SPEEDWAY News and Fixtures

(SPEEDWAY 1 – SUNDAY REVIEW)

MAX Clegg and Ben Morley topped the list of qualifiers for the British Under-21 Final after both scored 14 points in Sunday’s semi-final at Mildenhall.Clegg was declared the meeting winner having beaten Morley when they met in Heat 13, with James Shanes third on the day with 12 points.The remaining qualifiers for the Final were Marc Owen, Connor Coles, Ryan Terry-Daley, Tom Stokes, Danny Phillips and Josh Bailey – who edged out Connor Mountain after both riders finished on six points with near-identical records except that Mountain failed to finish two races compared to Bailey’s one.The nine qualifiers join the seven seeds in the Final at Coventry on Tuesday April 14.In the League Cup, Glasgow made it a weekend double over Berwick, but a battling show from the Bandits also saw them leave Ashfield with a point.The Tigers won 47-43 with Nick Morris top-scoring on 11 points, whilst Berwick kept the pressure on thanks to a fine display from Claus Vissing, who picked up 12.Glasgow boss Stewart Dickson said: “Richard Lawson said the track was perfect after heat one, and then it started to dry out and became a bit slicker - which I think suited the away side more than us. “But if I'd been offered six points before Saturday, Berwick home and away, I would've grabbed it with both hands. It's a great start to the League Cup campaign.”Berwick manager John Anderson said: “We generally showed up well today and Claus was exceptional, but again we're concerned about an injury, this time to Thomas Jorgensen, after three of four re-runs of heat 15. But at the moment we're not sure on just how bad or not it is.”There was a dramatic finish to the Ian Thomas Shield at Newcastle, with a 53-37 home win for the Diamonds replicating the first leg score and leading to a 90-90 aggregate tie.Newcastle’s top three riders had all been unbeaten prior to Heat 15, but although Lewis Kerr completed a 15-point maximum, the Diamonds’ other selection – Ludvig Lindgren – failed to finish the race with mechanical trouble.And then Workington’s top scorer Ricky Wells beat Kerr to the first bend of the run-off and completed victory to retain the Shield for the Comets.Newcastle boss George English said: “It's a massive boost for us to get a result like that on our home track and to show our fans what a good team we have. It was obviously very frustrating not to win the Shield because I think it all came down to the toss of a coin because Lewis desperately wanted to go off the inside.“People felt that we couldn't win heats and we have proved them wrong here tonight. The result has given the whole team a boost ahead of Redcar on Thursday.”Workington manager Tony Jackson said: “Having taken a 16-point lead to Newcastle we saw it gradually reduced heat by heat and with two races to go it looked as if the shield was slipping away from us. However, a maximum heat advantage from Rusty Harrison and Nicki Barrett in heat 14 kept us in it and after sharing the final heat we were faced with a run-off to retain the shield, which Ricky Wells won from the gate.“I know it’s a cliché but speedway was the winner over the two matches with the Diamonds this weekend – great entertainment to the very last race, and retaining the shield was a nice lift ahead of our official fixtures, which get underway next weekend.”

(SPEEDWAY 2 – BANK HOLIDAY MONDAY PREVIEW)

