British Speedway Weekly Bulletin

BIG EVENT LATEST…

COMPETITORS in this month’s British Under-21 Final will also be striving to win the Lee Richardson Memorial Shield.The showpiece event takes place on Tuesday April 14 at Coventry with a national title at stake as well as places in the World Under-21 qualifying series.And the British Speedway Promoters’ Association has commissioned a special shield in memory of the former World Under-21 Champion and regular Great Britain international, who lost his life in a track crash in 2012.The winner of the meeting will keep the shield for 12 months and will also receive a replica keepsake.Wolverhampton and Sheffield youngster Josh Bates defends the title he won in the Cradley-staged event at Monmore Green last season.The seven seeded riders have now been joined by nine qualifiers from the semi-final at Mildenhall on Easter Sunday, with that meeting won by Max Clegg, just ahead of Ben Morley after both riders finished on 14 points.The top three riders in the Final itself will advance to the World Under-21 semi-finals, with meetings being held on May 29-30 in Italy, Slovakia and the Czech Republic.And the top finishers will also be in pole position for selection for the Great Britain team in the World Under-21 Team Cup, with the semi-final in Germany on August 22.GB Youth chief Neil Vatcher said: “It has been proven in the past that the 16 riders lined up in this meeting will have a big say in the future of British Speedway.“With so much onus being on British Youth riders these days with the introduction in 2014 of the Fast Track System, now known as Elite Draft riders, you can almost be guaranteed that you will be seeing the majority of these riders riding for an Elite team in the not too distant future.“Even before the event, there is already an impressive array of British Titles at Junior level, with no less than nine British Titles spread across the seven seeds and also semi-final qualifier Nathan Greaves.“If you had to select a winner, that would not be an easy pick, as anyone on their day could make it through to the Semi or Final at the end of the evening - then it is anyone's guess!”DRAW: 1 Robert Lambert (King’s Lynn/Peterborough), 2 Danny Phillips (Stoke), 3 James Shanes (Kent), 4 Oliver Greenwood (Peterborough), 5 Kyle Howarth (Swindon/Workington), 6 Marc Owen (Eastbourne), 7 Ashley Morris (King’s Lynn/Plymouth) 8 Josh Bailey (King’s Lynn Young Stars), 9 Max Clegg (Edinburgh/Cradley), 10 Josh Bates (Wolverhampton/Sheffield), 11 Ryan Terry-Daley (Stoke), 12 Stefan Nielsen (Belle Vue/Ipswich), 13 Adam Ellis (Lakeside/Birmingham), 14 Ben Morley (Redcar/Kent), 15 Connor Coles (Mildenhall), 16 Tom Stokes (King’s Lynn Young Stars). Reserves: 17 Connor Mountain (Mildenhall), 18 Danno Verge (Kent).

BRITISH SPEEDWAY MAJOR EVENTS 2015:ELITE LEAGUE RIDERS’ CHAMPIONSHIP: JASON DOYLEBRITISH UNDER-21 FINAL: Coventry, Tuesday April 14BRITISH FINAL: Wolverhampton, Monday June 15PREMIER LEAGUE PAIRS: Somerset, Friday July 3PREMIER LEAGUE FOURS: Peterborough, Sunday August 2PREMIER LEAGUE RIDERS’ CHAMPIONSHIP: Sheffield, Sunday September 6

BRITISH UNDER-21 SEMI-FINAL: Mildenhall, Sunday April 5BRITISH SEMI-FINALS: Sheffield, Thursday May 7; King’s Lynn, Wednesday May 20

NATIONAL LEAGUE FOURS: Coventry, Sunday June 14NATIONAL LEAGUE PAIRS: King’s Lynn, Saturday September 5NATIONAL LEAGUE RIDERS’ CHAMPIONSHIP: Rye House, Saturday September 26

