SPEEDWAY News and Fixtures

(SPEEDWAY 1 – FRIDAY REVIEW)

LAKESIDE beat the weather and King’s Lynn to record their second home win of the 2015 campaign.The Hammers, who had been heavily beaten at the Norfolk Arena in the reverse fixture earlier in the week, defeated the Stars 51-39 at Purfleet in the only scheduled Elite League match of Good Friday to go ahead.Richard Lawson scored a paid maximum for the hosts with 14+1 from five rides, whilst Niels-Kristian Iversen led the way for the Stars on ten.In the League Cup, Ipswich picked up their first win of the Southern section with a 53-39 win over local rivals Peterborough at Foxhall.Danny King scored a 12-point maximum for the Witches with three other riders being paid for double figures, whilst the Panthers were left to rue a disastrous start to the meeting as they conceded maximum points in each of the first three races.Ipswich boss Phil Hilton said: “We started well but then seemed to take our foot off the pedal a bit just as Peterborough started to get used to the track. Danny was imperious and he received good support from the rest of the team, who all scored a heat win. “It's early days and there are still things to be sorted but we are heading in the right direction. I would also like to say a big thank you to our guest, Luke Bowen, for all his efforts.”Panthers manager Carl Johnson said: “The start to the meeting with three 5-1s in a row cost us, but we dug in and gave it our best shot.“I’m not going to suggest we should have taken something from the meeting, but we could certainly have been a lot closer had some big decisions gone against us. I’m not happy with the incidents in the first and last races, and it was farcical to have all four riders back in heat 11 after three of them had fallen.”Somerset moved into second place in the group with a convincing 59-31 home win over Plymouth, highlighted by a 15-point maximum from Brady Kurtz.It was their biggest-ever win over the Devils at the Oaktree Arena, and boss Garry May is still confident of the Rebels’ progressing to the latter stages of the competition.He said: “Tonight was not just about Brady, virtually the whole team rode and scored well, which was the most pleasing aspect of tonight’s match, that and picking up all three match points for the win.“The win means that we are able to keep the pressure on group leaders Rye House, and points from [Saturday] night’s return fixture at Plymouth will put us in a good position as we look to qualify for the semi-final stages of the League Cup.”Premier League champions Edinburgh clinched aggregate victory in the Spring Trophy with a 51-42 win over Glasgow for a three-point overall success.Sam Masters was unbeaten for the Monarchs with a 15-point maximum as they overturned the six-point deficit from last weekend’s first leg at Ashfield.Edinburgh boss Alex Harkess said: “That was a good show. Our top men did what we expected, I was very happy with the reserves and Erik Riss will come good. Once Kevin (Wolbert) sorts his gating out we will be a very good side again.”Eastbourne made a winning start to life at their new level with a 53-40 win over Kent in the National Trophy at Arlington.Bradley Wilson-Dean was within a lap of scoring a debut paid maximum for the Eagles but ground to a halt with engine problems on the last lap of the final race when clearly heading for victory.Chairman Martin Dugard said: “It was a great all-round team performance. They rode as a team and deserved the win.“The crowd was bigger than quite a number we had last year in the Elite League and I am sure it would have been bigger had it been a dry day. It is a great start for the new era, the fans seemed to enjoy themselves but the hard work will go on.”Kent boss Chris Hunt said: “There was no question we improved as a team as the meeting went on. Ben (Morley) was in great form and unlucky that an exclusion for a fall that wasn’t his fault denied him the maximum he deserved. “I have to praise Aaron (Baseby) for a very impressive performance too – he looked very good and paid 10 in difficult circumstances is a good return. For the less experienced riders in the team such a tricky track in wet and slippy conditions was understandably a challenge.”

