot more from Eastbourne to be honest given we were without our top three and they are supposedly busting a gut to get into the play-offs."But it was a great performance from us to get the job done and come away with a good result."
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BERWICK were held to a narrow one-point win over Scunthorpe at Shielfield Park last Saturday – and boss John Anderson says they must look to deliver a full 15-heat performance in the play-offs.Anderson said: “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.”EDINBURGH face a crunch weekend of three matches in two days as they look to re-claim top spot in the Premier League ahead of the play-offs.The Monarchs are six points behind Somerset and race an Armadale double-header against Redcar and Glasgow on Friday before also racing at home on Saturday, this time against Newcastle.GLASGOW kept their outside chance of a play-off place alive by defeating rivals Workington 52-41 at Ashfield on Sunday with reserve Kasper Lykke starring with a paid-13 score.Lykke said: “We still have the dreams of the play-offs, so especially at home, you need a win. We've got a good team. Some of us weren't really used to the track at the start of the season, but we're getting more and more used to it and it shows."IPSWICH expect to have Gino Manzares back in their team as they go into KO Cup semi-final action against Plymouth on Thursday.The American crashed out of last week’s home win over Peterborough and was taken to hospital for a check-up, but he should return against the Devils.NEWCASTLE manager George English says his team will battle to the end as they look to hold onto a top six place, although he accepts play-off qualification is ultimately out of their own hands.English said: “We have one last League match left and it’s potentially one of the toughest at Edinburgh on Saturday coming. Sadly we have to also rely on other teams defeating our closest rivals, so we know it's a bit of a long shot but it's not impossible yet. We also have a Cup run on the go and we'll have to dispose of Glasgow at the end of the month to get into the semi-finals.”PETERBOROUGH boss Carl Johnson has hailed his ‘Captain Courageous’ Ulrich Ostergaard who rode through the pain barrier at Scunthorpe and Plymouth over the weekend.Johnson said: “Ulrich probably shouldn't have completed the meeting at Scunthorpe on Friday, but that just goes to show how much he is willing to fight for the Panthers' cause. He was involved in a big spill in his second ride but still piled up 16 points for us.”PLYMOUTH have booked former Ipswich rider Lasse Bjerre to stand in for injured No.1 Ben Barker when they visit Foxhall on Thursday in the first leg of their KO Cup semi-final.Manager Lee Trigger said: “The result of our league match against the Witches gives us an idea of what he need to look for at Ipswich. Ideally we would like to restrict any home win to single figures, but we know that anything around 12 or 14 points would keep the tie alive as far as we are concerned.”REDCAR boss Jitendra Duffill was satisfied to complete the Bears’ home programme with a 48-42 home win over Rye House.Duffill told gazettelive.co.uk: “It should have been three points. I know it wouldn’t have made any difference to our league position but it would have been nice to have taken all three points. But a win is a win and the way we’ve been struggling at home in recent weeks, I’ll take that.”RYE HOUSE promoter Len Silver had no complaints after seeing his side slump to a 36-59 home defeat against title contenders Edinburgh on Saturday, with the Monarchs in dominant form.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. We gave it 100% but we just couldn’t match that level.”SCUNTHORPE promoter Rob Godfrey says the Scorpions’ current momentum will make them a team to be reckoned with when the Premier League play-offs commence later this month.Godfrey said: “It’s all about peaking at the right time of the season, and I’m convinced that’s what is happening with us. I’ve said all season long that I believe we could win the championship this season, and I think a lot of other people are starting to see that we will be serious contenders in the play-offs.“We built a team that we believed would just get stronger as the season progressed and that what’s happened.”SHEFFIELD manager Joe Screen admitted the Tigers’ 27-67 defeat at Edinburgh on Friday had been a night to forget.Screen said: “We always knew it was going to be a tough night, and that proved to be the case. We were disappointed we couldn't push them closer, but it was just a bad night all-around for us. It was definitely one we'd rather forget, so we've just got to put it behind us and move on to the next one now."SOMERSET wrap up their regular Premier League season with the visit of Workington to the Oaktree Arena on Friday, and a win will keep their hopes alive of finishing top of the table ahead of the play-offs.Manager Garry May said: “With us coming back from Workington on Saturday night empty-handed as far as league points were concerned it has opened the door to Edinburgh as far as who will finish top of the league table going into the play-offs. But we will still be gunning for the maximum three points against the Comets in order to keep the pressure on Edinburgh as they face a very busy schedule over the up-coming weekend.”WORKINGTON picked up six points from an eventful home double-header against Glasgow and Somerset to maintain their hopes of a play-off place.Comets 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.”
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
THURSDAY SEPTEMBER 11:ELITE LEAGUE: Leicester v King’s Lynn 7.30PREMIER LEAGUE: Sheffield v Berwick 7.30PREMIER LEAGUE KO CUP S/F 1st leg: Ipswich v Plymouth 7.30
FRIDAY SEPTEMBER 12:ELITE LEAGUE: Coventry v Eastbourne 7pm, Coventry v Eastbourne (follows previous fixture)PREMIER LEAGUE: Edinburgh v Redcar 7pm, Edinburgh v Glasgow (follows previous fixture), Plymouth v Peterborough 7.15, Somerset v Workington 7.30
SATURDAY SEPTEMBER 13:PREMIER LEAGUE: Edinburgh v Newcastle 7pm, Rye House v Scunthorpe 7pm, Workington v Sheffield 6.30, Workington v Sheffield (follows previous fixture)
SUNDAY SEPTEMBER 14:PREMIER LEAGUE: Peterborough v Rye House 2.30, Glasgow v Edinburgh 5pmBRITISH 150cc FINAL: Peterborough (follows PL meeting)
MONDAY SEPTEMBER 15:BRITISH UNDER-19 CHAMPIONSHIP: Kent 7pmELITE LEAGUE: Belle Vue v Eastbourne 7pm, Belle Vue v Eastbourne (follows previous fixture), Coventry v Poole 7.30PREMIER LEAGUE KO CUP: Newcastle v Glasgow 7.30
WEDNESDAY SEPTEMBER 17:ELITE LEAGUE: Leicester v Poole 7.30NATIONAL LEAGUE KO CUP 1st leg: King’s Lynn v Stoke 7.30
THURSDAY SEPTEMBER 18:PREMIER LEAGUE: Sheffield v Plymouth 7.30TEESIDE SILVER HELMET: Redcar 7.30
FRIDAY SEPTEMBER 19:PREMIER LEAGUE: Plymouth v Sheffield 7.15
SATURDAY SEPTEMBER 20:NATIONAL LEAGUE KO CUP S/F 2nd leg: Stoke v King’s Lynn 7pmSUNDAY SEPTEMBER 21:PREMIER LEAGUE RIDERS’ CHAMPIONSHIP: Sheffield 5pmNATIONAL TROPHY FINAL 1st leg: Mildenhall v Stoke 3.30
MONDAY SEPTEMBER 22:TUNNEL TROPHY: Kent v Arena-Essex 6.30
TUESDAY SEPTEMBER 23:NATIONAL LEAGUE PLAY-OFF S/F: Cradley v TBC 7.30