WARD SET FOR TORUN TEST
SGP NEWS - 18 April, 2014
Story by FIM Speedway Grand Prix















He said: “I haven’t decided yet. I’m going to have a practice to see how it all is. So it’s not 100 percent that I’ll race.

“I had an MRI scan in Poland and I’ve done a little ligament in my knee. It’s not too bad. If I really needed to ride, I probably could.

"But I don’t want to risk it too much. I’ll have a practice and if I feel comfortable, I’ll ride.

“I don’t want to do anymore damage. I feel a bit weak in the hand and the knee, which are two big things.

“I’ve broken the thumb at the top. I’ve got it strapped up now and that keeps it straight. I can move it and I can hold my phone with it. It’s not too bad. I just can’t push on it.

“I’ve sat on a bike and I’ve been riding my little bike – just doing a couple of wheelies. It seems alright, but the knee is a little bit sore. I can’t bend it fully yet. I’m lucky I don’t need to bend it in speedway. I’ll have a practice and I’ll make a decision then.

“The situation is not ideal. It’s not what I wanted and I’m not so busy now that I’m injured, so I’m pretty bored. It makes things a lot harder, but these things happen. I want to be the best I can be for Bydgoszcz, and if I don’t feel comfortable when I practice in Torun, I definitely won’t ride.”

Ward is keen to help Torun bag their first victory of 2014 after sitting out their loss at Gdansk and knows Wroclaw, led by world champ Tai Woffinden, will pose another test.

He said: “It’s never easy in Poland. Wroclaw might not be the strongest team, but there are still some good riders and there is still the possibility we might lose.

“With Emil not feeling his strongest, we definitely need me back in. But I’m not the strongest either. We’ll just have to wait and see.”

Ward is determined to take his place in the European SGP and has no intention of letting his injuries slow him down at the ZKS Polonia Stadium as he bids to play catch-up in the World Championship race.

He said: “I only got five points in New Zealand, which wasn’t ideal. I would have liked to leave there with double figures.

“That’s the way it was, but I’m still going to Bydgoszcz with high hopes. I’d love to make the semis and once you’re in the semis, anything is possible. I’m not going to Bydgoszcz half-hearted.”

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BRITISH BRIEFS
UK NEWS - 18 April, 2014
Story by BSPA Press Office

KING’S Lynn again proved strong in the second half of a meeting to take maximum points against Belle Vue at the Norfolk Arena.
The scores were level at 24-24 after eight races but the home side then scored three successive 5-1s to take control and set up a 52-38 win.
Kenneth Bjerre led the way for the Stars with 11+2 in their third victory from four Elite League meetings, whilst Aces’ No.1 Matej Zagar scored 12 courtesy of four wins from his five outings.

SHEFFIELD youngster Josh Bates will make a personal appearance for supporters prior to the Tigers’ League Cup clash with Redcar on Thursday.
Bates won the British Under-21 Championship on Tuesday and will be available for autographs and photographs with the trophy between 6.30 and 7pm at Owlerton, prior to the first of two Easter clashes between the clubs which could prove vital to the Northern section of the competition.
Co-promoter Damien Bates said: “As a club we are absolutely thrilled and honoured to have a national champion in our side.
“It’s given us all a great boost and we hope to see a big crowd in the stadium to give him a hero’s welcome.”

SWINDON youngster Darryl Ritchings has been brought out of sedation after suffering swelling to his brain in a crash nearly a fortnight ago.
Ritchings, who was transferred to Oxford’s John Radcliffe Hospital the morning after the accident, has a slight chest infection and some disorientation but has awareness of people around him.
Swindon promoter Alun Rossiter said: “I’ve been in contact with the family and the good news is that Darryl knew his daughter Poppy, and was also aware of things like his mother’s birthday.
“Apparently the disorientation is normal for a youngster who has been through what he has, and it’s now a case of taking things slowly day by day.”

PETERBOROUGH and Coventry star Ryan Fisher has turned to his local MP in a bid to be reunited with his young family.
Fisher’s wife and two children are stranded in California due to visa problems after returning for a Christmas holiday, even though the family own their own business – a Mexican food restaurant in Tamworth.
Fisher said: “I understand they want to tighten the borders up, but this makes no sense. We have a business here, we employ six British citizens and pay all our tax and national insurance. We always do everything the right way, but my family are not currently allowed back in to the country to do it.
“I’m pushing every day to get it resolved and my local MP is doing everything he can to help our situation. Right now we are stacked out financially after throwing ten grand at the problem. The MP is our last hope. If anyone can have a bit of pull, it will be him.”

SWINDON'S Elite League double date with Poole on Good Friday has been given added spice.
The British Speedway Promoters' Association have approved a proposal to allow the two meetings to also count as the Elite Shield.
It means not only will vital league points be on the line at Wimborne Road at 11am followed by the Abbey Stadium at 8pm, but the side who comes out on top on aggregate will also win the silverware.
Robins boss Alun Rossiter said: “Because of a lack of available dates and fixture clashes we feel this is a good decision. It also gives the two meetings, which already carry great interest, something extra. It should be a great day!”

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SIDECAR GRAND SLAM
SIDECAR NEWS - 17 April, 2014
Story by Peter White

Sidecar Grand Slam Series will stage next season’s final round at Arunga Park in Alice Springs on Saturday, March 28.

Arunga Park was recently awarded the 2015 Australian Sidecar Championship on April 3-4.

The dates will now provide a seven-day Speedway Sidecar Festival comprising the Grand Slam Final on Saturday, March 28 ... a dinner on Wednesday, April 1 ... a street parade and meet-the-riders session on Thursday, April 2 ... the Australian Championship Qualifying Meeting on Friday, April 3 and the Australian Championship Final on Saturday, April 4.

It is expected two new tracks will be added to next season’s Grand Slam schedule to make a total of eight rounds and a revised format will provide the series with a revamped look.

Gillman will host the penultimate round of the series one week prior to Alice Springs --- on Saturday, March 21.

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BRITISH BRIEFS
UK NEWS - 16 April, 2014
Story by BSPA Press Office

MACIEJ Janowski swept to a 15-point maximum as Poole defeated Coventry 49-41 in a hugely entertaining televised Elite League fixture at Wimborne Road.
Stand-in Pirates skipper Janowski reeled off five straight wins with reserve Kyle Newman also attracting high praise for a match-winning 12 (paid 13) contribution to edge out a Bees side who led after nine races with Kenneth Hansen (9+1) adding much to the spectacle.
Chris Holder, who made his Poole return as a replacement for Darcy Ward, said: “Kyle put in a great shift tonight. I haven't seen him ride that well before - he looked at ease on the bike and it was a terrific performance, and with Magic going through the card it showed the character there is in this Poole side.”
Coventry boss Gary Havelock continues to be encouraged with his team, saying: “I’m disappointed because I do think we deserved a point, but I’m certainly not gutted – I’m actually really pleased with how we’re going and the way the boys have gelled early on.”
Wolverhampton ended King’s Lynn’s unbeaten run with a 47-42 win at Monmore Green, making it three wins out of three for the home side although both teams took something from the meeting.
Wolves had to be content with two points as King’s Lynn secured one thanks to a last-heat 5-1 from Danish duo Niels-Kristian Iversen and Kenneth Bjerre, who defeated Piotr Pawlicki and Tai Woffinden.
Wolves boss Peter Adams said: “Everybody will talk about the disappointing finish to the meeting, but I'd have taken a one point victory before we kicked-off against that King's Lynn side.
“All in all given the problems we had in one or two positions I thought it was a terrific victory whatever the margin, and we're just pleased to keep our winning run going.”
Belle Vue gained their first win of the season with a powerful all-round display to get the better of Leicester 56-35 at Kirkmanshulme Lane, in-form Scott Nicholls top-scoring on 11+2.
Manager Jason Attwood said: “It was important, especially after the last two away meetings, for us to come away with all three points. It was our first home match and I think there was a feeling that Leicester might catch us on the hop as a result, which was probably a bit of my concern as well.
“But we managed to put that to bed quickly and it was nice for us to be leading from the word go. I’ve always said confidence is a massive thing in speedway; confidence is winning and winning is confidence, and all the lads rode well and did themselves and the fans proud.”

