RYE House have confirmed Stuart Robson faces a period on the sidelines due to the triple fracture of a finger.
Robson crashed at Redcar on Thursday whilst racing for his Championship club Newcastle, and Rockets asset Nikolaj B Jakobsen will step in for their matches this week.
Manager Peter Schroeck said: “It’s the middle finger of his left hand. I gather it was a freak accident, and Robbo caught it in a back wheel.
“He’s seeing a specialist and may well need an operation, so we are quite possibly talking ‘weeks’ rather than ‘days’ in terms of his time out.
“We’ve got Nikolaj booked in for Monday and Wednesday already. He was originally in our team plans anyway, plus he’s a club asset, so we will be looking to use him as much as we can while Robbo is away.”
NICO Covatti is set to miss Ipswich’s upcoming meetings after crashing out at Foxhall on Saturday.
Covatti fell in Heat 13 of the Witches’ home defeat to Lakeside and boss Ritchie Hawkins expects him to sit out the trip to Peterborough on Tuesday and their Championship opener against Newcastle on Thursday.
Hawkins said: “Our thoughts are with Nico at the moment as it looks like he will be on the sidelines for a few weeks.
“He has hurt his ribs and there is probably a break there, and it will need some recuperation. It is not what he deserves or needs and he is not catching the breaks at the moment.”
LAKESIDE booked their place in the Championship Shield semi-finals with a narrow 45-44 win at Ipswich on Saturday.
The Hammers never trailed on the night and established a six-point lead with a 5-1 from Nick Morris and Ben Morley in Heat 11 only to be pegged back by a Witches’ tactical substitute as Rory Schlein and Danny King took a maximum in the next.
But the visitors edged three-up with a 3-2 in Heat 13 with both Morris and Nico Covatti disqualified – and the extra point proved crucial as after a shared Heat 14, Morris was able to split King and Schlein in the decider to keep the Hammers ahead.
Richard Lawson top-scored for the visitors with 11, whilst King piled up 15+1 for the hosts and Schlein added 10+1.
Lakeside boss Will Pottinger said: “Nick showed great character to dust himself down after falling when leading Heat 13 to split the Ipswich riders and seal the win in the last race.
“It was a great first lap in Heat 15 to get to second place, and we’re delighted to win against a strong Ipswich side.
“We’re happy to be into the next round of the Shield. We never wanted to rely on the results of other teams, so we’re pleased we’ve got another victory and done what we needed to do.”
Ipswich boss Ritchie Hawkins said: “We were beaten by the better team and it wasn’t a good enough performance to win a meeting.
“We were lucky to use the tactical substitute, and to use that at home is embarrassing. This competition is a write-off now and we need to put on a very good performance at Peterborough on Tuesday and enjoy riding our bikes.”
TEENAGER Leon Flint scored a paid maximum in his first-ever official meeting as Birmingham romped to a 57-33 National Trophy win at Stoke.
15-year-old Flint scored 13+2 at Loomer Road and was one of three unbeaten Brummies riders, with skipper Mitchell Davey going through the card with 15 on his return to his club of last season.
Meanwhile No.1 Tom Bacon also scored 13+2 as the Brummies ended the meeting with five successive 5-1s. Max Clegg and Tony Atkin both scored eight for the Potters.
Birmingham boss Laurence Rogers said: “Every single one of them from 1-7 can be proud of themselves tonight because they can all take some positives away with them.
"We've had three unbeaten riders which is a marvellous achievement, particularly for Leon who probably scored more points than his dad Gary did in his entire Stoke career!
"It really was a great team performance though and I'm glad we did something like that for the supporters.”
Atkin said: “I think we showed that we're lacking match practice and I think we were unfortunate that our first home meeting of the season was against Birmingham.
“They'll probably be our hardest fixture of the season with the team they've got and they have got a pretty good record here at Stoke.
“But that's no excuse really; it was a local derby and we still should have performed better than we did.”
Meanwhile Eastbourne took control of their KO Cup clash with the Isle of Wight thanks to a 60-30 win over the Warriors at Arlington.
It was a meeting of two halves as the Eagles only led by four points after Heat 7, but they then recorded six 5-1s in the second half of the meeting.
Tom Brennan scored 13+1 from five rides whilst guest Danny Ayres collected four wins in his 12-point haul. Ben Hopwood and guest Josh Bailey both scored nine for the visitors.
Eastbourne boss Connor Dugard said: “I am not counting my chickens yet, but I think it is enough.
“I am really happy for Charlie Brooks getting his first win. He was on the pace all night and was there or thereabouts. Once he got out of the gate he was quick, and Charley Powell was there to look after him.”
NEWCASTLE gained confidence following recent heavy away defeats by winning 49-41 at Berwick in the Tyne/Tweed Trophy.