(SPEEDWAY 2)

TWO of Good Friday’s postponed fixtures have been rapidly re-arranged for Easter Monday.Swindon’s clash with Poole at the Abbey Stadium was called off due to a heavy downpour less than 90 minutes before the scheduled start-time, and the Elite League fixture will now go ahead on Monday at 4.30pm.Meanwhile Peterborough and Ipswich have also moved quickly to re-arrange their League Cup match.It will now take place at the Showground on Monday with a 7.30pm start, giving the Panthers two meetings on the day as they also race at Rye House in the afternoon.(SPEEDWAY 3 – SATURDAY PREVIEW)

LEICESTER and Coventry meet in the Elite League at the Jordan Road Surfacing Stadium on Saturday.The scheduled clash between the sides at Brandon on Good Friday was rained off, and the Lions will be seeking to repeat their big home win over the Bees in the East Midlands Bowl on the opening day of the season.Rory Schlein guests for the injured Mikkel Michelsen for the Lions, whilst the Bees bring in Cameron Heeps to replace Stuart Robson.Leicester boss Norrie Allan said: “Rory guested for us on three occasions last season when we had injuries and he never let us down. “He is a model professional and his best score away from home for King’s Lynn occurred in June at Leicester when Rory scored paid fifteen so he knows the quickest way around our track.”The Northern section of the League Cup gets underway with Berwick hosting Glasgow at Shielfield Park, in the first of two matches in two days between the teams.Former Bandit Matej Kus makes a rapid return to assist his old club as he stands in for Ben Barker at No.1, whilst the Tigers have Ellis Perks guesting for James Sarjeant at reserve.Berwick director George Hepburn said: “Matej is still easy in our company - he was in the pits last week, urging on the Bandits - and was quick to volunteer his services when it was realised the probable need for a guest to wear our No.1 jacket while Ben Barker's hand is healing. We agreed he is our obvious choice.”Glasgow star Kozza Smith is keen to put to one side any thoughts of a frosty reception as he goes up against his former club over the weekend.Smith said: “We'll just have to go and beat them. I'm not going to put pressure on myself because it's my old track. I'll treat it as another race meeting. That's what I need to do - get back to enjoying my racing and not being too hard on myself. Hopefully, I'll be showing them the way around Berwick.“There'll probably be a few people who hold a grudge but I think a lot of people will be understanding that I had to move on and I have to think of my career.”The Southern group features the first meeting of the season at Plymouth, who host Somerset as they look to bounce back from a 59-31 defeat at the Oaktree Arena on Friday.In the National Trophy, Mildenhall travel to Rye House with promoter Kevin Jolly optimistic of a positive start to the season.Jolly said: “Rye House have a blend of youth and experience and we know all about the scoring power of Rob Branford and Kyle Hughes. “We will go there to win, however, and Danny Halsey will be looking to lead from the front and replicate his last performance at Rye when he won the National League Riders Championship late last season.”Meanwhile Workington look to open their season at the second attempt after a rain-off last week, when they host Newcastle in the first leg of the Ian Thomas Shield.The Comets go into their home meeting at full strength with Kenneth Hansen available after his health scare last week, and the Diamonds also deploy their full line-up with Lewis Kerr fit despite his crash at King’s Lynn on Tuesday, having subsequently ridden on Good Friday.Workington owner Laura Morgan said: “We were delighted to win the Ian Thomas Shield last year and I have got used to it sitting on top of my cabinet so hopefully we can retain it.“These are sure to be two competitive fixtures as they always are between the Comets and the Diamonds. Hopefully the weather will be kinder to us this weekend and we can get an encouraging crowd on Saturday evening and a good travelling support on Sunday.”(FIXTURES)

SATURDAY APRIL 4:ELITE LEAGUE: Leicester v Coventry 7.30LEAGUE CUP: Berwick v Glasgow 7pm, Plymouth v Somerset 7.15NATIONAL TROPHY: Rye House v Mildenhall 7pmIAN THOMAS SHIELD 1st leg: Workington v Newcastle 7pm

SUNDAY APRIL 5: BRITISH UNDER-21 SEMI-FINAL: Mildenhall 3.30LEAGUE CUP: Glasgow v Berwick 3pmIAN THOMAS SHIELD 2nd leg: Newcastle v Workington 6.30

MONDAY APRIL 6:ELITE LEAGUE: Swindon v Poole 4.30LEAGUE CUP: Peterborough v Ipswich 7.30, Rye House v Peterborough 2pm, Scunthorpe v Sheffield 3pmNATIONAL TROPHY: Kent v Eastbourne 3pmNATIONAL LEAGUE KO CUP 1st round 1st leg: Rye House v Stoke (follows LC fixture)CHALLENGE: Scunthorpe Stags v Buxton (follows LC match)

TUESDAY APRIL 7:ELITE LEAGUE: Wolverhampton v Belle Vue 7.30


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