CRADLEY boss Will Pottinger expects a fierce battle for the British Under-21 Championship at Monmore Green tonight.
The Heathens are represented by Tom Perry and Nathan Greaves along with several of the club’s former riders, including current Wolverhampton reserve Ashley Morris who can also call on extensive track knowledge.
Pottinger said: “A third of the 18 riders who will be on parade are current or former Heathens, which must surely mean that we are doing something right!
“Picking a winner is a very tough task but I’m sure that the likes of Kyle Howarth, Jason Garrity, Adam Ellis, Joe Jacobs and Ashley Morris will be there or thereabouts.”
Normal National League prices apply for the showpiece event which features 22 races – adults £11, concessions £8 and children £2.
Meanwhile Peterborough host Plymouth in the re-staging of the League Cup match postponed due to electrical failure at the Showground three weeks ago.
Panthers co-boss Blayne Scroggins said: “We were 15 points to the good after they had used both tactical rides, so a big win looked on the cards. That is exactly what we need to pick up again. Maximum points are a must if we are to keep ourselves in with a chance of progressing to the knockout stages of the League Cup.”

SHEFFIELD are celebrating the news they will be hosting a British semi-final on Thursday, April 24.
The Owlerton venue stages the first of two events leading to qualification for the Final at Wolverhampton on June 16, with Rye House already confirmed for the other semi-final on Wednesday, April 30.
Sheffield co-promoter Damien Bates said: “When the news came through that we had been awarded this event we were all extremely pleased. Owlerton Stadium is a stunning venue for speedway, it's one of the reasons the new consortium were so keen to take the club over.
“We will do all we can to ensure the event is a massive success and the crowd go home happy that they have seen a first class night of racing.”

KENT have confirmed the final place in their team will be ‘job-shared’ over their next four matches between Luke Harris and Danny Ayres.
Harris has already stood in for the Kings in their opening fixture at Plymouth, where he won his first competitive race, whilst Ayres has impressed for Rye House in the Midland Development League.
Harris will take the position for the Kings’ first home match of the season against King’s Lynn on Easter Monday, following the recent retirement of Dan Blake.

JOSH Bates was crowned British Under-21 Champion on a night of high drama and incidents at Monmore Green on Tuesday.
Sheffield and Mildenhall youngster Bates got the better of Adam Ellis in a twice re-started Final after first Stefan Nielsen and then Jason Garrity had been disqualified.
Bates said: “I'm just absolutely over the moon - I came here thinking I'd be happy with sixth or eighth place but I've won it!
“I've been run over, had a few crashes, a lot of re-runs but I've done it and I'm just so happy. It's going to give me a lot of encouragement and a lot of confidence so hopefully this will just be the start for me.”
The top four now progress to the World Under-21 qualifying rounds, with Bates and Garrity set to race at Leicester on May 10 whilst Ellis and Nielsen will compete in the meetings to be staged in Germany and Italy respectively.

PETERBOROUGH reserve Oliver Greenwood scored his first maximum at Premier League level with an unbeaten four-ride show in the Panthers’ 58-34 League Cup win over Plymouth.
Co-boss Trevor Swales hailed “a complete performance” from his team who climbed to second place in the group with Ryan Fisher, Lasse Bjerre and Ulrich Ostergaard all paid for double figures along with Greenwood.
Swales said: “Fair play to all of the guys for getting among the points and riding very well. There are clear signings that we are clicking as a team. I must confess I thought Plymouth would push us much closer after having a few decent results of their own lately, but the scoreline doesn’t lie after 15 heats of speedway.
“I’m particularly pleased for young Oliver. He will always remember his first maximum at Premier League level and that’s the reason I didn’t give him another ride in Heat 15.”
Plymouth, meanwhile, are waiting for news on Kyle Newman who was taken to hospital with a leg injury after a Heat 12 crash.

KING’S Lynn and Belle Vue both go into their Norfolk Arena clash in Wednesday in good spirits after positive recent results.
The Stars have won at Coventry and picked up a point at Wolverhampton since their last home outing, whilst the Aces were convincing winners over Leicester at Kirkmanshulme Lane on Monday – a result which confirms their potential, according to skipper Craig Cook.
He said: “I see real strength and potential in this team, and I couldn't fault the lads for anything. Matej (Zagar) of course is world class, Scott (Nicholls) is coming on very strong already and Richie (Worrall) is just making things look so easy.
“The reserves really held their own in the face of some difficult opposition and Michael (Palm Toft) did an absolutely grand job. He was solid all evening and definitely shouldn't be underestimated after he's ridden so well.”

BIRMINGHAM co-promoter Graham Drury and his wife Denise have left the Elite League club with immediate effect.
They have worked at Perry Barr since the Brummies were re-launched in 2007, and owner Alan Phillips has confirmed son Charles went through the BSPA interview process on Tuesday to become a co-promoter.
Phillips said: “Graham Drury has always worked with passion, desire and commitment and I am sorry to see both him and Denise leave us.
“Graham was planning to leave at the end of the season so I was somewhat surprised to take the call informing me of his decision at this stage. I sincerely hope the Birmingham fans give him the credit he deserves for what he has achieved during his time here and both he and Denise are welcome to come along to Perry Barr any time.”

SCUNTHORPE have confirmed the full transfer signing of Josh Auty in a deal with Elite League Coventry.
Auty has been on loan to the Scorpions in the Premier League since 2012 and promoter Rob Godfrey believes he still has the potential to go to the top in the sport.
Godfrey said: “This has been on the agenda for some time - I’d been after buying Josh’s contract for a while, and I concluded business with Coventry last weekend. The last thing left was for Josh to sign, and that wasn’t a problem at all.
“I still think Josh will become a No 1 at Elite League level. He’s got a lot of speedway in front of him, and he’s a good investment. As a club, we have a good asset base, but we needed more top-line assets. Josh fits that bill.”

