RYE House fought back from eight points down to get off the mark in the Premiership with a 48-42 win over Wolverhampton.
The Rockets made a slow start at Hoddesdon and trailed 11-19 but were inspired by club asset Nikolaj B Jakobsen, guesting for the injured Stuart Robson at reserve.
Jakobsen totalled 14+1 from seven rides, and with Krzysztof Kasprzak (12+1) also in-form the home side took the lead with a 5-1 in Heat 12.
They were still forced into a last-heat decider but Kasprzak and Scott Nicholls took a 5-1 over Jacob Thorssell (10) and Rory Schlein (10) as Wolves had to be content with one league point.
Jakobsen said: “After Monday (paid three at Belle Vue), I really didn’t know what my expectations were for tonight!
“I know this track; I like this track. But, again, I’ve been out for nine months and only just come back. But, yes, I’m quite satisfied.
“I wish Robbo well on his recovery, but every Premiership booking I can get in the meantime is important.”
Wolves star Kyle Howarth said: “We started well and thought we could win here, but they got better as the meeting went on.
"We're disappointed but we got a point so we keep going and thanks to the Wolves fans who travelled down."
BIRMINGHAM produced a strong second half showing to seal a 51-38 home win over Kent in the first leg of the belated Easter Cup on Wednesday.
The Kings scored a 5-1 in Heat 1 and led until the eleventh race – but after edging in front, the Brummies then reeled off three successive maximums to take control.
Reserve Leon Flint piled up 16 points from seven rides, taking extra outings after Arran Butcher was ruled out with an elbow injury, whilst Tom Bacon (10+2) and Mitchell Davey (10+1) added double figures.
Kings skipper Luke Bowen scored 11 despite a fall in Heat 13 and a tangle with team-mate Jack Thomas in Heat 15.
Brummies co-promoter David Mason said: “Before the meeting I thought it was going to go down to a last heat decider, and when Kent put us on the back foot a bit early on we knew we'd got a real challenge on our hands.
“But full credit to the boys; just like they did at Stoke on Saturday, they came on really strong in the latter stages and pulled off another battling win.
“They sharpened up as the meeting went on and got a 4-2 and three 5-1s - and we were on another 5-1 in Heat 15 until it was stopped because Jack Thomas wiped his own team-mate out for them. But it's another good result for us and there's plenty to take forward.”
BELLE Vue have confirmed Damian Drozdz will resume his team place for the visit of Somerset to Manchester next Monday.
The Pole suffered a fractured scapula in the Aces’ Charity Shield match at Swindon last March leading to the signing of Paul Starke on a 28-day deal, but Drozdz has since returned to action in his homeland.
Manager Mark Lemon said: “We would like to place on record our sincere thanks to Paul for his efforts and contributions to Belle Vue during the short time he has been with us.
“We’re grateful to him for his commitment to the club and we wish him all the very best for the season. At the same time, we are delighted to welcome back Damian to the team.
“It was a cruel blow for him to pick up such an injury in only his second meeting here in the UK. But he’s fully recovered now and he’s eager to get his season back on track with Belle Vue on Monday.”
WORKINGTON have signed Bradley Wilson-Dean as cover for the injured Mason Campton.
Wilson-Dean has already impressed as a guest for the Comets this season and now steps in on a 28-day deal after Campton suffered a broken wrist in a practice session at Leicester.
Club owner Laura Morgan said: “Bradley proved to be a very good guest for us against the (Edinburgh) Monarchs, after which we spoke to him about the possibility of signing him as a short-term replacement while Mason was on the sidelines.
“Thankfully, Mason does not need an operation on his wrist, but unfortunately he still faces a further four weeks out of action.
“However, armed with that knowledge we have brought Bradley in as cover until Mason is fit to return to the side as we have a fair number of important matches to race before that he makes his return.
“We are sure Bradley will do a fine job for us and having him as a regular member of the side while Mason is out injured is much more preferable than having to keep booking guests for every meeting.”
IPSWICH bid to put a tough start to the season behind them when they host Newcastle in the Championship tonight (Thursday).
The Witches have been winless from their Shield fixtures and team boss Ritchie Hawkins says they need to up their performance levels against the Diamonds.
