British Speedway Weekly Bulletin

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SWINDON skipper Troy Batchelor was crowned Elite League Riders’ Champion at King’s Lynn last Thursday.Batchelor started his British career at the Norfolk Arena in the Premier League and made a triumphant return to underline his current form for the Robins.The Australian was one of three riders to top the leaderboard on 12 points in the qualifying races, and came through the semi-final along with Maciej Janowski to join Matej Zagar and Jason Doyle in the Final, with Danish duo Bjarne Pedersen and Hans Andersen missing out.It was Batchelor who took victory in the decisive race, with Poole captain Janowski and Doyle (Leicester) completing the top three ahead of Belle Vue No.1 Zagar.Batchelor said: “I've had a few days off so I went into the meeting looking to blow away the cobwebs.“I like the King's Lynn track and obviously I'm well happy with this result, especially so close to the Grand Prix in Sweden.”*MILDENHALL captain Dan Halsey won the National League Riders’ Championship at Rye House last Sunday.Halsey, who started his career at Hoddesdon in 2005, scored eleven points from his first four rides and needed another victory in Heat 20 to clinch the crown ahead of Cradley’s Steve Worrall.At the first attempt another Heathen, Paul Starke, was disqualified after falling and in the re-run Halsey fended off the third Cradley rider in the field, Max Clegg, to finish on 14 points. Worrall was second on 13 with Kent’s Ben Morley then beating Joe Jacobs (Mildenhall) in a run-off for third.Hasley said: “Today has been a long time coming. I’ve been one of the favourites for this event a couple of times in the past, but today I was far from it, so I was able to come here with no pressure.“I wasn’t happy when the red light came on in the first staging of my last one, but when I came back into the pits my team told me to put my head down and not think about anything but getting focussed for the re-run, which I won in a real tussle.“I want to thank all the Mildenhall supporters who were here this afternoon. They make this sport worth doing, and they made a difference today.”The National League has one major event remaining this season, that being the Fours at Coventry which now takes place on Sunday October 26 (2.30pm) after being rained-off on the original date in August.

SPEEDWAYGB EVENTS SERIES 2014:ELITE LEAGUE RIDERS’ CHAMPIONSHIP: TROY BATCHELORBRITISH UNDER-21 FINAL: JOSH BATESBRITISH FINAL: TAI WOFFINDENPREMIER LEAGUE PAIRS: EDINBURGHPREMIER LEAGUE FOURS: SOMERSETPREMIER LEAGUE RIDERS’ CHAMPIONSHIP: SIMON STEADNATIONAL LEAGUE MAJOR EVENTS:NATIONAL LEAGUE PAIRS: STOKENATIONAL LEAGUE FOURS: Coventry, October 26NATIONAL LEAGUE RIDERS’ CHAMPIONSHIP: DAN HALSEYBRITISH SPEEDWAY FIM EVENT DATES:WORLD UNDER-21 CHAMPIONSHIP Semi-Final: MIKKEL BECHGRAND PRIX QUALIFIER: LINUS SUNDSTROM