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BRITISH SPEEDWAY WEEKLY BULLETIN
UK NEWS - 16 April, 2014
Story by BSPA Press Office

BIG EVENT LATEST…
SHEFFIELD and Rye House will host the British Semi-Finals later this month.
Owlerton will the venue for the first semi-final on Thursday April 24, whilst the action will switch to Hoddesdon on Wednesday April 30 as competitors chase places in the Final at Wolverhampton on Monday June 16.
New Sheffield co-promoter Damien Bates said: “When the news came through that we had been awarded this event we were all extremely pleased. Owlerton Stadium is a stunning venue for speedway, it’s one of the reasons the new consortium were so keen to take the club over.
“We have already invested heavily in the new air fence which looks superb and we have also done a lot of improvement work on the track, including taking delivery of plenty of new shale to give the riders every opportunity to race.
“We already knew we had the Premier League Riders' Championship lined up for September, but this is a bonus for us and as a club we are very honoured.”
Rye House promoter Len Silver has explained why the club have moved away from their regular Saturday race-night for their semi-final.
He said: “The event will be in addition to the weekend meetings either side of the Championship round. The date was chosen because it gave the largest possible range of rider availability, with only four Elite clubs in action that night.
“With almost all the world class British riders available for selection, and with no riders seeded directly to the Wolverhampton Final, there is no doubt that we shall have a terrific field to thrill us on that Wednesday. I am sure that Rockets and many other fans will fill our stadium to see the action.
“With six of this year’s Rockets team being British, there should be plenty for Rye House fans to cheer about as well.”

BERWICK have stepped in to stage a World Championship qualifying round at Shielfield Park on Saturday June 7.
Chris Harris and Craig Cook have been nominated as the Great Britain representatives, with Richard Lawson as reserve, for the event which is part of the series to determine riders for the 2015 Grand Prix.
Co-owner John Anderson said: “Having been honoured to have a GP Challenge event here in 2012, and one of the World U-21 Finals last season, we honestly weren’t too disappointed not to be included in the 2014 international calendar.
“However, the authorities have apparently been having organisational problems with the GP qualifier to be staged in Austria, at St Johann on June 7 and Britain has been asked to step in and take over the organisation and staging of this meeting.
“I am honoured, and so pleased that the FIM and BSPA have announced the event will come to Shielfield Park, maintaining the original date of Saturday June 7.”
Elsewhere in the World Championship qualifiers, GB boss Alun Rossiter has confirmed that Danny King will travel to Ljubljana (Slovenia), also on June 7, whilst Richie Worrall will compete at German venue Abensberg on June 9.

ELITE LEAGUE LATEST…
BELLE VUE boss Jason Attwood was delighted with a solid performance from his team to see off his old club Leicester 56-35 at Kirkmanshulme Lane.
Attwood said: “It was important, especially after the last two away meetings, for us to come away with all 3 points tonight. It was our first home match and I think there was a feeling that Leicester might catch us on the hop as a result, which was probably a bit of my concern as well.
“But we managed to put that to bed quickly and it was nice for us to be leading from the word go. I’ve always said confidence is a massive thing in speedway; confidence is winning and winning is confidence, and all the lads rode well tonight and did themselves and the fans proud.”

BIRMINGHAM promoter Alan Phillips admits he shares fans’ concerns after a disastrous 21-69 defeat at Lakeside last Friday.
Phillips said: “Anyone who knows me is only too aware I will always defend my riders – but that scoreline crossed the line and we have to take responsibility as a team.
“This week there will be a lot of soul searching before we face King’s Lynn and we will do everything within our power to get to the bottom of the problem and why we aren’t doing it.”

COVENTRY manager Gary Havelock says the mood remains upbeat in the Bees camp after they narrowly missed out on an Elite League point with a battling display at Poole.
Havelock said: “I’m disappointed because I do think we deserved a point, but I’m certainly not gutted – I’m actually really pleased with how we’re going and the way the boys have gelled early on.
“Everybody was fighting for every point, and we ran the favourites for the league in the bookies eyes very close on their own track, and that was without our top two being in top form.”

EASTBOURNE boss Trevor Geer admitted his choice of riders for Heat 15 in the Eagles’ win over Belle Vue had been a tough one – with Joonas Kylmakorpi and Cameron Woodward coming up with the goods to secure victory.
Geer said: “It started off perfect. Then they started making some gates, we couldn’t get by and with a tactical they have come back and passed us. It didn’t look too good from there.
“If it had gone wrong I knew it would have been on my shoulders. Joonas wanted to be in Heat 15. The other riders weren’t going too well and Mikkel Michelsen was the only other challenger to go with Cam.”

KING’S LYNN boss Rob Lyon says the Stars’ away win at Coventry last week was a statement of intent for his side this season – and he feels there is more to come.
Lyon said: “Friday was the perfect tonic. I feel the team is a slow burner and we can get better.
“If we stay clear of any major problems we will get better and better as the season goes on, I think you saw with Kenneth (Bjerre) having a bad one by his own high standards, we have still come away with a six point win.”

LAKESIDE promoter Jon Cook is eagerly awaiting the Hammers’ Good Friday double against Eastbourne which kicks off at Purfleet at 1pm.
Cook’s team include impressive Danish youngster Mikkel Bech for the first fixture although he misses the evening return at Arlington due to a Danish qualifier the following day.
Cook said: “We are already looking forward to Good Friday. It’s a real highlight of the season and with a great forecast it’s going to be a meeting to savour.”

LEICESTER gained their first win of the Elite League season with a 48-41 success over Lakeside at the Jordan Road Surfacing Stadium – and Lions boss Norrie Allan was delighted with the solid team display.
He said: “It was an all-round display that won the day. Just three points separated the highest scorer in the side to the lowest and with the reserves chipping in the team performed exactly as it was set up to do with every rider in the 1 to 5 winning at least one race apiece.”

POOLE star Chris Holder had high praise for reserve Kyle Newman, who made a crucial scoring contribution of 12 (paid 13) in the Pirates’ 49-41 win over Coventry on Monday.
Holder said: “Kyle put in a great shift tonight. I haven't seen him ride that well before - he looked at ease on the bike and it was a terrific performance, and with Magic (Maciej Janowski) going through the card it showed the character there is in this Poole side.”

SWINDON manager Alun Rossiter was pleased for his side to get their first win of the season on the board against Belle Vue with winter signing showing encouraging form.
Rossiter said: “It was good to get a comfortable win with all three points and put the first night of the season here behind us. I said all along I wouldn’t read too much into the Coventry match with all that was going on, the rain and so on, and last week was much more like what I expect from the team.
“It was a good response, which was what we wanted, and there were several encouraging displays. Nicolai Klindt had a much better one, which I was very much looking for, and I was also really pleased for Nick (Morris) and Simon (Gustafsson) that I was able to put them out in Heat 15.”

WOLVERHAMPTON boss Peter Adams says two points for his team was a fair outcome from a hard-fought home win over King’s Lynn on Monday – maintaining their unbeaten start to the season.
Adams said: “Everybody will talk about the disappointing finish to the meeting, but I'd have taken a one point victory before we kicked-off against that King's Lynn side.
“All in all given the problems we had in one or two positions I thought it was a terrific victory whatever the margin, and we're just pleased to keep our winning run going.”