Lewis Kerr steps in as a guest for the injured Nico Covatti whilst the visitors bring in Michael Palm Toft and operate rider-replacement for Stuart Robson and Tero Aarnio respectively.
Hawkins said: “I think it has hit us hard, the bad start to the season, because we did not expect it. You spend all winter working hard, and I know the boys have been.
“You believe it is going to be good and so when things don’t go to plan it shocks you.
“The only way you can get out of that is by working hard, and the corner will turn. We have only done three meetings and it has not gone the way we wanted, but there is plenty of time for things to come together, and I am sure they will.”
Meanwhile Sheffield are gearing up for a crucial few days in their Championship Shield quest and start a busy period at home to Redcar tonight.
The Bears have drafted in ex-Tigers Ty Proctor and Nathan Greaves as guests for Matej Kus and Tobias Busch, who are competing in the Speedway Euro Championship qualifier in Russia.
Sheffield star Todd Kurtz said: “Both the home meetings have gone really well so far.
“It has been tough using rider replacement because the pressure has kind of been on me and Charles (Wright) to make sure we do our job in the rides we get, and we have to try and win those to take that extra pressure off the two boys at reserve.
“But when you think of it like that from a team point of view we’ve had two really good wins – but I think we’ll only get better.
“Now the season’s getting going and we’re all getting more laps under our belt, I think that’s only going to be a positive and we’re going to be hard to beat.”
ISLE of Wight promoter Barry Bishop has underlined the importance of a home win against Eastbourne tonight (Thursday).
The Warriors face a massive 30-point deficit in the second leg of their Knockout Cup tie after a heavy defeat at Arlington last weekend, and Bishop is seeking an improved display after losing at Smallbrook last week.
He said: “This week the team need to put the Plymouth meeting behind them and do what they do best and that’s winning as a team.
“Eastbourne will come here to win, but I know our boys are more than capable of winning around the Andrew Younie.”
Eagles boss Connor Dugard said: “We are in a great position but we know the match is not won.
“The aim is to finish the job and get into the quarter final to face Coventry and the best way to do that is to win the second leg too.”
POOLE will celebrate 70 years of speedway in the town with tonight’s (Thursday) special challenge match against Yarmouth Bloaters.
It’s a repeat of the very first fixture back in 1948 when Poole racked up a 74-32 National Cup win, and promoter Matt Ford has assembled a representative team for the Bloaters.
The likes of Nicolai Klindt, Troy Batchelor, Rohan Tungate, Ricky Wells and Jason Garrity will pull on Yarmouth race jackets and line up against a Pirates team including Brady Kurtz, Josh Grajczonek, Linus Sundstrom, Kacper Woryna and Mateusz Szczepaniak.
Ford has reduced admission prices for the meeting, with supporters buying a £5 souvenir programme gaining entry for just £3, and there is plenty of other entertainment planned.
THURSDAY APRIL 26:
CHAMPIONSHIP: Ipswich v Newcastle 7.30
CHAMPIONSHIP SHIELD: Sheffield v Redcar 7.30
NATIONAL LEAGUE KO CUP 1st round 2nd leg: Isle of Wight v Eastbourne 7pm
CHALLENGE: Poole v Yarmouth Bloaters 7pm
FRIDAY APRIL 27:
CHAMPIONSHIP SHIELD: Edinburgh v Berwick 7.30, Redcar v Sheffield 7.30
NATIONAL TROPHY: Plymouth v Isle of Wight 7.15
SATURDAY APRIL 28:
CHAMPIONSHIP: Berwick v Lakeside 7pm
TRAVEL PLUS NATIONAL LEAGUE: Eastbourne v Belle Vue 7.30, Mildenhall v Stoke 7.30
SUNDAY APRIL 29:
CHAMPIONSHIP SHIELD: Newcastle v Sheffield 6.30
NATIONAL TROPHY: Buxton v Birmingham 3pm, Coventry v Cradley 3pm
Results Wednesday April 25, 2018
Rye House 48 (Nicolaj Busk Jacobsen 14+1)
Wolverhampton 42 (Jacob Thorssell 10/Rory Schlein 10)
Premiership points: Rye House 3 Wolverhampton 1
King’s Lynn v Poole - OFF
EASTER CUP 1st leg
Birmingham 51 (Leon Flint 16)
Kent 38 (Luke Bowen 11)