ELITE LEAGUE LATEST…

BELLE VUE skipper Scott Nicholls believes a busy April of racing will give the Aces the ideal opportunity to get their season into gear.Nicholls said: “Having such a busy April, to me, is a good thing because it’s nice to get stuck in as soon as possible and by the time our first away match comes around everybody will have had a few laps.“People have been commenting on how we’re going to be meeting the toughest teams very early on but I think that’s the best time to meet them because everybody’s still getting into the groove.”COVENTRY promoter Mick Horton hailed his team after their 51-42 away win at Leicester on Saturday – which came just three weeks after a weakened Bees side went down to a heavy defeat at the same venue in the East Midlands Bowl.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 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.”KING’S LYNN stand-in boss Dale Allitt is targeting a rapid response back at the Norfolk Arena after the Stars finished point-less from their trip to Lakeside on Good Friday.Allitt said: “I have enjoyed my time in charge of the senior team and I would like nothing more than to add more points to our league total.“We were disappointed with the result at Lakeside, but we need to put that behind us and concentrate on Wednesday night (against Belle Vue). If the team ride to their ability then I believe that we have the strength to winLAKESIDE co-promoter Jon Cook was delighted to see his side hit back from a heavy defeat at King’s Lynn last week to take a 51-39 victory over the Stars at home, headlined by a paid maximum from Richard Lawson.Cook told lakesidehammers.co: “I gave Rich the nickname ‘Awesome Lawson’ but today he was even better than that.“The team made amends for Tuesday and the unbelievable team riding of AJ (Andreas Jonsson), twice, were like a throwback to the days of old school racing. Once Mikkel (Bech) and Adam (Ellis) find their consistency we will be a team to fear.”LEICESTER promoter David Hemsley is keen to provide more in-meeting information to his riders during Elite League fixtures this season.Hemsley told the Leicester Mercury: “I have decided we need to spend more time in the pits area working between the management and the riders to ensure that during the meetings the team receive the most up-to-the-minute information about how the track is changing and where the best lines are appearing.“Sharing of knowledge and experiences with one another adds confidence and leads to riders racing at their optimum level. The team then benefits as a whole.”POOLE promoter Matt Ford saw his side launch their Elite League title defence with a convincing win at Swindon – but he admitted he had sympathy for the Robins, who suffered an injury nightmare.Ford said: “We have experienced three injuries ourselves this season, but not all in one evening. “They seemed to have no luck at all with two freak crashes and one pure racing incident and when you win meetings under those circumstances it does take the shine off it somewhat. But again I was pleased to see our new boys get into the points."SWINDON suffered a disastrous Easter Monday as three riders crashed out of their home defeat to reigning champions Poole.Troy Batchelor and Lewis Rose have been released from hospital but Adrian Miedzinski is set for surgery on a hand injury.Manager Alun Rossiter said: “Adrian is in a lot of pain and it is a horrific injury, we wish him all the very best. I was in a state of shock when I came away from the hospital at midnight, I couldn’t quite believe what happened.“It was such a shame because it was a cracking day of racing with both ourselves and Poole fully committed, giving it everything.”WOLVERHAMPTON boss Peter Adams is hoping strength in depth at reserve plays a major part in his side’s results this season with Lewis Blackbird and Josh Bates both having had past success at Monmore Green.Adams said: “We were happy with the result of this year’s draft, and I don’t think we have too many concerns over either of our reserves to be honest.“Lewis and Josh look capable of forming a strong partnership for us. We saw last year how important the reserves can be in this format, so hopefully they can perform well and have a big part to play for us this season.”