PREMIER LEAGUE LATEST…
BERWICK boss Ian Rae says confidence has been restored by a 55-37 home win over Glasgow in the League Cup, a meeting which saw both Claus Vissing and David Bellego score maximums.
Rae said: “The confidence boost is probably the most important thing to come out from a fine win even more than how much we won by. It was especially good to see Steen Jensen score good points and it sets us up nicely for the rest of the season.”

EDINBURGH enjoyed a perfect weekend with home and away wins over Workington to take control of their League Cup group – although skipper Derek Sneddon missed the away meeting after a crash at Armadale on Friday.
Sneddon said: “I'm gutted I couldn't make it to Workington but the guys did well and I'm buzzing for them.”
GLASGOW co-promoter Colin Hamilton admits another rain-off for the Tigers, this time at home to Berwick on Sunday, came as a big blow.
He said: “We’re very disappointed – two rain-offs in a row is not great for any speedway club – and we just have to regroup and get back on track next week. It doesn’t give the guys the track time that theu need to bed in and dial in. But they’re eager to go, and hopefully the weather will be kinder to us next Sunday.”

IPSWICH are planning plenty of Easter entertainment for their Good Friday afternoon home clash with local rivals Peterborough – the first of two League Cup matches on the day between the clubs.
The Witches have booked Workington’s Rene Bach to stand in for the unavailable Richie Worrall in the home meeting, with former Witch Chris Mills standing in for Adam Ellis.

NEWCASTLE showed the response demanded by manager George English to previous defeats when getting the better of Sheffield 63-27 at Brough Park – with three Diamonds riders scoring maximums.
English said: “That was more like the side we know we have assembled in 2014 and it was unfortunate for Sheffield that it was them who felt the force of our frustrations as we really hit them hard from start to finish. But this is the direction we need to keep this season going in now and that means hard work, which we know the lads will put in to keep the momentum going.”

PETERBOROUGH secured a dramatic draw at Somerset last Friday with a last-heat 5-1 from Ales Dryml and Ulrich Ostergaard – with Alun Rossiter, as stand-in boss, left to explain his unique motivation tactics!
Rossiter said: “I wound Ales up a treat by calling him an old man. When he came back into the pits after Heat 15 he said he won the race because of that!
“It was a fair result at the end of a cracking race and a cracking meeting. The lads all dug deep and kept themselves in contention throughout. I enjoyed working with the riders and hopefully they enjoyed working with me.”

PLYMOUTH are seeking revenge for an early-season defeat against Somerset when they take on the Rebels once again over Easter weekend.
Co-promoter Ashley Taylor said: “We had a bad result against Somerset and this will give our riders a chance to redeem themselves. It is up to our boys to up their game against the Rebels this time around. If we get together and operate as a team we are capable of turning in a good result. If we ride solidly throughout the line-up we can be as good as any team in the Premier League.”

REDCAR are looking to maintain a positive run of form when they face back-to-back clashes with Sheffield this week. The Bears switch to Friday for their home fixture and know they can maintain top position in the Northern League Cup group by extending their winning sequence, which currently stands at three matches.

RYE HOUSE boss John Sampford is desperate for his team to bounce back from successive home defeats when Ipswich visit Hoddesdon on Easter Sunday.
Sampford said: “They look an excellent side this year, and I anticipate another mega battle. From our side of the match, Jason Bunyan, Jason Garrity and Steve Boxall will all have had an extra week to recover from their current injuries, and Jason G is also due to take a new rolling chassis off Edward Kennett this week, which will help solve his current bike issues.”

SCUNTHORPE have completed the signing of Josh Auty in a full transfer from Elite League club Coventry.
Scorpions promoter Rob Godfrey said: “This has been on the agenda for some time - I’d been after buying Josh’s contract for a while, and I concluded business with Coventry last weekend. The last thing left was for Josh to sign, and that wasn’t a problem at all. It makes perfect sense, we want Josh to ride for us, and in return, Josh wants to ride here and be part of this club.”

SHEFFIELD boss Joe Screen admitted his disappointment in the Tigers’ display at Newcastle on Sunday, where they went down to a 27-63 defeat – making this week’s matches against Redcar vital in the Northern League Cup group.
Screen said: “Some of the riders had issues early on and heads went down which didn't help matters. In the end we were just well beaten, and we were all disappointed we weren't able to put up more of a fight."

SOMERSET are set to welcome back Olly Allen for their weekend double against Plymouth as the Southern group of the League Cup competition reaches a crucial stage.
Rebels boss Garry May said: “Unfortunately Nick Morris will be missing for Good Friday’s home match as he will be riding for Swindon, but we have secured the services of a rider who was very much a favourite with the fans at the Oaktree Arena in his year with us, that being Claus Vissing, and I am sure that Claus will prove to be a more than capable replacement for Nick.”

WORKINGTON go into this weekend’s back to back League Cup fixtures with Berwick hoping to keep their hopes of qualification for the semi-finals alive following their double defeat at the hands of Edinburgh last weekend.
Comets team manager Tony Jackson said: “Obviously the two defeats by Edinburgh were very disappointing and while we knew it would be tough up at Armadale, where our recent record is not good, we hoped for a much better performance at home but unfortunately things didn’t turn out that way.
“A few mechanical problems along with a couple of lads having an off night by their standards dealt a major blow to our League Cup semi-final hopes. But, we all had a good chat about things afterwards and they are all desperate to show that they can bounce back from that with a much better showing this weekend against a solid-looking Berwick team.
“There are still eleven more match points up for grabs and, while Edinburgh are certainly in the driving seat in our group, there is still the best-placed group runner-up spot available as a route into the semi-finals and we have to keep pushing for every point to try and secure that place.”

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SMCWA PRESENTATION NIGHT
GENERAL NEWS - 15 April, 2014
Story by Brad Muller

Some two hundred people attended the highly successful end of season trophy presentation night under the stars at the picturesque Pinjar Park venue. 

After a long season of racing the gala event was well received and enjoyed by all that attended. 

Special mention must be made to Joy Gordon and her band of merry helpers in putting on a great spread. 

Congratulations to all the competitors on an excellent season of entertaining racing that saw crowd numbers improve on last season's gate numbers. 

Many thanks to all the helpers that assisted on the night and many thanks to all those who supported the SMCWA on making season 2013/14 a huge success. 

SMCWA Award Winners -
Pee Wee non Comp A - Most Improved Awards – Mitchell McDiarmid and Ethan Roland.
Pee Wee non Comp B - Most Improved Awards – Xander Smith and Jet Dimovski.
Pee Wee Comp - Most Improved Award - Cuan Shirley
Pee Wee Comp - Encouragement Award – Jake Jolley

9-u16 Solo 125 - Most Improved Award – Christopher Bogdan
9-u16 Solo 125 - Encouragement Award – Ryan Philippson

13– u16 Solo 250cc - Most Improved Award – Declan Knowles
13 –u16 Solo 250cc - Encouragement Award - Jett Muller

Junior Sidecar Encouragement Awards – Jonah Sita & Morgan Cornwell and Scott Topping and Andrew Erzay

SNR Solo 250cc - Most Improved - Jason Taylor
SNR Solo 500cc - Most Improved Award – Des Heys

SNR Sidecar - Most Improved Award – Jason Roser and Gary Press

SMCWA Fairest & Best Awards:
JNR Solo – Declan Knowles
SNR Solo – Daniel Winchester
SNR Sidecar – Tony Shield / Ash Brown
Deb Patterson Award - Jo Estaban
Club Person of the Year Award – Glenn Gordon
SMCWA Life Time Membership Award – Glenn Gordon & Peter Muller

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BRITISH BRIEFS
UK NEWS - 15 April, 2014
Story by BSPA Press Office

BRITISH Speedway chairman Alex Harkess says the British Under-21 Final at Monmore Green on Tuesday promises a night of high entertainment.
The meeting is staged by the Cradley promotion for a third successive season with competitors looking to follow in the footsteps of recent winners Joe Haines and Robert Branford.
Harkess said: “There is no doubt switching the event to the West Midlands track and pinning admission prices back to National League level has been the perfect combination to revive the competition.
“And it’s particularly relevant this year with the elevation of the British youngsters into the Elite League. We know the event will be first-class and will provide plenty of entertainment and drama for the supporters. It’s an event I always enjoy because the youngsters never know when they are beaten.”