The Diamonds dominated the first leg tie and led by a massive 20-points after Heat 10 before a Bandits comeback salvaged some respectability.
Reserve Ashley Morris led the way for the visitors with 12+2, whilst Matthew Wethers impressed on his old home track with 11+1. Aaron Summers scored ten for the Bandits.
Newcastle boss George English said: “I think we shocked a lot of people. We really showed what was possible tonight with positivity and determination.
“Berwick are not a bad side at all - just look at their win over Glasgow which was no easy task, so we get great confidence from this win. Credit to all the lads, who all wish this had been a League meeting.”
Berwick manager Scott Courtney said: “Newcastle deserved the win, they were the better team tonight and rode better than we did.
“We were not as good as we were last week against Glasgow even though we fought to the end which showed massive character from our guys.”
GLASGOW are looking to enhance their Championship Shield position in today’s (Sunday) derby clash with Edinburgh at Ashfield.
The Tigers won at the home of their rivals on Friday to make it eight points from three matches in the Border group, and are now looking for a quick-fire double.
And No.1 Richie Worrall, who top-scored at Armadale, has underlined the importance of every clash between the clubs.
Worrall said: “It's a derby as well, it's Edinburgh, I don't think it matters what shield it is - they need beating.
“On Sunday we want to win, but I think there are things to work on. My form round Glasgow - I want it to be better. I want to work on my form.”
The Monarchs operate rider-replacement for Joel Andersson who is racing in Poland, and captain Erik Riss said: “A loss at home is a punch in the face but we are going to use it as motivation for Sunday.”
Meanwhile in the Northern group, Newcastle host Redcar in a local derby at Brough Park.
Both sides have one win at home so far and are chasing Scunthorpe, who picked up a point at Newcastle last week and therefore lead Sheffield in the group by one point.
BUXTON face a 26-point deficit when they launch their home season at Hi-Edge today (Sunday) against Belle Vue in the KO Cup.
The Colts roared to a 58-32 win in Manchester on Friday but the Hitmen are not writing off their prospects at this stage.
Manager Josh Moss said: “It’s only half-time in the tie and there are still fifteen important races to complete, and if we can get a couple of early heat advantages then we can hopefully build on that.
“Yes, I accept it is going to be a very difficult task but we will be doing everything we can to try and pull the points back.”
Colts boss Graham Goodwin said: “We can’t rule out the possibility of Buxton turning things around. They’ve got the incentive because it’s their first home match of the season and they’ll want to make it a successful one.
“Having Jack (Smith) back with us is major plus to our chances of keeping things in our favour. We’ve built up a solid advantage and at full strength we have everything we need to finish the job on Sunday.”
JON Armstrong celebrates over 25 years in the sport with his Testimonial meeting at Mildenhall today (Sunday, 2pm).
Armstrong started his career at Belle Vue back in 1992 and has gone on to give distinguished service to several clubs, including three spells with the Fen Tigers.
The field includes Championship stars Rory Schlein and Kevin Doolan as well as numerous past and present Mildenhall riders, with Stefan Nielsen, Danny Halsey and Connor Mountain all competing.
Armstrong said: “It is incredible to think that this special day for my family and myself is nearly upon us.
“There are so many people I wish to thank - but most of all I must thank my family for putting up with all the ups and downs a speedway suffers over a career and giving me unconditional support.
“When I look back over the years I feel very lucky to have been part of such a wonderful sport, and have no intention of retiring just yet, I am enjoying a new lease of life this season.”
SUNDAY APRIL 22:
CHAMPIONSHIP SHIELD: Newcastle v Redcar 6.30, Glasgow v Edinburgh 3pm
NATIONAL LEAGUE KO CUP 1st round 2nd leg: Buxton v Belle Vue 3pm
JON ARMSTRONG TESTIMONIAL: Mildenhall 2pm
MONDAY APRIL 23:
PREMIERSHIP: Belle Vue v Rye House 7.30, Leicester v Swindon 7.30, Wolverhampton v Poole 7.30
TUESDAY APRIL 24:
CHAMPIONSHIP SHIELD: Peterborough v Ipswich 8pm
Results Saturday April 21, 2018
Ipswich 44 – Danny King 15+1
Lakeside 45 – Richard Lawson 11
Championship Shield points: Ipswich 0 Lakeside 3
NATIONAL LEAGUE KO CUP 1st round 1st leg
Eastbourne 60 – Tom Brennan 13+1
Isle of Wight 30 – Josh Bailey 9/Ben Hopwood 9
Stoke 33 – Max Clegg 8/Tony Atkin 8
Birmingham 57 – Mitchell Davey 15
National Trophy points: Stoke 0 Birmingham 4
TYNE/TWEED TROPHY 1st leg
Berwick 41 – Aaron Summers 10
Newcastle 49 – Ashley Morris 12+2