PREMIER LEAGUE LATEST…

BERWICK team manager John Anderson praised his side after picking up a consolation League Cup point away at rivals Glasgow.After suffering a “disappointing” 49-44 home defeat the previous day, the Bandits bounced back to pull off a shock result in the return fixture to get their first points on the board.Said Anderson: “We generally showed up well and Claus (Vissing) was exceptional but again we’re concerned about an injury, this time to Thomas Jorgensen, but at the moment we’re not sure on just how bad or not it is.”EDINBURGH’s Sam Masters has set an early target for his fellow team mates – by predicting they will win the league again in 2015.The Monarchs won their first silverware of the season on Saturday after a 81-78 aggregate victory over fierce rivals Glasgow to win the Spring Trophy.Now Masters is challenging his fellow Armadale riders to add plenty more trophies to the club cabinet over the course of the season.“Myself, Cookie (Craig Cook) and Sedgy (Justin Sedgmen) are all back and it’s just a case of trying to pull the other boys along too,” he told the Edinburgh Evening News.“Hopefully we are all capable of adding something to our averages and that’s the key to winning the league.”GLASGOW team boss Stewart Dickson says he was pleased his side got their League Cup campaign off to the perfect start with home and away victories over Berwick.The Tigers fought hard to earn a 49-44 away win on Saturday before battling their way to a 47-43 win over the Bandits the following day.Said Dickson: “Everyone had one or two problems, we threw away some silly points, but the most important thing from my point of view is that we won the matches and that makes me very happy.“If I’d have been offered six points before Saturday, I would’ve grabbed it with both hands.”IPSWICH team manager Phil Hilton has praised his side’s efforts, despite slipping to a 56-37 away defeat at Peterborough in the League Cup on Monday.The Witches were on the receiving end of 5-1 maximum heat advantages in all three of the opening races and were never able to recover from their disappointing start.Said Hilton: “Obviously disappointed with the scoreline but I can’t fault any of our team for the effort they put in – they all battled hard.“The track conditions were very heavy and our boys struggled initially to adapt to this.“We must put this behind us and regroup straight away as the next meeting at Foxhall on Thursday against Somerset will require everyone to be fully focused!” NEWCASTLE boss George English says his side’s opening 53-37 home win over Workington on Sunday was the perfect confidence booster to take them into their first League Cup meeting.The Diamonds reversed the scoreline of the first leg of the Ian Thomas Shield to tie on aggregate – but missed out on the silverware in a race-off.English was disappointed not to win the Shield, but is in positive mood ahead of Newcastle’s trip to Redcar this Thursday.“People felt we couldn’t win heats and we have proved them wrong,” he said.“If anyone had told me that we were going to win by that margin before the meeting I would have been very pleased and to beat a side as good as Workington by sixteen points is a great result – it’s a massive boost for us.”PETERBOROUGH got their season back on track with two League Cup wins home and away on Bank Holiday Monday.The Panthers pulled off an impressive 47-43 away win at Rye House before dominating Ipswich to race to a 56-37 home victory on the same day.Boss Carl Johnson was quick to praise the character shown by his team. He said: “The losing start to the season hurt the guys and the way they have responded is extremely pleasing.“We have showed everyone what we are capable of doing and these two results are no surprise to me.”PLYMOUTH’s fixtures come thick and fast later this week when they take to the track four times in four days.The Devils get their Premier League campaign up and running away at Sheffield on Thursday, before two League Cup meetings against Peterborough and one against Rye House.Co-promoter Ashley Taylor is hoping his side can build on their hard fought 46-43 home win over Somerset last Friday but is expecting a tough few days against some strong oppositionHe said: “As far as I am concerned, there are no easy matches in the Premier League and we are in a strong League Cup group.“Despite their injury problems, Peterborough still look to have a useful side but we’re looking forward to it.”REDCAR boss Brian Havelock cursed his side’s bad luck after they went down to a battling 47-40 defeat away at Sheffield.The Bears pushed Sheffield all the way and were never more than nine points adrift during the meeting.Havelock says his team need to take the positives from their trip to Owlerton ahead of their meeting against Newcastle this Thursday.“I knew our middle order had to do something so we had a talk midway through the meeting and they responded well,” he told the Gazette.“Had we had a full team I think we could have won but it is a difficult place to go and get a result so I’m not displeased with that performance.”RYE HOUSE team manager John Sampford was left “shell-shocked” after his side fell to a 47-43 home defeat against Peterborough on Monday.The loss was the Rockets first defeat in their opening four meetings on a tough afternoon at Hoddesdon. Sampford says it’s important his side learn from their mistakes and look ahead to their upcoming fixtures.“One or two of our riders weren’t able to match their performances in our earlier matches, but we also know inside that we’ve still got a team with great potential,” he said.“We’ve just got to pull ourselves together and move forward from it.”SCUNTHORPE team manager Dave Peet is refusing to press the panic button despite his side losing their opening two meetings of the 2015 campaign.The Scorpions slipped to a 53-40 home defeat on Monday to rivals Sheffield in the League cup.But Peet is remaining positive and is quick to reiterate there is still “a very long way to go.”He said: “Sheffield gave us a bit of a spanking, but we are still looking very rusty – we’re not going to worry too much about things yet as it’s still very early days.“Josh (Auty) was just brilliant – he was on it from the word go.“It’s all progressing, just more slowly than we’d like.”SHEFFIELD continued their superb start to the 2105 season with a 53-40 away victory at rivals Scunthorpe on Monday.The Tigers put in a solid team performance to ensure their 100% record remained intact. The Owlerton outfit are looking good for a place in the League Cup Semi-Finals and boss Jack Lee was delighted with his side once again.He said: “The team spirit is great, everyone did their job and it is a superb win for the lads.“It’s a long season and there are some very good teams in the Premier League, but the early signs for us are very encouraging.”SOMERSET team manager Garry May says he is excited ahead of his side’s meeting against Rye House this Friday.The Rebels will be looking to build on the four League Cup points they picked up against Plymouth last weekend to boost their chances of a Semi-Final place.May expects the Rye House match-up to be pivotal to the club’s hopes of progression in the competition.He said: “It is vital that we do not allow them to take any points away from Friday as our qualification group is still wide open and any of the five teams still has a chance of making it through and any slip-up could prove costly.“It will be a tough encounter, and although I believe we have enough fire-power to see them off, it has all the makings of being a cracking match.”WORKINGTON team boss Tony Jackson is looking forward to the season ahead after a positive start from his side.The Comets retained the Ian Thomas Shield on Sunday after two thrilling encounters with Newcastle – winning the Shield in a run-off following a tied aggregate scoreline.Said Jackson: “The two matches against the Diamonds were what speedway is all about – thoroughly entertaining and hard-fought.“But now we must knuckle down to get our league campaign underway with what is a very tough start.“We have a couple of injury concerns for Kenneth Hansen, Nathan Greaves and Nicki Barrett, but hopefully they’ll be okay.”

