PIC OF THE WEEK...
Edinburgh no.1 Ricky Wells hits the front as the Monarchs fight-back from eleven points behind to win 46-43 in Sunday’s Championship KO Cup clash at rivals Glasgow.
Picture: GEORGE MUTCH
“A special mention has to go to Jye and Damian. Losing Craig wasn’t what we wanted but they covered for him nicely and in the end, that was the biggest difference between the two sides.”
Aces youngster Dan Bewley praised team-mates Jye Etheridge and Damian Drozdz for their high-scoring response to Craig Cook’s withdrawal due to illness as the Manchester side still topped the 60-point mark in their home clash with Leicester.
NEXT HOME: Speedway of Nations, Tues June 5 (7pm) / British Final, Mon Jun 11 (7.30)
NEXT AWAY: Swindon, Thur May 31 (7.30)
“The boys dug deep tonight and I’m pleased with their efforts. It’s so hard when you don’t make the start at Rye House and so it proved but I can’t fault our effort.”
Stars boss Dale Allitt was left to reflect on a night where his side came close but received no reward with a 41-49 defeat at Rye House on Bank Holiday Monday.
NEXT HOME: Somerset, Wed May 30 (7.30)
NEXT AWAY: Poole, Wed June 13 (7.30)
“The away meeting wasn’t good enough by any stretch of the imagination. We came away worried about whether we were going to get turned over again. We needed an immediate response and having two meetings in a day gave us the opportunity to do that. It was as good as I could have asked for.”
Mixed fortunes for the Lions on Bank Holiday Monday as boss Simon Stead reflects on a 28-62 thrashing at Belle Vue before a 47-43 home victory in the return fixture.
NEXT HOME: Swindon, Wed June 13 (7.30)
NEXT AWAY: Poole, Wed May 30 (7.30)
“I think Nicolai coming in will make us stronger as a unit and once the new averages are in place, I feel I will have a good opportunity to strengthen the team as a one-to-seven.”
The Pirates will include club asset Nicolai Klindt after the Speedway of Nations break, with promoter Matt Ford not ruling out further changes to his septet as they look to get into play-off contention.
NEXT HOME: Leicester, Wed May 30 (7.30)
NEXT AWAY: Somerset, Wed June 20 (7.30)
“I’ve been lacking a little bit of confidence, but I am starting to put the knee injury behind me now. I have started to wear a knee brace, which I am beginning to get used to now. It has been little things like that, and also having to start riding slightly differently in terms of my style.”
Rockets star Edward Kennett enjoyed his best meeting for several weeks in the 49-41 home win over King’s Lynn on Bank Holiday Monday.
NEXT HOME: Belle Vue, Wed June 20 (7.30)
NEXT AWAY: Swindon, Thur June 14 (7.30)
“It is a difficult one to pass on and we were just too sluggish and left ourselves far too much to do. I look at this result and performance and begin to wonder whether we are strong enough away from home.”
Rebels boss Garry May admits he has plenty to consider after a heavy 32-58 defeat at Swindon on Bank Holiday Monday.
NEXT HOME: Wolverhampton, Wed June 13 (7.30)
NEXT AWAY: King’s Lynn, Wed May 30 (7.30)
“At home we’ve been doing well, and we’ve been winning comfortably. Away, I haven’t been doing as well as I’d like, but we’ve been getting the job done and we’re in a good position. We’ll look to keep improving and we’ll be alright.”
Robins skipper Nick Morris says the reigning champions are on the right track as he scored a paid maximum in Monday’s hefty home win over Somerset.
NEXT HOME: Belle Vue, Thur May 31 (7.30)
NEXT AWAY: Leicester, Wed June 13 (7.30)
“Lots of faces we see every week at Wolves and it looked like there were a lot of new people as well. They had lots of entertainment before the meeting with the youth races and that and it would have been a good meeting against Poole for them to all watch too.”
Wolves No.1 Jacob Thorssell was delighted to send a bumper Bank Holiday crowd home happy with his last-heat 5-1 alongside Rory Schlein to get the better of Poole in a 46-44 thriller.