ELITE LEAGUE LATEST…

BELLE VUE promoter Chris Morton has praised the commitment of Aces No.1 Matej Zagar after a mad dash to get to King’s Lynn last Thursday for the Elite League Riders’ Championship.Morton said: “Matej was looking forward to the meeting, and in the main body of the match he was stunning; the top man, practically unbeaten and naturally disappointed not to be on the podium.“But what really impressed me about him on the night was that he put in a solid effort and gave it everything he had for Belle Vue Speedway and his fans here in the UK.”COVENTRY boss Gary Havelock was largely satisfied to take an eight-point advantage from the first leg of their play-off semi-final against Swindon, with the tie to be concluded at Blunsdon next Monday.Havelock said: “If you’d offered me that before the meeting I would probably have taken it, although it’s disappointing that every little incident seemed to go against us. But that’s the way it goes, Swindon have been installed as favourites to win the league and on any other day we could have possibly gone away with a 12-14 point lead there.“The tie is wide open. All of our boys showed plenty of character – we talked on the track walk about having no regrets and not leaving anything in the pits, and there was plenty of effort out there.”EASTBOURNE have announced plans to apply to join the National League in 2015.The club’s Elite League licence is to be put on ice, but the Eagles’ current operating company will make the application as they look to ensure the sport continues at Arlington.A club statement said: “It is well documented that it will not be viable for us to compete in next year’s Elite League competition and it has been agreed that our Elite League licence can be put on hold for a year.“We see the National League as the perfect way of continuing speedway racing at Arlington. The costs will be significantly lower and international events will not affect our meetings as they have done in recent years.”KING’S LYNN will need to win at Poole next Monday if they are to keep their Elite League title dreams alive.The Stars, who led the regular table for much of the campaign, went down to a 44-45 first leg home defeat against the Pirates in a meeting delayed by an hour due to heavy rain, with promoter Keith Chapman working overtime to return the Norfolk Arena circuit to a racecable condition.POOLE promoter Matt Ford is taking nothing for granted ahead of the Pirates’ semi-final second leg tie with King’s Lynn, despite going into next Monday’s meeting with a one-point lead.Ford said: “Of course I am delighted we are not having to go into it chasing a deficit but to all intents and purposes that one point lead can be wiped out in one heat. We are going to have to be on our game and I know that Shamek (Przemyslaw Pawlicki) will be keen to up his performance after a difficult night. “But in reality the crucial ingredient could be the fans. I've said it before but they can play such a big part and I hope that they turn out and get behind the Pirates as we go into what is really the second half of this match."SWINDON skipper Troy Batchelor is relishing the prospect of next Monday’s play-off second leg tie at home to Coventry as the Robins bid to pull back an eight-point deficit.Batchelor said: “We beat them comfortably last time at our track but I'm sure it will be a different story next week.“Eight points is an interesting margin, I'm confident we can turn that around at our track but it will be tough. Coventry have riders who are riding a little better now so it should be a great night of racing.”WOLVERHAMPTON are making preparations for their season-ending Banks’s Olympique individual event at Monmore Green on October 14.Top British duo Scott Nicholls and Danny King have both accepted invitations to race after recent guest appearances in Wolves colours, and the meeting will be run on the popular handicap format.

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BERWICK have confirmed their home play-off clash with Workington on Saturday October 11 will be the final Shielfield Park action of the season.Neither the Bandits nor the Comets can now qualify for the Final but the home side can still celebrate a highly positive campaign after a fourth-place finish in the regular Premier League standings.EDINBURGH are through to the Premier League play-off Final after securing home and away wins over Workington last weekend to leave the Monarchs with four straight victories from their play-off group matches.Skipper Derek Sneddon said: “We have a great season but now we have to finish the job. The boys were really up for it and we can’t wait for the Final.”GLASGOW saw their Premier League KO Cup hopes disappear with a heavy home defeat to Newcastle after the Tigers saw a host of riders ruled out in the build-up to the meeting.Skipper Theo Pijper said: “We were always likely to struggle with the loss of Rusty (Harrison) and Kevin (Wolbert) in particular, and we hoped that with Victor (Palovaara) now down at reserve we could have seen a better points return from him. Newcastle unfortunately had too much firepower for us, on another day and with our own riders in the side I think we should certainly have won.”IPSWICH are through to the KO Cup Final after a successful defence of their 40-point first leg lead against Plymouth, the Witches going down by just four on the night in the second leg at the St Boniface Arena.Manager Brian Messenger said: “I was always confident that we would go through and had hoped for a win. However with three of our riders struggling that wasn't going to happen. Gino (Manzares) had two primary chains break tonight which didn't help his cause. I must say a big well done to Morten (Risager), Richie (Worrall) and especially Adam Ellis who all rode very well.”NEWCASTLE roared to a 55-35 win at Glasgow on Sunday to book a KO Cup semi-final clash with Edinburgh – with Danny King smashing the Ashfield track record.Manager George English said: “We were confident of making the semi, but the manner and size of our victory even took us by surprise and again Ludvig Lindgren top scored, as he did in the first leg magnificently backed up by Danny and Stuart Robson. “With the top three taking 11 wins between them and Lewis Kerr also taking two it only left two heat wins for the home side who looked shell-shocked soon on in the night.”PETERBOROUGH have confirmed their League Cup Final clash against Edinburgh goes ahead at the Showground on Sunday as they bid for a first trophy in seven and a half years.The Panthers have also thanked Newcastle promoter George English as the Diamonds, a regular Sunday track, also need to race against the Monarchs in the KO Cup semi-finals, with that meeting now scheduled for Sunday October 12.PLYMOUTH rounded off their senior campaign for 2014 with a 47-43 win over Ipswich in the KO Cup, although the first leg outcome meant it wasn’t enough to take the Devils into the Final.Co-promoter Ashley Taylor said: “Ipswich are a top three side with scoring power throughout their team.It was nip and tuck throughout the evening and the 40-point deficit proved too much to pull back. But, at least, we had some consolation from winning the meeting on the night.”SCUNTHORPE go into a make-or-break week of play-off action without Nicolai Klindt, who has been ruled out for the remainder of the season with a scaphoid injury, whilst the same problem seems set to leave Ryan Douglas on the sidelines too.Promoter Rob Godfrey said: “We’re going to throw everything we’ve got at these two meetings this week. The results didn’t go quite the way we wanted them to last week; our regular lads went OK, but the guests struggled a bit. We need something from the meeting at Somerset; we have to pick up at least one league point.”SHEFFIELD co-promoter Damien Bates says Simon Stead’s PLRC victory and the British Under-21 success of Josh Bates has given the Tigers some consolation in an injury-hit season.Bates said: “It hasn’t been the best of seasons on track for us but with both Josh and Steady winning individual trophies it has certainly made it a lot better.”SOMERSET step up their Premier League play-off bid with matches at home to Scunthorpe and away at Ipswich this week as they look to build on the point they gained at the Eddie Wright Raceway last Friday.Rebels boss Garry May said: “With just three teams in the group it doesn’t leave any margin for error to the extent that race points difference could determine which of the three sides progress through to the Final. So not only will we be looking for the maximum three match points from Wednesday night, but to also boost our race points difference in case that does become the deciding factor.”WORKINGTON may be out of contention for this year’s Premier League title following their defeats at the hands of table-toppers Edinburgh in last weekend’s play-off matches - but they still have four fixtures to race before the end of the season, while this coming Saturday sees their Derwent Park home stage the Rusty Harrison Testimonial Meeting, which was postponed due to bad weather back in early April.Comets co-promoter and team manager Tony Jackson said: “It was obviously a major disappointment for Rusty when the original staging was rained off. Hopefully the weather will be kinder to him on this occasion after all the hard work that has gone into planning the meeting by him and his committee, and it promises to be an entertaining evening for everyone as he has assembled a good field of riders for his individual meeting.“Rusty has been part of the scene at Workington since he joined the club for the 2001 season and only club legend Carl Stonehewer has made more appearances in a Comets race-jacket than he has. But, despite not being part of the Comets line-up this season, he remains a regular visitor to Derwent Park as he lives in the town.”