SCUNTHORPE won a thrilling encounter with champions Somerset to start their Premier League campaign with a 46-44 victory at the Eddie Wright Raceway.
The visitors led by two points going into the last race but after Pontus Aspgren had crashed out home duo Ryan Douglas and Ashley Birks both overhauled Nick Morris – Birks making his move off the final bend – to secure a match-winning 5-1.
Scorpions boss Dave Peet said: “This is a fabulous result – we knew Somerset were a very tough test for our opening league match.
“Ryan was again a trump card from reserve, and showed why we were keen to get him back over from Australia to ride for us this season.”
Rebels manager Garry May took the positives from a point gained at the end of a busy weekend in which his side competed without skipper Olly Allen following his crash at the Oak Tree Arena on Friday.
May said: “It's obviously disappointing that we didn't hang on for the win, but I think the fact this was our third match in as many days, and without Olly and operating rider replacement in his absence, began to take its toll on the riders and machinery. But we have still come away with a league point for our troubles.”
Newcastle returned to winning ways with a comprehensive 63-27 home victory over Sheffield with three riders scoring maximums.
Lewis Kerr, Ludvig Lindgren and Stuart Robson were all unbeaten by an opponent as the Diamonds moved into second place in their League Cup group, four points behind leaders Redcar.
Manager George English said: “That was more like the side we know we have assembled in 2014 and it was unfortunate for Sheffield that it was them who felt the force of our frustrations as we really hit them hard from start to finish. But this is the direction we need to keep this season going in now and that means hard work, which we know the lads will put in to keep the momentum going.”
In the National League there was a 68-21 win for reigning champions Cradley at Scunthorpe, with Tom Perry and Steve Worrall both unbeaten, whilst debutant Sam Chapman (12) impressed for the Stags.
Heathens boss Will Pottinger said: “It was another good meeting for us and it should give everyone a confidence boost - it was a professional performance and everyone rode well. We've got a tough test at Coventry next Monday but we are all really up for that meeting and hopefully we can make it two wins out of two with another win there.”

FORMER World Champion Chris Holder returns to the Poole team for Monday’s Elite League clash with Coventry at Wimborne Road.
Holder, who was due to sit out the domestic British campaign in 2014, has re-joined the Pirates as cover for the injured Darcy Ward and takes the No.1 position against the Bees.
Promoter Matt Ford said: “Chris always said that he would return to Poole if they needed him at any time.
“We have seen some great homecomings at this venue in my time and I really hope that the Poole fans will reserve such a welcome when we announce Chris on Monday.”
Two unbeaten clubs meet at Monmore Green as Wolverhampton host King’s Lynn, both clubs having secured two wins so far.
And Wolves promoter Chris Van Straaten has turned up the heat on his rivals following their 48-42 win at Coventry on Friday.
Van Straaten said: “There are strong rumours that some King’s Lynn fans might actually leave Norfolk and come to Wolverhampton to see their team.
“That rarely happens. We don’t see many King’s Lynn fans travelling to Wolverhampton traditionally, but who knows what a win at Coventry can do, it would be nice if the rumours are true and they actually come out of Norfolk for once!”
Belle Vue stage their first home Elite League fixture of the season as newcomers Leicester visit Kirkmanshulme Lane.
The Aces lost out in away trips to Swindon and Eastbourne last weekend whilst the Lions gained their first win at home to Lakeside on Saturday – and boss Norrie Allan is keen to maintain that momentum.
He said: “We rode well at both Lakeside and Eastbourne without getting the breaks and I am confident that an away win is just around the corner. Belle Vue have not ridden at home yet so perhaps that may go in our favour to give us a little track advantage on the night.”

KENT are on the lookout for a new reserve after the retirement of Dan Blake, who has quit the sport with immediate effect.
Kings boss John Sampford reported Blake, who returned to speedway this season after three and a half years away, was struggling with machinery and finances with the problems becoming clear when he was off the pace at Leicester last weekend.
Sampford said: “It will give us the opportunity to blood a newcomer and we have one or two good prospects to pick from. A decision will be made for our opening meeting after our Press Day on Monday.”

GREAT Britain boss Alun Rossiter has praised Peterborough’s Lewis Blackbird after taking charge of the Panthers’ 45-45 draw at Somerset on Friday.
Rossiter stood in as boss of the visitors who secured a last-heat 5-1 to share the spoils and says Blackbird, who also races in the top-flight for Eastbourne, caught his attention.
Rossiter said: “Lewis listened to the advice I gave him and produced some really good rides. I feel sure he is going to have a bright future ahead of him.”

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TROY: LESSONS TO LEARN
SGP NEWS - 14 April, 2014
Story by FIM Speedway Grand Prix













He said: “I don’t claim to be the best. I can admit to anyone that I’m still learning. I’m willing to learn and I just want to get ready for Bydgoszcz on April 26 now. New Zealand is done, so that’s one down and 11 to go.

“The whole GP is a different kettle of fish. You can go out and win a race in Britain with the bike setup not right. But if you’re off in the Grand Prix, you can easily run a last place. I need to work a little bit more on that really.”

Batchelor was keen to take the plus points from his trip to the City of Sails and learn lessons as well.

He said: “There are positives and negatives. I need to go back and re-evaluate, see what we need to change and what we learnt.

“The meeting was a bit up and down for everybody, apart from Nicki Pedersen, who went through the card and then lost it at the end. It was a tough track. In one race, you went on the inside. Then you had to go on the outside – the lines were mixed up. It was good racing for the TV and fans, but it makes it difficult for the riders.

“I had a little crash in heat 10 and threw away some points. You can’t give away anything at this level of speedway. The difference between 10 points, five and zero is minimal.

“It’s definitely not all bad. I made some good starts. Heat 10 got stopped when I was out in front and then I crashed in the re-run and that hindered me a bit. I ran a last in the next race.

“The track had changed so much from when I crashed and I kind of lost the setup a bit. But I got it back in the last one. I was all over Martin Smolinski and he went out and won the GP. It can’t all be bad.”