NEXT HOME: Belle Vue (KOC), Mon June 18 (7.30)
NEXT AWAY: Somerset, Wed June 13 (7.30)
“I offered them the chance for me to step down from the team as I didn’t feel I deserve to be at such a fantastic club. I was told that I’d be supported if that’s what I really wanted, but in truth it’s far from what I want.”
A candid David Howe reveals how close he came to calling quits on his Bandits career – only to receive full backing from the club and reap the benefits with a maximum against Sheffield.
NEXT HOME: Newcastle, Sat June 2 (7pm)
NEXT AWAY: Newcastle, Sun June 3 (6.30)
“I started out strong and we held tough in heat 13 and 15 that's what we needed. It's great to win at Glasgow and to win overall and it shows the fight in this team.”
Maximum man Ricky Wells inspired a remarkable KO Cup aggregate triumph for the Monarchs, who won at Glasgow on Sunday to book their place in the next round.
NEXT HOME: Workington (CS), Fri June 8 (7.30)
NEXT AWAY: Berwick, Sat June 16 (7pm)
“I was pleased with my results and I just have to keep calm and try to score points when I ride home matches, because away from home I'm new to every track and it's a lot harder.”
Six paid nine from inexperienced reserve Jack Thomas was one of the few bright spots for the Tigers in their shock KO Cup exit to Edinburgh after holding the Monarchs to a two-point lead at Armadale.
NEXT HOME: Scunthorpe, Fri June 1 (7.30)
NEXT AWAY: Workington (CS), Sat June 2 (7pm)
“In a sense it has worked well for us as we needed a break but when you are winning you just want to keep on a roll. There isn’t much of that here at the moment but we are busy in July and that is a big month for us and hopefully we will be on a roll for then.”
Witches boss Ritchie Hawkins hopes their busiest period of the season will coincide with their best run of form in the Championship campaign.
NEXT HOME: Sheffield, Thur June 7 (7.30)
NEXT AWAY: Sheffield, Thur July 5 (7.30)
“We responded really well to what was really a disastrous start in the first two heats, and we won nearly every race after that. The boys did a great job and we’re more than happy with the four league points from a convincing win away from home – it’s just a shame about Ben (Morley) getting hurt.”
Hammers boss Will Pottinger’s reaction to a 53-37 win at Redcar last Thursday, tempered by the withdrawal of Morley due to wrist damage.
NEXT HOME: Workington, Fri June 1 (8pm)
NEXT AWAY: Peterborough, Fri June 29 (7.30)
“This was a frustrating night for our visitors with the airport delays and illness, so it was most unfortunate, and as expected our lads took full advantage to run up a serious win which was never in doubt. There were a few good races with some decent passing, so it wasn't all bad.”
Diamonds boss George English saw his side rack up 64 points against a weakened Redcar side, who arrived at Brough Park without three of their regulars.
NEXT HOME: Berwick, Sun June 3 (6.30)
NEXT AWAY: Berwick, Sat June 2 (7pm)
“Bradley knows ourselves and the track well so I’m confident he will slot straight back in, and he certainly showed us what he can do when he rode here with Workington recently. I do feel for Nike, and we wish him well for his recovery.”
Panthers promoter Ged Rathbone has completed a deal to bring 2017 team member Bradley Wilson-Dean back to the club as Nike Lunna faces an extended period on the sidelines with injury.
NEXT HOME: Glasgow, Sun June 10 (5pm)
NEXT AWAY: Glasgow, Fri June 8 (7.30)
“He had put a lot of time and effort into his equipment but was not getting the reward it deserved and a section of the fans were being disrespectful towards him which is disappointing so it's time to move on.”
Bears promoter Kevin Keay is looking forward after taking the decision to release Dutchman Theo Pijper, with a new signing expected shortly.
NEXT HOME: Sheffield (KOC), Fri June 1 (7.30)
NEXT AWAY: Sheffield (KOC), Thur May 31 (7.30)
“’m absolutely gutted for poor Stefan. He really got himself well set up this season, and he’d been reaping the rewards for that. He’s made such a great comeback after missing most of last season through injury, only to suffer further misfortune. I feel for the lad.”