SWINDON and Poole make a third attempt to launch their Elite League programme on Easter Monday – with a good weather forecast throughout the country for a packed day of racing.The Robins and the Pirates were thwarted at both Wimborne Road and then the Abbey Stadium on Good Friday, but were able to quickly re-arrange their clash in Wiltshire with a 4.30pm start.And both teams are also set to be at full strength with no doubling-up clashes unlike in the initial staging.Swindon boss Alun Rossiter said: “We are really pleased to be able to stage this meeting today, with a good weather forecast for a Bank Holiday which is fantastic.“I personally feel it could be one of the meetings of the season at the Abbey and I'd urge everyone to come down and get behind the boys.”The busiest team on Monday are set to be Peterborough, who race two League Cup meetings in one day, starting at Rye House at 2pm before returning to the Showground for the re-arrangement of their home match against Ipswich (7.30pm).The Rockets are the early pace-setters in the group and will be looking to maintain their excellent start to the campaign – although they will do it without Kasper Lykke, who is nursing a knee injury, with Nico Covatti booked to guest.Rye boss John Sampford said: “You only have to look at the Panthers’ line-up to realise that it is still a strong one and that it will come good during the season. They will also be smarting after last Friday’s result, so there’s definitely no room for any complacency on our part just because we have already won there. “We still have to earn every race win and every point. Having said that, the mood in the camp is absolutely fantastic, and the team has already gelled together really well after just three matches together. It’s up to us to maintain the buzz with the right result on Monday.”Peterborough chief Ged Rathbone said: “We thank Ipswich for their co-operation in re-arranging our home meeting so quickly. I'm sure a derby meeting on Easter Monday will appeal to both sets of supporters and I'm confident it will be a good occasion.“It certainly makes for a busy and exciting day as we also go to Rye House in the afternoon. They are two very important meetings and hopefully it will be the day in which we get our first wins of 2015 on the board.”Scunthorpe open their home season with a League Cup clash against local rivals Sheffield, and also celebrate the fact that the Eddie Wright Raceway is now over 10 years old, having staged its first meeting on March 27, 2005.Promoter Rob Godfrey said: “The one thing I can guarantee is that we’ll always look to entertain the fans. At the end of the day, we are in the entertainment business.“I can’t promise we’ll win the league but I can promise everyone another great season of the best racing. Once again, we’ve got a team of seven riders who are all racers.”Sheffield, who have started the season well, expect to be at full strength with Josh Bates ready to race despite suffering a shoulder injury in a crash last week as they chase a double over the Scorpions.He said: “I had a pretty big crash which is a bit of a setback, but I’m relieved not to suffer any bad injuries.“I felt really bad after the crash and didn’t feel I could ride, but I woke up feeling much better. It was a bit sore but nothing more which is a relief.”Two of Monday’s meetings are double-headers with Stoke visiting Rye House in the first leg of the National League Knockout Cup.It will be the Potters’ first match of the season, and team member Chris Widman said: “We will need to be at our very best if we are to keep it close at Hoddesdon. It’s not the easiest track to get around unless you know it and the home riders do have an advantage around there. “I’ve practised there regularly over the close-season and like the track, and Jon (Armstrong) goes well around the place also, but we need everyone to do a job as every point will count and hopefully we can finish the job off at Loomer Road later this month.”In the National Trophy, Kent host Eastbourne in the return fixture from Good Friday’s clash at Arlington, with the Eagles again calling upon Dan Greenwood to guest for the unwell David Mason, although Bradley Wilson-Dean has recovered from a bout of sickness.Eastbourne director Connor Dugard said: “David is unfit to ride. He has not been able to move from his bed for five days now. Dan did a great job for us at home and I had no hesitation in asking him to ride on Monday.“David is hugely disappointed. He has missed the first match at Eastbourne and now cannot go back to the track he rode for in 2013 and 2014.”The second double-header is at Scunthorpe, who are not full-time National League members this season but are still staging occasional Stags fixtures, as they go up against Buxton.Hitmen boss Jason Pipe said: “Starting our league fixtures at the end of April this season, I thought it would give the lads a chance to blow away the cobwebs and give them some proper race practice so as not to go into our league fixtures cold. “I jumped at the chance to take a Buxton side to Scunthorpe when Richard (Hollingsworth) told me of his plans to run National League Challenges on Bank Holidays in April and May. I would personally like to thank Richard and Gail & Rob Godfrey for allowing us to have this meeting so early in the season.”(FIXTURES)

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

WEDNESDAY APRIL 8:ELITE LEAGUE: Poole v Lakeside 7.30, King’s Lynn v Belle Vue 7.30CITY GEARBOXES NATIONAL LEAGUE: Cradley v Coventry 7.30

THURSDAY APRIL 9:ELITE LEAGUE: Swindon v Lakeside 7.30PREMIER LEAGUE: Sheffield v Plymouth 7.30LEAGUE CUP: Ipswich v Somerset 7.30, Redcar v Newcastle 7.30FRIDAY APRIL 10:ELITE LEAGUE: Coventry v Poole 7.30, Lakeside v Swindon 8pmLEAGUE CUP: Edinburgh v Workington 7.30, Plymouth v Peterborough 7.15, Somerset v Rye House 7.30


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