PIC OF THE WEEK...
Somerset Rebels raced to their maiden top-flight trophy with victory in the Premiership KO Cup Final against King’s Lynn on Thursday night at the Adrian Flux Arena
Picture: PHIL HILTON
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“I would love to be back here, we just need to have some talks on how things can move forward with me, and also as a club. I am pretty confident we can get something sorted, and everyone will just have to wait to see if there is any news.”
Stars skipper Robert Lambert gives a hint of the news fans want to hear for 2019, immediately after suffering the heartbreak of a second Final defeat, this time in the KO Cup against Somerset.
“It’s a truly great feeling and a perfect way to end the season. We can look back on the year and celebrate what has been quite successful with us reaching the play-offs and only losing out in the 30th heat of the semi-final, and then winning this Cup having beaten the three clubs that, alongside us, reached those play-offs.”
Rebels promoter Debbie Hancock celebrated KO Cup success with a Final win over King’s Lynn having got the better of Poole and Belle Vue earlier in the competition.
“I said before the meeting I wanted to put myself back in the shop window for a team place next year and I’m happy with how it went overall. I thought Chris (Harris) got a bit lucky in the final as I’d just got in front before Nick (Morris) crashed in the first run. But that’s speedway and I’m happy enough with second place.”
Wolves star Kyle Howarth had to be content with the runners-up spot in the club’s season-ending NGK Spark Plugs Olympique at Monmore on Monday.
“Naturally we have to respect the decision. We can go on apologising for the floodlight failure, which was deeply regrettable and beyond our control. We have sought assurances from Rye House regarding Wednesday and the stadium will be ready.”
The Hammers were close to clinching a Championship Grand Final place when the lights went out at Hoddesdon last weekend, so Jon Cook’s side must complete a re-staging against Peterborough this week.
NEXT HOME: Peterborough (PO SF), Wed Oct 24 (7.30)
NEXT AWAY: TBC
“From our perspective we weren’t pushing for an abandonment - there were no games from us. We were hoping for a resumption and we were happy to carry on if the problems could be solved – sadly they couldn’t, so we go again.”
Panthers promoter Ged Rathbone says his side were always prepared to accept whatever eventuality from Sunday’s floodlight-affected semi-final against Lakeside at Rye House, despite their heavy points deficit on the night.
NEXT AWAY: Lakeside (PO SF), Wed Oct 24 (7.30)
“We know we’ve got to go to Workington and keep scoring and keep the momentum going. We can go well around there, and we know what we need to do. It’s going to be tough, because they’ll be coming at us, but likewise we’ve got to go out there and nail our races.”
Scorpions star Jason Garrity knows there is still a job to do in order to bring the KO Cup back to the Eddie Wright Raceway, despite the Scorpions running up an 18-point first leg lead.
NEXT AWAY: Workington (KOC Final), Thur Oct 25 (7.30)
“To lose by eighteen points is obviously more than we wanted, and is in fact an identical score to our league visit there earlier in the season. However, as we have shown previously, we are capable of pulling that back at Derwent Park.”
Comets boss Tony Jackson expects another night of drama on Thursday in the KO Cup Final as his side face another points chase if they are to clinch the silverware against Scunthorpe.
NEXT HOME: Scunthorpe (KOC Final), Thur Oct 25 (7.30)
NEXT AWAY: TBC
TRAVEL PLUS NATIONAL LEAGUE SOUNDBYTES…
“We had some strong guests in Cleggy (Max Clegg) and Tom Perry and they found some big race wins for us in the second half. As I’ve said it was a nice way to end what has been a very testing season - and it was nice to get through a meeting without any injuries.”
Brummies boss Laurence Rogers was pleased to see his patched-up side end a tough year with a 46-44 win at Buxton on Sunday.
“So close again, and to lose by just two points is really disappointing. At any stage of the meeting it could have gone either way when we’ve dropped a couple of points like me on the line and things like that, when you look back it costs you in such a close meeting.”
Hitmen skipper Tom Woolley says his side were frustrated to miss out narrowly to Birmingham on Sunday in a last-heat decider.
NEXT HOME: Eastbourne, Sun Oct 28 (3pm)
“The riders have still done themselves proud over the season. They’ve gelled as a team and far exceeded expectations as they were mainly riders who had been left on the scrapheap at the start, so we’re still happy with the season as we stand.”
The Bees found their play-off semi-final against Eastbourne a step too far as they went down by 40 points overall, but team boss Martyn Macdonald said it was still a fine season on-track for the homeless club.
“The best form of defence is attack. When it comes to those crunch heats, I think it is going to happen for us. We are not counting our chickens just yet. We know what we have to do. We are going there to attack.”
Eagles skipper Mark Baseby says there will be no sitting on a 19-point first leg lead when they head to Mildenhall on Thursday for the National League title decider.
NEXT HOME: Mildenhall, Fri Oct 26 (8pm)
NEXT AWAY: Mildenhall (PO Final), Thur Oct 25 (7.30)
“I know the lads are up for turning round the deficit and bringing home the league title. Their efforts in the first leg showed they were up for the fight and with Nathan (Stoneman) joining us for Thursday evening I feel sure we have the ammunition to beat Eastbourne here for the fourth time this season.”
Fen Tigers promoter Kevin Jolly insists they can overcome their late-season injury problems to beat Eastbourne to the National League title despite a 54-35 first leg defeat.
NEXT HOME: Eastbourne (PO Final), Thur Oct 25 (7.30)
NEXT AWAY: Eastbourne, Fri Oct 26 (8pm)
“Once Steve (Rees) told me was postponing the stock cars on Sunday I was on the phone to Eastbourne and quickly arranged for them to travel to Stoke after the meeting at Buxton and it was quickly agreed.”
Potters boss Dave Tattum says it makes good sense to switch the visit of Eastbourne to this weekend, as they also race at nearby Buxton on Sunday afternoon, rather than the initially planned midweek staging.
NEXT HOME: Eastbourne, Sun Oct 28 (7pm)
*PLEASE CHECK speedwaygb.co.uk FOR FURTHER UPDATES AS COMPETITIONS REACH THEIR CONCLUSION
WEDNESDAY OCTOBER 24:
CHAMPIONSHIP PLAY-OFF SEMI-FINAL 2nd leg: Lakeside v Peterborough 7.30 (at Rye House)
THURSDAY OCTOBER 25:
CHAMPIONSHIP KO CUP FINAL 2nd leg: Workington v Scunthorpe 7.30
TRAVEL PLUS NATIONAL LEAGUE GRAND FINAL 2nd leg: Mildenhall v Eastbourne 7.30
FRIDAY OCTOBER 26:
TRAVEL PLUS NATIONAL LEAGUE: Eastbourne v Mildenhall 8pm
SUNDAY OCTOBER 28:
TRAVEL PLUS NATIONAL LEAGUE: Buxton v Eastbourne 3pm, Stoke v Eastbourne 7pm