Scorpions promoter Rob Godfrey can’t believe the misfortune suffered by broken leg victim Stefan Nielsen, who crashed at Poole last week.
NEXT HOME: Newcastle, Fri June 8 (7.30)
NEXT AWAY: Glasgow, Fri June 1 (7.30)
“Tonight we kept finding ourselves a couple of points behind after getting ourselves back in it. But we got the guys together during the interval and we finished really strongly. It was a great response from them, we worked together as a team and ground out a much-needed result.”
The reigning champions are finally on the board with a win in the Championship as Simon Stead’s side overcame a strong test from Workington at Owlerton last week.
NEXT HOME: Redcar (KOC), Thur May 31
NEXT AWAY: Redcar (KOC), Fri June 1 (7.30)
“It’s rewarding when riders are doing well when they’re called up for these things, but it’s small compensation when you’re trying to put a team together on track. If there’s any way we can move any fixtures to try to avoid that, we will. But it’s not easy.”
Comets boss Tony Jackson admits the rise and rise of youngster Dan Bewley can be a double-edged sword as he becomes more in-demand for several international events.
NEXT HOME: Glasgow (CS), Sat June 2 (7pm)
NEXT AWAY: Lakeside, Fri June 1 (8pm)
TRAVEL PLUS NATIONAL LEAGUE SOUNDYTES…
BELLE VUE COLTS
“With Ben [Woodhull] moving into the main team it did weaken us at reserve but every point scored from all the boys was vital in securing the win, and in that respect it was a job well done.”
Colts captain Jack Smith split the praise throughout the team after his match-winning 4-2 with Kyle Bickley in Heat 15 to get the better of Eastbourne.
NEXT HOME: Birmingham, Fri June 22 (7.30)
NEXT AWAY: Plymouth, Fri June 1 (7.15)
“It continues our brilliant start to the season and to be the only team still unbeaten in British Speedway is something we can be very proud of.”
The Brummies won 48-42 at Coventry on Sunday to enhance their National Trophy chances, with boss Laurence Rogers delighted to kept the winning run going.
NEXT HOME: Coventry (NT), Wed May 30 (7.30)
NEXT AWAY: Mildenhall (KOC), Sun June 18 (3pm)
“Dave let us know around four hours before the start time that he didn’t feel right but turns up and goes straight home and it was really frustrating. We run things on a very tight budget here and I feel people are letting us down and it is irritating.”
Josh Moss’s hopes of tracking something close to a full-strength team against Cradley were ended when David Wallinger’s illness left them short-handed at Hi-Edge on Sunday.
NEXT HOME: Belle Vue, Sun June 3 (5pm)
NEXT AWAY: Cradley (NT), Mon June 4 (7.30)
“The only glimmer of hope that came out of it was that they didn’t take away four points, which does leave us ahead of them in the section, but now we have to put the jigsaw back together and win at their place on Wednesday, which isn’t beyond us but it’s definitely a tough ask.”
A setback for Bees boss Martyn Macdonald, who had seen his side win at Cradley but then lost out at home to Birmingham as the clubs vie for National Trophy qualification.
NEXT HOME: Kent, Sun June 3 (3pm)
NEXT AWAY: Birmingham (NT), Wed May 30 (7.30)
“We will stick with Kelsey. It’s just trying to find him something that works. For someone of his ability and calibre you shouldn’t need to keep teaching him everything again like a reserve. Hence why he is in the team.”
Eagles boss Connor Dugard says the club will be sticking with brother Kelsey despite his impending drop to reserve as Jason Edwards moves into the main body of the team.
NEXT HOME: Coventry (KOC), Sat June 2 (7.30)
NEXT AWAY: Birmingham, Wed June 6 (7.30)
ISLE OF WIGHT
“The first five heats did for us and cost us any hope of being able to compete tonight. I’ve never known a meeting where so many things went against us so quickly.”
Warriors boss Jackie Vatcher was left in disbelief by her side facing a 5-24 deficit after just five races of the National Trophy home clash with the Isle of Wight.
