(SPEEDWAY 1 – SATURDAY REVIEW)
COVENTRY are the early Elite League leaders after a 51-42 win at Leicester on Easter Saturday.The Bees had gone down by 36-points at the same venue in the East Midlands Bowl just three weeks ago but with their full team on track, they turned the tables on the Lions with an impressive all-round display for the first away win of the top-flight campaign.Recent signing Joonas Kylmakorpi top-scored with 12 and combined with Hans Andersen (10+3) for a last-heat 5-1 which ensured the visitors took all four points from the meeting.Coventry promoter Mick Horton said: “I knew it would be a completely different meeting to the first challenge match here. When it really matters, when the points are on the table, we are something else.“Every single one of that Coventry team was magnificent, including Cameron (Heeps) who was a fantastic guest, and you look from one-to-seven and there are points everywhere. I’m so proud of them, and I’m sure all the fans are proud of them too.”In the League Cup, Berwick raced into a 12-point lead over Glasgow but were overturned in the second half of the meeting with the Tigers running out 49-44 winners.Former Bandit Kozza Smith won a tactical ride to bring the visitors back into contention, and the victory was secured by a last-heat 5-1 from Nick Morris and Richard Lawson.Berwick boss John Anderson said: “I thought early on we had this in the bag as we seemed to have the measure of Glasgow without too much trouble, but we suffered a second half collapse including falls and engine trouble, coupled with an ever-slickening track which thoroughly scuppered us.”In the Southern group, Somerset collected a point from their trip to Plymouth but were left rueing two crucial mechanical problems.Paul Starke shed a chain in Heat 8 after Charles Wright had already been disqualified, handing the Devils a 5-0, whilst Brady Kurtz blew an engine just after the start of Heat 12, and home No.1 Ryan Fisher won Heat 15 to secure a 46-43 victory for his side.Rebels boss Garry May said: “Of course we are happy with taking a point, but for those two mechanical misfortunes it may have been a whole lot more.“With this being Plymouth’s first home meeting of the season, it is difficult to gauge if this result by us is a good one or not until other teams have raced here, but a point is better than nothing and allows us to keep the pressure on Rye House at the top of our particular group.”Workington built up a 16-point advantage to take to Newcastle on Sunday for the second leg of the Ian Thomas Shield with a 53-37 win at Derwent Park.Kenneth Hansen (11+2) headed up a strong showing from the Comets with five other riders scoring at least eight points, whilst Lewis Kerr collected 11 for the Diamonds.Workington manager Tony Jackson said: “It was a really solid team performance to kick off our home campaign. With six riders scoring eight points or more and each of them registering at least one race win we were competitive throughout. “To end the night with a 16-point advantage to take to Newcastle gives us a great chance of retaining the Ian Thomas Shield and, but for a fall for Kyle Howarth and then Rene Bach shedding a chain at the start in one race, that lead could have been more than 16 points!”In the National Trophy, Mildenhall suffered the loss of Liam Rumsey with concussion in a disastrous Heat 1 which saw them concede a 5-0 at Rye House, with the Raiders emerging 51-40 winners.Fen Tigers boss Robert Henry said: “Tonight certainly blew away some cobwebs and it was good for the lads to get a meeting under their belts. The track was a little tricky but it was the same for both sides and the Raiders adapted better than we did. “That said, there was plenty of promise shown and pointers to the future, I thought our two new reserves Tom (Bacon) and Luke (Ruddick) really got stuck in and made pleasing debuts, whilst Connor Mountain continues to improve with every meeting and is a most composed young racer.”
(SPEEDWAY – SUNDAY PREVIEW)
MILDENHALL host the British Under-21 semi-final at West Row on Sunday afternoon – with nine places up for grabs in the Final.Competitors are chasing a place at Coventry on April 14 with Jack Kingston, Connor Coles and Connor Mountain all representing the home club.Mildenhall promoter Kevin Jolly said: “It is an honour to have been asked to hold the British U21 semi-final, and it didn’t take me long to accept when Neil Vatcher contacted me. “Mildenhall Speedway is wholeheartedly behind the development of young British riders and Sunday’s meeting will be a fine spectacle I am sure, especially with the ‘Blast from the Past’ guys there to entertain the crowd as well.”Glasgow stage their first League Cup fixture of the season with the return clash against Berwick, with the Tigers having won 49-44 at Shielfield Park on Saturday.And Newcastle will need to overturn a 16-point deficit against Workington in the first meeting of the season at Brough Park if they are to lift the Ian Thomas Shield.The Comets won Saturday’s first leg 53-37, and the Diamonds now go into home-track action for the first time after last Sunday’s clash with Berwick was postponed.
JOSH Bates has vowed to ride through the pain barrier in Wolverhampton's Tuesday night clash with Belle Vue at Monmore. The British Under-21 Champion suffered a shoulder knock when riding for Premier League club Sheffield on Thursday night and immediately withdrew from Friday’s scheduled meeting for Wolves at Belle Vue which was washed out.But he said: “I'm desperate to ride on Tuesday, I'm proud to be with a great club like Wolverhampton and I want to do well for them. “I don't think it's anything serious and I will be there on Tuesday to hopefully score some points against Belle Vue.”(FIXTURES)
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