FIXTURE PICTURE…

TUESDAY SEPTEMBER 30:NATIONAL LEAGUE PLAY-OFF S/F 1st leg: Cradley v Mildenhall 7.30

WEDNESDAY OCTOBER 1:PREMIER LEAGUE PLAY-OFFS: Somerset v Scunthorpe 7.30

THURSDAY OCTOBER 2:PREMIER LEAGUE PLAY-OFFS: Ipswich v Somerset 7.30

FRIDAY OCTOBER 3:PREMIER LEAGUE PLAY-OFFS: Scunthorpe v Ipswich 7.30PREMIER LEAGUE KO CUP S/F 1st leg: Edinburgh v Newcastle 7.30NATIONAL LEAGUE PLAY-OFF S/F 2nd leg: Coventry v Kent 7.30

SATURDAY OCTOBER 4:NATIONAL LEAGUE: Devon v King’s Lynn 7.15RUSTY HARRISON TESTIMONIAL: Workington 6.30

SUNDAY OCTOBER 5:LEAGUE CUP FINAL 1st leg: Peterborough v Edinburgh 2pmPREMIER LEAGUE: Glasgow v Workington 3pmNATIONAL LEAGUE PLAY-OFF S/F 2nd leg: Mildenhall v Cradley 3.30NATIONAL LEAGUE: Buxton v Scunthorpe 3pm

MONDAY OCTOBER 6:ELITE LEAGUE PLAY-OFF S/F 2nd leg: Poole v King’s Lynn 7.30, Swindon v Coventry 7.30

TUESDAY OCTOBER 7:NATIONAL LEAGUE KO CUP FINAL 1st leg: Cradley v King’s Lynn 7.30

FRIDAY OCTOBER 10:PREMIER LEAGUE PLAY-OFFS: Somerset v Ipswich 7.30LEAGUE CUP FINAL 2nd leg: Edinburgh v Peterborough 7.30NATIONAL LEAGUE: Devon v Mildenhall 7.15CHALLENGE: Kent v Arena-Essex 6.30

SATURDAY OCTOBER 11:PREMIER LEAGUE PLAY-OFFS: Berwick v Workington 7pm

SUNDAY OCTOBER 12:PREMIER LEAGUE PLAY-OFFS: Workington v Berwick 7.30PREMIER LEAGUE KO CUP S/F 2nd leg: Newcastle v Edinburgh 6.30

TUESDAY OCTOBER 14:BANKS’S OLYMPIQUE: Wolverhampton 7.30