SATURDAY MARCH 31
TYNE/TWEED TROPHY 1st leg
Berwick v Newcastle - OFF
BELLE Vue launched their National League defence with a 50-40 win over Coventry in Manchester on Good Friday.
The Colts were given a tough test as they trailed after Heat 9 and only took the lead for the first time in Heat 12 – but a strong finish from the home side left the Bees without a league point.
Captain Jack Smith scored 14 for the home side, dropping his only point to Danny Phillips, whilst Kyle Bickley added 11+1. Phillips was unbeaten from his first four rides for the visitors, also scoring 11+1.
Smith said: “It was a tough meeting but we really didn’t expect anything less to be honest. Coventry are a good side with some experienced guys and they made us work hard.
“But overall I was very happy with our performance. The first meeting is always a tough one. Everyone’s still rusty but it’s a great start for us and showed our potential to make the play-offs.”
Phillips said: “We came with a set-up that we knew worked, and we watched the track as the meeting went on.
“We didn’t change anything for Heat 13 and then we did for Heat 15, but I had gate four twice and ideally around here you want gate four early on, because it gets really hard and slick with everyone riding across it, and there was just nothing there.
“But it’s still early days, and we all seem to be gelling together as one, which is a good sign for the future.”
WORKINGTON get their 2018 campaign underway tonight (Saturday) with a strong line-up assembled for the Cumberland Open Championship.
There are two changes with former Comet Claus Vissing and Edinburgh newcomer Max Ruml coming in to replace Josh Grajczonek (required in Poland) and Jordan Stewart (awaiting clearance to ride).
All seven Workington riders for this season will be racing, along with seven-times British Champion Scott Nicholls, and several ex-Comets stars including Kyle Howarth, Ricky Wells and Ulrich Ostergaard.
Club owner Laura Morgan said: “As the opening night gets ever-closer I am getting more and more excited by the mouth-watering line-up that will be on show.
“Every time I try to pick a winner I find another rider that I can make a good case for winning the meeting and change my mind!
“In the end I have decided that the best thing is simply to wait until Saturday and see what happens where it counts - out on the track – and I would urge as many fans as possible, from all clubs, to come along and do the same!”
BERWICK host Newcastle in the first leg of the Tyne/Tweed Trophy at Shielfield Park on Saturday.
The Diamonds are the reigning holders after securing a 45-45 draw in the opener last season prior to a comfortable win on home shale in the return.
The Bandits hand debuts to new No.1 Aaron Summers and Swedish newcomer John Lindman, whilst the Diamonds have made four changes from the end of last season and are led by Ludvig Lindgren.
SATURDAY MARCH 31:
TYNE/TWEED TROPHY 1st leg: Berwick v Newcastle 7pm OFF
EASTER CHASE 1st leg: Eastbourne v Kent OFF
CUMBERLAND OPEN: Workington 7pn
SUNDAY APRIL 1:
CHAMPIONSHIP: Scunthorpe v Edinburgh 3pm
CHAMPIONSHIP SHIELD: Peterborough v Ipswich 7pm
TYNE/TWEED TROPHY 2nd leg: Newcastle v Berwick 6.30
BRITISH YOUTH CHAMPIONSHIP (125cc) Round 1: Scunthorpe (follows Champ fixture)
MONDAY APRIL 2:
PREMIERSHIP KO CUP Q/F: (1st leg) Belle Vue v Wolverhampton 12pm, Leicester v King’s Lynn 7.30, Rye House v Swindon 12pm; (2nd leg) Swindon v Rye House 7.30, Wolverhampton v Belle Vue 8pm
EASTER CUP 1st leg: Kent v Birmingham 3.30
FEN FOURS: Mildenhall 3pm
Results Friday March 30, 2018
TRAVEL PLUS NATIONAL LEAGUE
Belle Vue 50 (Jack Smith 14)
Coventry 40 (Danny Phillips 11+1)
National League points: Belle Vue 3 Coventry 0