SPEEDWAY News and Fixtures

(SPEEDWAY 1)

SHEFFIELD will launch the 2015 season in style – with a benefit meeting for hugely popular former club captain Ricky Ashworth on March 22.Ashworth, a former Premier League Riders’ Champion who saw his career ended in a horror crash last season, was in hospital for a year and still needs round-the-clock care at his Manchester home.His father Dave said: “Ricky still needs a lot of care and attention but we know he is making progress. It's going to be a long job but he's proved that he's a real fighter and everyone's proud of the efforts he's making."Sheffield co-promoter Damien Bates said: “We are only too pleased to host this meeting and I have no doubt the place will be packed. We feel this is an appropriate way to start the 2015 season.”

(SPEEDWAY 2)

BIRMINGHAM fans are still sweating on whether speedway will return to Perry Barr next season.Tony Mole, who is fronting the bid to revive the Brummies in 2015, is still not in a position to make an application for membership of the British Speedway Promoters' Association following a meeting of potential sponsors and investors on Wednesday night.He said: “We've had a lot of interest, goodwill and pledges of support but until these are followed up with firm commitment to become part of a consortium I cannot say we will be making an application.“To put it simply, we are currently short of our target to make it financially viable for Birmingham Speedway to return next season although if certain pledges are honoured we will be up and running.”(SPEEDWAY 3 – WEDNESDAY REVIEW)SOMERSET moved to the top of their Premier League play-off group with an emphatic 65-27 win over injury-hit Scunthorpe at the Oaktree Arena.The Rebels charged into a 29-7 lead after just six races and overcame the loss of Charles Wright after three rides following a clash with Carl Wilkinson, whilst the Scorpions’ problems mounted when skipper Ashley Birks could take no further part after aggravating a wrist injury when he fell in Heat 2.There were four double-figure scorers for the home side with Todd Kurtz (14+3) and Nick Morris (13+1) leading the way, whilst Wilkinson and Josh Auty both scored nine for the visitors.Rebels boss Garry May said: “This was a great team performance, the boys being in stunning form. This could have been a tricky match for us, but they never gave Scunthorpe a glimmer of a chance at any stage during the match and those opening six heats were as good as anything they’ve put together here at the Oaktree Arena this season.“Despite losing Wrighty as early as Heat 5 it didn’t disrupt the rhythm of the team, both reserves more than adequately covering for Charles after he was forced to withdraw from the meeting and I think we were more than deserving of our final margin of victory.”Scunthorpe manager Dave Peet said: “Injuries have decimated us the last few weeks, with broken scaphoids and so forth. The injuries just couldn’t have come at a worse possible time.“When you get to the business end of the season, you do need seven fit riders. It’s not possible to come to somewhere like Somerset with riders missing and get a result.”

(SPEEDWAY 4 – THURSDAY PREVIEW)

IPSWICH face a ‘must-win’ home clash with Somerset at Foxhall on Thursday as they look to keep their Premier League title hopes alive.The Witches have a good home record against the Rebels in 2014 with wins by 12, 40 and 22 points in the previous meetings, and need all three group points from in order to keep pace with the visitors, who already have an away point on the board as well as last night’s big home win over Scunthorpe.Somerset will continue to operate rider replacement for the injured Brady Kurtz, whilst the home side are at full strength with new October averages meaning Cameron Heeps moves into their top five with Ritchie Hawkins now at reserve.(SPEEDWAY 5)

BERWICK and Workington will contest the Border Trophy alongside their final Premier League play-off group matches next weekend.The Bandits and the Comets have already lost out to Edinburgh in the race for a Grand Final place but will also revive the old Trophy first contested over 40 years ago for the aggregate winners.Berwick director George Hepburn said: “We’re very proud to be in the play-offs for the first time in our history.“Adding the Border Trophy to the play-off pecking order will make every point in both matches even-more-vital to the aggregate result, ensuring the usual Bandits/Comets 'edge' is fully evident, I think!”

(FIXTURES)

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 2pmNATIONAL LEAGUE PLAY-OFF S/F 2nd leg: Mildenhall v Cradley 3.30NATIONAL LEAGUE: Buxton v Scunthorpe 3pm


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