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BRITISH BRIEFS
UK NEWS - 14 April, 2014
Story by BSPA Press Office

BERWICK have stepped in to stage a World Championship qualifying round at Shielfield Park on Saturday June 7.
Chris Harris and Craig Cook have been nominated as the Great Britain representatives, with Richard Lawson as reserve, for the event which is part of the series to determine riders for the 2015 Grand Prix.
Berwick have replaced Austrian venue St Johann on the schedule and it continues a recent tradition for the Border club in staging major events.
Co-owner John Anderson said: “We are one of just three circuits in Britain currently authorised to stage FIM events.
“Having been honoured to have a GP Challenge event here in 2012, and one of the World U-21 Finals last season, we honestly weren’t too disappointed not to be included in the 2014 international calendar – Britain was in fact only allocated one FIM event this year, the World Cup meeting at King’s Lynn in late July.
“However, the authorities have apparently been having organisational problems with the GP qualifier to be staged in Austria, at St Johann on June 7, in just eight weeks’ time and Britain has been asked to step in and take over the organisation and staging of this meeting.
“I am honoured, and so pleased that the FIM and BSPA have announced the event will come to Shielfield Park, maintaining the original date of Saturday June 7.”
Elsewhere in the World Championship qualifiers, GB boss Alun Rossiter has confirmed that Danny King will travel to Ljubljana (Slovenia), also on June 7, whilst Richie Worrall will compete at German venue Abensberg on June 9.

LAKESIDE are to make an official complaint after reserve Adam Ellis was withdrawn from the Hammers’ Elite League match at Leicester on Saturday.
Ellis had been involved in a crash with team-mate Ben Morley in Heat 9, and Morley’s disqualification from the race meant the Hammers – who went on to lose the match by seven points – could not track a rider in the re-run.
A Lakeside statement read: “Following last night’s 48-41 point defeat at Leicester Lions, The Vortex Lakeside Hammers will make an official complaint to the SCB against both referee Peter Clarke and the Leicester Speedway medical officer following the exclusion of Adam Ellis from the meeting against the riders and the clubs wishes.
“Ellis was at the start of Heat 9 ready to race as the Hammers only rider in the line up, when he was called to return to the pits. The failure to provide a rider in the race following the exclusion of Ben Morley cost the club the extra point on the night.”
Leicester’s seven-point win gave them all three Elite League points enabling them to break their top-flight duck at the fourth attempt – to the delight of manager Norrie Allan.
He said: “It was an all-round display that won the day. Just three points separated the highest scorer in the side to the lowest and with the reserves chipping in the team performed exactly as it was set up to do with every rider in the one to five winning at least one race apiece.”
Meanwhile Eastbourne made it three home wins from three but were run close by Belle Vue at Arlington, the Aces leading in mid-meeting and going into the last race with a chance of snatching victory.
But a Heat 15 5-1 from Joonas Kylmakorpi and Cameron Woodward over Matej Zagar and Scott Nicholls not only secured the win for the Eagles, but also maximum points with a 50-43 success.
Kylmakorpi said: “I have been struggling. I had a tough time at Poole which maybe was a good thing because I have changed back to last year’s engines.
“It showed people that I can still ride. The Poole result was my worst, I cannot remember the last time I scored one point in the Elite League.”
Edinburgh took full control of their League Cup group by completing a weekend double over Workington with an impressive 50-43 win at Derwent Park.
The Monarchs have now equalled their club record best-ever start to a season, with six wins out of six so far, and they had four riders in double-figures including flying reserve Steve Worrall (13+2).
Injured skipper Derek Sneddon said: “I'm gutted I couldn't make it to Workington but the guys did well and I'm buzzing for them.”
Berwick are off the mark in the same group with a 55-37 win over Glasgow – with both Claus Vissing and David Bellego scoring maximums in the Shielfield Park clash.
Manager Ian Rae said: “The confidence boost is probably the most important thing to come out from tonight's fine win, even more than how much we won by. It was especially good to see Steen Jensen score good points and it sets us up nicely for the rest of the season.”
Somerset became the fourth club in the five-team Southern group to secure an away win as they collected maximum points from a 52-40 victory at Rye House, who suffered a second home defeat.
Nick Morris top-scored for the Rebels with 14+2 as they used rider-replacement for Olly Allen, whilst ex-Rocket Pontus Aspgren added 12+2.
Rebels boss Garry May said: “The boys were determined to make amends for the disappointment of Friday night, and although we went into the match without Olly who was still suffering the after-effects of his fall on Friday night, we still felt that we could come away from Rye House with the win and so it proved.”

SCUNTHORPE stage the first Premier League fixture of the season when reigning champions Somerset visit the Eddie Wright Raceway on Sunday.
The match pits together the winners of the competition for the last two years – and home promoter Rob Godfrey is predicting a hard-fought encounter. Scunthorpe bring in Aaron Summers to guest for injured No.1 Anders Mellgren.
Godfrey said: “We really get our Premier League campaign off to a home win – we don’t want to be playing catch up. It’s going to be a cracker.  We need the Scorpions fans to be vocal to help cheer the team onto victory.”
The League Cup continues with Glasgow hosting Berwick in their opening home group fixture, having been beaten at Shielfield Park on Saturday.
Tigers star Mark Lemon remains confident in the team’s ability, saying: “The club's put together a good team on paper. You need a bit of luck, and everyone seems to be working in the right direction, which is nice to see.”
Meanwhile Newcastle host Sheffield with both teams bidding to bounce back from disappointing defeats on Thursday.
The Diamonds were beaten at Redcar in a result which gives the Bears a strong position in the group, whilst Sheffield slipped to a home defeat against Scunthorpe.
In the National League, Scunthorpe host Cradley after their Premier League match has been concluded – and Heathens boss Will Pottinger says his side can benefit from a meeting they are expected to win.
He said: “Obviously everyone is expecting a comfortable win but I will be looking for a solid performance from our lads with no mistakes. It will be good for the lads to be together once again and get more laps in before we go to Coventry on Easter Monday.”

KING’S Lynn boss Rob Lyon has a warning for the rest of the Elite League – the Stars can improve on their impressive start to the season.
Lyon’s side followed up their home success over leaders Lakeside in their opening fixture on Wednesday with a 48-42 away triumph at Coventry, giving them six points from two matches.
The Stars manager said: “Friday was the perfect tonic. I feel the team is a slow burner and we can get better. If we stay clear of any major problems we will get better and better as the season goes on.
“I think you saw with Kenneth (Bjerre) having a bad one by his own high standards, we have still have come away with a six point win. He’ll bounce back – he’s too good a rider not to do that.”

STOKE promoter Dave Tattum has admitted his frustration at the postponement of today’s season-opener against Buxton due to track conditions at Loomer Road.
The Potters are set to call in outside expert assistance to solve issues created by extreme damp on the Main Stand side of the circuit, including a soft area close to the white line at the entrance to the first turn.
Tattum said: “We will attempt to trace exactly where the severe damp is coming from, and if necessary examine the drainage, but above all we must safely unite the under-soil, the aggregate base and the top surface in a way that makes it safe to race on.
“I cannot in all conscience ask riders to risk their limbs and their equipment on the present surface in the two affected areas and I attribute the problem to some residual heavy damp or a rise in the water table below the track surface. I hope people will understand that we have made extensive efforts to rectify this problem but have had to admit failure.”