CITY GEARBOXES NATIONAL LEAGUE LATEST…

BIRMINGHAM No.1 Adam Ellis was delighted to strike a last heat 5-1 to stun local rivals Cradley with a 46-44 victory in the second leg of the Travel Plus Tours Challenge on March 25.Ellis said: “Every single rider upped their game and we deserved that win.“We worked hard as a team and helped each other out and it's great to pull off a result like that. “Me and Tom (Perry) knew what we'd got to do in Heat 13 and we got the 5-1 and from there we could see we'd got them rattled.“We knew we could go out and do it again in the last race and it was an amazing feeling to pull off a 5-1 that meant we won the match.”BUXTON boss Jason Pipe was keen to look at plenty of positives despite his side suffering a 51-40 defeat against a Scunthorpe select side at the Eddie Wright Raceway on Monday.Pipe said: “It wasn’t the result we were looking for but it was a useful exercise in getting to know the boys and for them to blow away the cobwebs ahead of our league campaign. “The track was a bit tricky and quite heavily watered but it was invaluable experience as they need to ride all types of surface.”COVENTRY Storm boss Laurence Rogers backed the decision of Darryl Ritchings to pull out of Sunday's British Under 21 semi-final at Mildenhall before a wheel had been turned.Ritchings was due to make his long-awaited comeback after a year out with injury, but eventually decided against racing due to concerns over track conditions.Rogers, who accompanied Ritchings to West Row, said: “After a track walk and discussion with Darryl it was decided to pull him out of the meeting. “This would have been his first full meeting back from injury but we decided that the track conditions especially on bends 1+2 on the inside were not safe. Seeing several riders injured we believe our decision was the right one.”CRADLEY ace Nathan Greaves has vowed to do all he can to make sure he is fit to ride in the Heathens' National League opener against Coventry at Perry Barr on Wednesday (7.30).Greaves, who suffered a small fracture to his hand in a crash in the British Under 21 semi-final at the weekend, said: “It's only a tiny fracture and it's not really too painful to be honest, it's just the swelling which is causing me problems. “As soon as the swelling goes down if should be able to ride, and I'm doing everything I can to try and speed things up. “I'm still hoping I might be able to race on Wednesday, I'm desperate to be riding in the first National League meeting of the season so I'm doing everything I can.”EASTBOURNE chairman Martin Dugard was thrilled to see the Eagles usher in a new era in perfect fashion as they twice defeated Kent over the Easter weekend.Dugard said: “Our riders have been magnificent over the two matches this Easter. This is the start we wanted and the one we believed we could achieve.“Getting an away win at the first attempt is brilliant for us and that puts that issue to bed at the outset.”KENT boss Chris Hunt believes his team showed improvement as they were beaten 53-40 in their season-opener at Eastbourne on Good Friday.The Kings were also beaten in the return fixture at Central Park three days later, but Hunt was not disheartened by their Arlington showing.He said: “There was no question we improved as a team as the meeting went on."For the less experienced riders in the team such a tricky track in wet and slippy conditions was understandably a challenge but we showed some positive signs.”KING'S LYNN manager Dale Allitt is pleased to see the Young Stars fielding their most youthful side in quite some time as they prepare to kick-off their National League season.Allitt told the Speedway Star: “If it is not the youngest, then yes, it is pretty much one of the youngest King's Lynn sides we have ever had. “It is a particularly conscious thing where we are trying to find new riders. We, as are other teams, are trying to introduce new riders earlier than in previous season.“Experience doesn't make any difference. If you're good enough, you're old enough.”MILDENHALL team boss Robert Henry was pleased to see his side "blow away the cobwebs" and demonstrate some encouraging signs despite a 51-40 defeat in their season-opener at Rye House.Henry said: “It certainly blew away some cobwebs, and it was good for the lads to get a meeting under their belts. “There was plenty of promise shown and pointers for the future, I thought our 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.”RYE House chief Andrew Silver is hoping the Raiders' return to the National League will generate plenty of support in 2015.They have got off to an inconsistent start with a win over Mildenhall followed by a narrow home defeat to Stoke, but Silver hopes they will continue to draw in good crowds during an exciting season.He said: “It's been a busy winter but I've managed to put together a good-looking team bursting with potential. “There has been plenty of interest in what we are doing, which I'm delighted about, and I'm really excited about the season ahead.”STOKE team boss Malcolm Vasey was in jubilant mood after the Potters kicked-off their campaign with a 45-42 away win at Rye House.Vasey said: “The lads rode superbly and each and every one of them contributed points to our cause which means that we have a 3 point advantage going into the second leg at Loomer Road later this month. “I’m absolutely thrilled for the team and most of all the supporters who travelled a long way to support us today, they made plenty of noise throughout the meeting and at the end of the match all of the riders insisted that we went out onto the terraces too thank them and have some photos taken.”