NEXT HOME: Four Team Tournament Challenge, Thur May 31 (7.30)
NEXT AWAY: Mildenhall (NT), Sun June 3 (3pm)
The Kings completed a double over the Isle of Wight during the Bank Holiday period, and now look forward to home and away KO Cup clashes with Stoke.
NEXT HOME: Stoke (KOC), Mon June 4 (6.30)
NEXT AWAY: Stoke (KOC), Sat June 2 (7pm)
“Giving Ryan (Kinsley) the captaincy whilst Jordan (Jenkins) is out seems to have spurred him on to even better things and his last two meetings have shown everyone why we rate the boy so highly.”
Promoter Kevin Jolly was impressed with Ryan Kinsley’s paid maximum in the 64-25 win over Plymouth which took the Fen Tigers to the brink of qualification for the National Trophy Final.
NEXT HOME: Isle of Wight (NT), Sun June 3 (3pm)
NEXT AWAY: Stoke, Sat June 9 (7pm)
“It’s a massive relief to get this sorted, I have spent a considerable amount of time getting this over the line but I am happy to say the Devils now have a long-term home at the St Boniface Arena!”
Great news from Devils co-promoter Mark Phillips, who has completed a seven-year lease deal to ensure the club’s future at their current home.
NEXT HOME: Belle Vue, Fri June 1 (7.15)
NEXT AWAY: Eastbourne (NT), Sat June 9 (7.30)
“Joe is starting to string a few good rides together and the supporters are loving the fact that a local lad has come into the team and is starting to make an impact.”
Potters co-boss Adam Isherwood hails the progress of reserve Joe Alcock, who scored paid-ten in the recent home win over Buxton.
NEXT HOME: Kent (KOC), Sat June 2 (7pm)
NEXT AWAY: Kent (KOC), Mon June 4 (6.30)
MAJOR EVENTS LATEST…
WOLVERHAMPTON and Sheffield favourite Kyle Howarth is determined to make his mark in the British Final on Monday June 11.
Howarth’s strong start to the season attracted the attention of national boss Alun Rossiter as he gained further experience by competing in the recent Grand Prix qualifier in Abensberg, scoring six points.
And now the Tigers skipper heads to Belle Vue with his confidence high – and feeling he can get the better of any of his rivals.
Howarth said: “Belle Vue is a brilliant track and I can't wait for the British Final.
“I've been fairly pleased with the way I've been riding for both my clubs this season and I feel like I'm gaining valuable experience.
“The national championship is a massive date in the calendar and I'd love to win it, but the competition is very tough.
“You've got to have your set-up spot on around Belle Vue because it's so big and fast but the same applies to Sheffield where I ride every Thursday so it's nothing new to me.
“Everyone will be talking about the Belle Vue lads, Craig Cook and Dan Bewley, they're great riders but on my day I know I can bet both of them.
“The chance to win a place in Cardiff for the Grand Prix is added motivation but the national championship itself is big and to win that would be a dream come true.
“Belle Vue's stadium is great for the sport and it's great for it to stage the big meetings, it's a national stadium and we need to make the most of it.
“I'm a local lad too, so it would mean so much to me to do well in the Final on home territory.”
Howarth came through the Sheffield semi-final where he joined meeting winner Jason Garrity and Josh Auty on the rostrum.
Belle Vue duo Cook – the reigning champion - and Bewley, along with Edward Kennett, Robert Lambert and Rory Schlein also qualified from that meeting.
Former British Champions Scott Nicholls, Chris Harris and Danny King all made it through from Leicester along with meeting winner Richard Lawson, Lewis Kerr, Richie Worrall, Ben Barker and Adam Ellis.