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SGP FOR MELBOURNE
SGP NEWS - 12 April, 2014
Story by Peter White

We’re hearing there WILL be an SGP at Etihad Stadium in Melbourne in 2015.

It’s early doors but my mail says it’s ON and it’s likely to be the last round in late October.

My mate Mick Page, who had his ear to the ground in Auckland, said:“People were talking about this in NZ and saying it came from somebody who got it from somebody who got it from Ole Olsen”! And Kieren Blake posted on ausm@yahoogroups.com:“Paul Bellamy (of BSI) was in Melbourne for a couple of days before the GP and flew back there Sunday to continue negotiations. They are looking at Etihad Stadium - Docklands.

Why? 1) It has a roof 2) It can be converted fairly easily and 3) the stadium manager used to be the stadium manager at Cardiff, so they already have someone on board that (sic) wants speedway.”

Are they on the money? Grapevine says yes. Remember my notes in SW last year wherein I mentioned a representative of Etihad Stadium had approached me in the Western Springs pits to tap my opinion on the feasability of staging an SGP in Melbourne? Looks like he was fair dinkum ...

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BRITISH BRIEFS
UK NEWS - 12 April, 2014
Story by BSPA Press Office

SWINDON manager Alun Rossiter said riders had answered his call as the Robins secured their first win of the Elite League season at Blunsdon.
Rossiter’s side overcame Belle Vue 57-36, extending their margin from five to 21 points over the final five races of the meeting.
Winter signing Simon Gustafsson top-scored along with Nick Morris on 11+2, with the only last place for the Swindon top five occurring when Peter Kildemand fell in Heat 10.
Rossiter said: “It was a much better performance from the boys. We’ve always said if we give this team some confidence we will grow and that’s what happened.
“I asked for a bit more from Nicolai (Klindt) and I got it, and plenty of riders showed some good improvement during the meeting. There’s still more to come from all of them.”
Scunthorpe blew the Northern League Cup group wide open with an impressive 53-41 win at Sheffield – avenging the Tigers’ early-season win at the Eddie Wright Raceway.
Josh Auty returned to form for the Scorpions with 14 points from five rides on his old home track, and reserve Ryan Douglas chipped in with 10.
Scunthorpe boss Dave Peet said: “We knew that, collectively, we hadn’t performed as a team in the first three meetings. We’d had a lot of niggly bike problems. We had to get those sorted out, and now we have. I don’t think I’ve ever seen us gating so well.”
Elsewhere in the group, Newcastle boss George English hinted a de-brief is in prospect following a 35-55 reverse at local rivals Redcar, for whom Richard Lawson scored a full maximum.
English said: “I thought we were back on track early on in this meeting as we certainly had the beating of the Bears, but we seemed to get lost completely and certain riders were just not up to speed at all which in a local derby like this is not acceptable.
“So once again there are some interesting conversations to be had. We will get our winning ways back as it’s still early doors and we can still make this a great season.”
Ipswich, meanwhile, maintained their perfect home record in the Southern group with a 50-41 in over Plymouth – the Witches being well-served by guest Ricky Wells who top-scored on 11+1.
Manager Chris Louis said: “It went as I expected, us building up a lead and then Plymouth coming back strong around the half-way mark. With Kalle (Katajisto) at reserve this gives them a lot of flexibility and they used him well. However I am very pleased that we held on and got the three points required and a special thank-you to Ricky for being such an excellent stand-in for Richie (Worrall).”

ELITE League leaders Lakeside race their third home fixture of the season when Birmingham visit Purfleet on Friday.
The Hammers suffered their first defeat of the campaign on Wednesday at King’s Lynn whilst at the same time the Brummies were gaining their first win, against Coventry – and Lakeside promoter Jon Cook is calling for his side to maintain their focus throughout the meeting.
Cook said: “So far we've been starting home meetings in style only to somewhat stumble over the line later on. This week we need to find that consistency to the end.”
Meanwhile Coventry welcome King’s Lynn for the first Elite League match at Brandon this season, with the Bees expecting a tough test after already picking up as many points in their first two away matches as in the whole of 2013 on the road.
Manager Gary Havelock said: “Five points from two matches has been an excellent start for us, especially thinking back to when we were sat on zero last year! But we know Friday is going to be a very difficult one, King’s Lynn look to have a very good team and they are being tipped for honours so it’s going to be a real test.”
The Border section of the League Cup reaches a crucial stage with Edinburgh and Workington clashing twice in two nights, firstly at Armadale on Friday.
Monarchs skipper Derek Sneddon said: “This week we know we are going to have our toughest test yet against Workington. It will be very hard down there but the buzz in the camp is the best for years, and I’m comfortable with the home match.”
Comets boss Tony Jackson said: “The last few years have seen us get some disappointing results at Armadale, but we are determined to make amends this time round. New Comets Josh Grajczonek and Ricky Wells generally go well around there so, all being well we can put on a good show and see where it takes us.”
In the Southern group, Plymouth host Ipswich in the return of last night’s fixture in East Anglia, whilst Somerset open their home League Cup campaign against Peterborough – who include Aaron Summers as a guest for Ryan Fisher at No.1.
The Rebels have three meetings in three days, and boss Garry May said: “The boys will be allowed their moment of glory for their success in winning the Premier Shield as they go round on the pre-meeting parade, but then they need to be fully focussed as we embark on a tough weekend of meetings.”

CRADLEY youngster Nathan Greaves says he is determined to enjoy the experience of the British Under-21 Final at Monmore next Tuesday.
Greaves won a call-up to the meeting after the withdrawal of reigning champion Robert Branford, having just missed out on automatic qualification from the semi-final at Plymouth.
He said: “I should have qualified that night to be honest. But I was just a bit unlucky I think, so I’m pleased to have got the call. I’m determined to do well but I know what a tough meeting it will be.
“It’s the biggest meeting I will have raced in so far and it’s nice to know the Cradley fans will be behind me. But I’m not going to put any pressure on myself, I’m just going to go out there and enjoy it and see what I can do.”

BUXTON have added 18-year-old Sean Phillips to the teamsheet for their National League campaign.
Phillips becomes the fifth confirmed signing for the Hitmen and they are close to reaching agreement with a sixth rider.
He said: “I hope to outscore my opposite number in every meeting and add to my average to become a solid member of the main body of the team.
“I am excited to be back wearing a Hitmen race jacket after making a few guest appearances last season and it will be great to be back amongst the strong team spirit and working alongside the supportive management and fans.”