FIXTURE PICTURE…

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

SATURDAY APRIL 11:ELITE LEAGUE: Leicester v Belle Vue 7.30LEAGUE CUP: Berwick v Edinburgh 7pm, Rye House v Plymouth 7pmRUSTY HARRISON TESTIMONIAL: Workington 7pm

SUNDAY APRIL 12:LEAGUE CUP: Glasgow v Workington 3pm, Peterborough v Plymouth 3pm, Newcastle v Sheffield 6.30NATIONAL LEAGUE KO CUP 1st round 1st leg: Mildenhall v King’s Lynn 3.30CHALLENGE: Buxton v Redcar Select 3pmCHAMPIONSHIP OF SUSSEX: Eastbourne 3.30

MONDAY APRIL 13:ELITE LEAGUE: Belle Vue v Leicester 7.30INVICTA PAIRS CHAMPIONSHIP: Kent 6.30

TUESDAY APRIL 14:BRITISH UNDER-21 FINAL: Coventry 7.30

WEDNESDAY APRIL 15:ELITE LEAGUE: Poole v Coventry 7.30CITY GEARBOXES NATIONAL LEAGUE: Birmingham v Rye House 7.30NATIONAL LEAGUE KO CUP 1st round 2nd leg: King’s Lynn v Mildenhall 7.30

THURSDAY APRIL 16:LEAGUE CUP: Ipswich v Plymouth 7.30, Redcar v Scunthorpe 7.30, Sheffield v Newcastle 7.30

FRIDAY APRIL 17:LEAGUE CUP: Edinburgh v Berwick 7.30, Plymouth v Rye House 7.15, Scunthorpe v Newcastle 7.30, Somerset v Ipswich 7.30

SATURDAY APRIL 18:PREMIER LEAGUE: Berwick v Scunthorpe 7pm, Rye House v Sheffield 7pmLEAGUE CUP: Workington v Glasgow 7pm

SUNDAY APRIL 19:LEAGUE CUP: Glasgow v Edinburgh 3pm, Newcastle v Scunthorpe 6.30CITY GEARBOXES NATIONAL LEAGUE: Eastbourne v King’s Lynn 3.30, Mildenhall v Kent 3.30NATIONAL LEAGUE KO CUP 1st round 2nd leg: Stoke v Rye House 7pmCHALLENGE: Coventry v Cradley/Birmingham Select 4pm

MONDAY APRIL 20:ELITE LEAGUE: Belle Vue v Coventry 7.30, Wolverhampton v Lakeside 7.30

WEDNESDAY APRIL 22:ELITE LEAGUE: King’s Lynn v Swindon 7.30CITY GEARBOXES NATIONAL LEAGUE: Cradley v Eastbourne 7.30


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