BRITISH SPEEDWAY MAJOR EVENTS 2018
PREMIERSHIP RIDERS’ CHAMPIONSHIP: JASON DOYLE
BRITISH FINAL: Belle Vue, June 11
CHAMPIONSHIP FOURS: Redcar, July 1
CHAMPIONSHIP PAIRS: Somerset, July 20
CHAMPIONSHIP RIDERS’ INDIVIDUAL: Sheffield, September 2
PREMIERSHIP PAIRS: TBC
OTHER NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP DATES
BRITISH UNDER-21 SEMI-FINALS: ZACH WAJTKNECHT; JACK THOMAS
BRITISH UNDER-21 FINAL: ROBERT LAMBERT
BRITISH UNDER-19 FINAL: DAN BEWLEY
BRITISH SEMI-FINALS: JASON GARRITY; RICHARD LAWSON
NATIONAL LEAGUE EVENTS
NATIONAL LEAGUE FOURS: Coventry, June 24
NATIONAL LEAGUE RIDERS’ CHAMPIONSHIP: Leicester, September 23
WEDNESDAY MAY 30:
PREMIERSHIP: King’s Lynn v Somerset 7.30, Poole v Leicester 7.30
NATIONAL TROPHY: Birmingham v Coventry 7.30
THURSDAY MAY 31:
PREMIERSHIP: Swindon v Belle Vue 7.30
CHAMPIONSHIP KO CUP 1st round 1st leg: Sheffield v Redcar 7.30
FOUR TEAM TOURNAMENT CHALLENGE: Isle of Wight 7pm
FRIDAY JUNE 1:
CHAMPIONSHIP: Glasgow v Scunthorpe 7.30, Lakeside v Workington 8pm
CHAMPIONSHIP KO CUP 1st round 2nd leg: Redcar v Sheffield 7.30
TRAVEL PLUS NATIONAL LEAGUE: Plymouth v Belle Vue 7.15
SATURDAY JUNE 2:
CHAMPIONSHIP: Berwick v Newcastle 7pm
CHAMPIONSHIP SHIELD: Workington v Glasgow 7pm
NATIONAL LEAGUE KO CUP Q/F 2nd leg: Eastbourne v Coventry 7.30, 1st round 1st leg: Stoke v Kent 7pm
BRITISH YOUTH CHAMPIONSHIP: Rye House 3pm
SUNDAY JUNE 3:
CHAMPIONSHIP: Newcastle v Berwick 6.30
TRAVEL PLUS NATIONAL LEAGUE: Buxton v Belle Vue 5pm, Coventry v Kent 3pm
NATIONAL TROPHY: Mildenhall v Isle of Wight 3pm
MONDAY JUNE 4:
NATIONAL LEAGUE KO CUP 1st round 2nd leg: Kent v Stoke 6.30
NATIONAL TROPHY: Cradley v Buxton 7.30
TUESDAY JUNE 5:
SPEEDWAY OF NATIONS: Belle Vue 7pm
WEDNESDAY JUNE 6:
TRAVEL PLUS NATIONAL LEAGUE: Birmingham v Eastbourne 7.30
THURSDAY JUNE 7:
CHAMPIONSHIP: Ipswich v Sheffield 7.30, Redcar v Berwick 7.30
NATIONAL TROPHY: Isle of Wight v Eastbourne 7pm
FRIDAY JUNE 8:
CHAMPIONSHIP: Glasgow v Peterborough 7.30, Scunthorpe v Newcastle 7.30
CHAMPIONSHIP SHIELD: Edinburgh v Workington 7.30
TRAVEL PLUS NATIONAL LEAGUE: Plymouth v Isle of Wight 7.15
SATURDAY JUNE 9:
CHAMPIONSHIP: Berwick v Redcar 7pm
TRAVEL PLUS NATIONAL LEAGUE: Stoke v Mildenhall 7pm
NATIONAL TROPHY: Eastbourne v Plymouth 7.30
SUNDAY JUNE 10:
CHAMPIONSHIP: Peterborough v Glasgow 5pm
TRAVEL PLUS NATIONAL LEAGUE: Buxton v Mildenhall 3pm
NATIONAL TROPHY: Coventry v Cradley 3pm
MONDAY JUNE 11:
BRITISH FINAL: Belle Vue 7.30
NATIONAL TROPHY: Kent v Eastbourne 6.30
TUESDAY JUNE 12:
TRAVEL PLUS NATIONAL LEAGUE: Isle of Wight v Plymouth 7pm