KING’S Lynn fought back from an early six-point deficit to take a 48-42 win at Coventry as they continued their strong start to the Elite League campaign.
The Stars conceded a first-race 5-1 but top man Niels-Kristian Iversen was unbeaten thereafter with several of their less experienced riders shining.
Fast-track reserve Lewis Kerr got the better of Bees top-scorer Ryan Fisher to level the scores in a 5-1 with Nicklas Porsing in Heat 12, and the Stars completed victory in the next two races.
Coventry promoter Mick Horton said: “We’re not making any excuses, King’s Lynn were better than us on the night and you have to accept that sometimes. We are a good team and we will bounce back.”
Lakeside remain top of the table thanks to a thumping 69-21 home win over Birmingham, with three riders scoring maximums.
Davey Watt, Mikkel Bech and Lewis Bridger were all unbeaten for the Hammers whilst the Brummies managed just one race win, coming from Edward Kennett in his fourth outing, on a tough night.
There was a big League Cup away win for Ipswich at Plymouth, with the Witches now holding a 100 per cent record from four matches thanks to their 52-41 success – achieved without Adam Ellis (EL duty) and Ritchie Hawkins (injury).
Morten Risager (14) and Richie Worrall (12+2) both clocked up double figures to the delight of boss Chris Louis.
He said: “That was a great effort by the team. Chris Schramm proved to be a good choice to cover for Adam and his two heat wins helped us gain that early advantage. Despite several of the guys either not being fully fit or suffering from one of the viruses that appear to be going around they really pulled together.”
Elsewhere in the Southern group, Somerset were held to a 45-45 draw by Peterborough after home skipper Olly Allen crashed out in his first ride.
Allen was concussed in the incident but the Rebels still built a lead only for visiting duo Ales Dryml and Ulrich Ostergaard to secure a 5-1 in the last race and snatch the draw.
Somerset boss Garry May said: “It was gutting not to get the win, especially given that we were without Olly for the whole match and his rides only yielded three points as they had to be taken by our reserve riders. You cannot fault the way the guys rode to try and overcome Olly's loss, but Peterborough are a strong outfit and took advantage of the situation to sneak the draw in that last heat decider.”
Edinburgh remain unbeaten from three matches in the Border group after defeating Workington 55-38 at Armadale – despite seeing captain Derek Sneddon withdraw from the meeting having suffered a back injury.
But Craig Cook scored another paid maximum and the home reserves outscored their counterparts 22-4 to set up the victory.
Edinburgh boss Alex Harkess said: “It was a great performance – in the end! It was too close for comfort for a while. But what a great pair of reserves we’ve got.”

LEICESTER promoter David Hemsley is hoping his team have learned from recent away defeats as they chase their first win since joining the Elite League.
The Lions host Lakeside at the Jordan Road Surfacing Stadium on Saturday having showed some encouraging signs in defeats at Purfleet and then at Eastbourne last weekend.
Hemsley said: “We are a new team that has to get used to one another but my impression is after taking into account the last three fixtures we are close to collecting our first league points of the season and hopefully it will be on Saturday night against Lakeside.”
Eastbourne boss Trevor Geer wants his side to entertain as well as win, with a Belle Vue team led by ex-Eagle Matej Zagar visiting Arlington.
Geer said: “In our first two meetings there has been racing out of the top drawer. That’s what I love and that’s what the fans love. Yes, we want to win but I want supporters going home talking about the fantastic speedway they have seen.”
In the League Cup, Berwick host Glasgow in the Border group with Bandits director George Hepburn aware of the threat provided by Tigers newcomer Kevin Wolbert.
Hepburn said: “Wolbert certainly turn it on around Shielfield Park. We are looking for a few of our lads to get the better of him on Saturday – if they can do that, then I think we can take maximum points from the fixture.”
Workington take on Edinburgh in the reverse fixture from Friday’s clash at Armadale, and Comets owner Laura Morgan expects a tough meeting with former home star Craig Cook back in town.
She said: “They are always close meetings when Edinburgh visit and I am sure this one will be no different. Looking at the two teams this match has all the ingredients for an excellent meeting with plenty of close racing. Both teams have the potential to provide some thrilling entertainment for the supporters.”
In the Southern group Rye House have skipper Jason Bunyan back from the New Zealand Grand Prix for his first appearance of the season as they bid to recover form against Somerset, having lost at home to Plymouth last week.
Rockets boss John Sampford said: “It’s going to be a tough match, that’s for sure. (Somerset team manager) Garry May doesn’t put together teams that fail, and they have obvious Rye House track specialists in Nick Morris, Olly Allen and Pontus Aspgren. But we are determined to bounce back.”

LAKESIDE and Ipswich youngster Adam Ellis goes into Tuesday’s British Under-21 Final at Cradley as one of the favourites – and has set his sights firmly on top spot in the meeting.
Ellis has started the campaign in blistering form for both the Hammers and the Witches, consistently recording impressive scores as one of the fast-track reserves in the Elite League.
He said: “I feel like I’ve definitely got a good chance, I just need everything to come together on the day and hopefully I can have a good night.
“It's a meeting I'm desperate to win, and I've got plenty more years left at Under-21 level so I'd love to maybe even win it more than once over the next few years.”

BELLE Vue No.1 Matej Zagar has spoken of his nightmare evening in the Aces’ 36-57 defeat at Swindon on Thursday.
The Slovenian says he wants to bounce back quickly for the club’s supporters after a new engine blew up in Heat 11, effectively ending his meeting.
He said: “I was so disappointed with my personal performance. I had a brand new engine, only just back from the tuners, blow up on me and with the rest of my bikes still in New Zealand, that was the only one I had.
“It meant I couldn’t take my place in Heat 13 which was very frustrating but truthfully I'm glad this has happened now rather than later on in the season, and I will definitely be looking to make it up to the fans the next time I'm racing.”

SHEFFIELD co-promoter Damien Bates says the Tigers’ home defeat to Scunthorpe on Thursday was a blip rather than a crisis.
A big crowd watched as the Scorpions gave a master class to gain revenge for the defeat in North Lincolnshire last month.
Bates said: “I’m disappointed with the result, not just as a management team but as a fan, and I’m still a massive fan.
“We were delighted with the turnout and long may it continue, but some of the team are still getting to grips with the Sheffield track, especially the younger lads who have hardly ridden the place. I’m confident it’s just a blip in what has been a very encouraging start to the season and Scunthorpe were well and truly up for revenge.”

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:: SPEEDWAY BIKE NEWS FOR THE PAST 7 DAYS ::
Australian international Troy Batchelor admits he is on a steep learning curve after bagging four points on his full-time FIM Speedway Grand Prix debut in Auckland.

The Swindon skipper had a baptism of fire in the land of the long white cloud as he collected a second and two thirds, plus a last place and an exclusion in race 10.

Batchelor was only called up to the SGP series a month prior to the opening round in New Zealand and had raced just one Grand Prix before this season – the Torun SGP in October 2013.

Despite competing in Europe’s top leagues for several seasons, the Vastervik and Wroclaw rider knows he still needs time to take the biggest step up of all in speedway.
Troy Batcheloar.
Aussie international Darcy Ward says he will test his fitness before committing to a track comeback in Torun’s Polish Ekstraliga meeting with Wroclaw on Easter Monday.

The 21-year-old suffered knee ligament damage, a broken thumb and concussion when he crashed in the New Zealand SGP on April 5.

He has been temporarily replaced in the Poole team by compatriot Chris Holder and was targeting a comeback in the European SGP at Bydgoszcz on April 26.

But following Torun’s shock 46-44 loss at newly-promoted Gdansk last Sunday, which saw Emil Sayfutdinov injured, Ward is considering an early return, along with the Russian.

Despite being named in the Torun septet, Ward emphasised that he will not race at the Marian Rose Motoarena if he feels he could put himself at risk of sustaining more damage.
Darcy Ward.