Tuesday April 22, 2008
WELCOME to the latest edition of the weekly BSPA bulletins keeping you in touch with news, views and fixtures from the tracks up and down the country.

BELLE VUE manager Chris Morton said there were no excuses after the Aces lost their unbeaten home tag with a shock defeat at the hands of Swindon.

Morton said: "We were poor overall and we paid for basic mistakes. The falls suffered by (Joe) Screen and (Charlie) Gjedde certainly didn't help but we were beaten by a team who were really determined to do well.

"We were let down by the riders who had done so well for us at home this season and it has left me a bit lost for words. But you cannot win matches when two of the riders in the main body of the team score four each and another only gets five."

COVENTRY manager Peter Oakes says that a week off comes at a good time for the reigning champions, who overcame Poole in a close contest at home last Friday with both Rory Schlein and Olly Allen riding through the pain barrier after recent crashes.

Oakes said: "We've had a fairly busy and hectic opening to the season, so it's good to give people the chance to re-charge their batteries and sort out a few problems, and at least we go into the break off the back of a good result.

"Rather like Swindon last year, I think Poole have got the best line-up in the Elite League, so to beat them and a little more convincingly than the final score suggested, showed tremendous character."

EASTBOURNE star Scott Nicholls proved his fitness ahead of the Slovenian Grand Prix with a paid-13 return for the Eagles after three weeks out with a hand injury.

Nicholls said: "In the first few races I eased myself in a little bit, seeing how the hand and wrist would hold up. But as the meeting went on my confidence grew.

"I wanted to stop Jason's (Crump) maximum in the last one and more importantly I wanted to go home with a good win so I was happy in the end and we had a fantastic result. Jason was on fire all night so for me to beat him was a pretty big achievement."

IPSWICH manager Pete Simmons intends to change his riding order after the Witches threw away another lead at the halfway stage of their match at Peterborough to go down by eight points and remain bottom of the table.

Simmons said: "We have ridden four Elite League matches this season and have led in each meeting yet failed to win any. We rode well during the first half of the meeting tonight but then made some mistakes at crucial times to allow Peterborough back into the meeting.

"We now move on to Thursday’s clash with Eastbourne at Foxhall where we will be changing the pairings around in an attempt to be stronger towards the end of meetings."

LAKESIDE boss Jon Cook said it was an all-round effort which secured the Hammers their first away win of their Elite League campaign - an impressive 49-41 result at Wolverhampton.

Cook said: "The lads adapted quickly and professionally to the track conditions and credit for the win must go to a solid team performance

"Once again, when one rider slipped up, another team-mate stepped up to the plate and put in a hero's performance . They gave me the ability to use a tactical strategy to help us win."

PETERBOROUGH manager Trevor Swales has sounded a warning to members of the Panthers side who have struggled to live up to their potential so far this season.

Swales said: "I want to see riders really upset when they fail to win a race, but that is not always the case. I absolutely hate losing and they should feel the same way.

"Given that the Elite League is not as strong as it has been in previous years all of the riders should have gone forward, but we have some going the other way. That can't be tolerated and certain guys have got to perform better than they have been doing."

POOLE captain Bjarne Pedersen believes Poole can overcome Coventry over two legs in the forthcoming Craven Shield semi-final.

Pedersen, who scored a maximum in the Pirates' narrow Elite League defeat at Brandon, said: "With a bit of luck, we should have everyone back fully fit before the semi-final and I think it will lift the whole team when we have our own seven riders again.

"We really need some away wins and when we are a full team it will take the pressure of Karol (Zabik). He is young and just needs to get his head right, get on the bike, get a few wins and he will be back on track."

SWINDON boss Alun Rossiter saluted his unfancied team after a second away win of the season at Belle Vue on Monday.

Rossiter said: "We have worked hard on the starts and talked about how important it is to get a good one. That was the difference.

"We knew it would be slick out there so we knew we had to get a good start and, if we could, we would win. But more than anything tonight was about the team. It was a real team effort, a real seven-rider win."

WOLVERHAMPTON’S maximum man Niels Kristian Iversen had mixed feelings after the 49-41 home defeat by Lakeside in front of the Sky Sports cameras.

Iversen romped to a 15-point haul but the rest of the team failed to deliver the goods.

He said: “I’m very happy with my first maximum for Wolverhampton but at the same time it’s very disappointing for us to lose at home like this. We need to win away from home, we have put ourselves under pressure.”


BERWICK are riding high at the top of the Premier League table with an away win in the bag and now a home success over highly-fancied Sheffield.

Promoter Peter Waite said: "Now we really have hit the big time with this complete win. They are an excellent side who ride our place so very well, yet our lads went and conquered them with relative ease. It is hoped this great form can continue to keep the Bandits on top of the League."

BIRMINGHAM boss Graham Drury is hoping Mattia Carpanese creates a problem for him when James Birkinshaw returns to full fitness.

Carpanese has been signed as a shot term replacement for broken collarbone victim Birkinshaw.
Said Drury: “It would be nice to think that Matty could score a load of points and give me a tough decision to make when Birko returns.”

EDINBURGH enjoyed one of their best away nights in years by taking a point from a 45-45 draw at King's Lynn - eventually being denied a win by a 5-1 in the last race from the home side.

Monarchs director Mike Hunter said: "This was one of our best away performances in a long time. And we were a bit unlucky not to win the match. I thought if we scored 40 we'd be doing well. We won at King's Lynn in 1967 - we hadn't done anything there since then!"

GLASGOW manager Stewart Dickson believes an imminent drop to reserve should give Australian youngster Mitchell Davey the confidence boost he needs to make a big impact in the Premier League.

Dickson said: "Big Lee (Dicken) is firing well at reserve, and he will likely move into the main body of the side. Mitchell will drop to reserve, and that will be exactly what he needs as he is very low on confidence at the moment. He's struggling to get out of the starts, but I'm sure once he gets a few wins under his belt we'll see his stock rising."

ISLE OF WIGHT boss Dave Croucher saw his team hit the ground running with three 5-1s in the first five races at Mildenhall, which set the Islanders up for their first away win of the season.

Croucher said: "We said from the moment we put this team together in the winter that if they all clicked at the same time, then we'd hand our opposition a bit of a hiding. Today was such a day!"

KING'S LYNN manager Rob Lyon has decided to switch the Stars' riding order, with Shaun Tacey and Rusty Harrison set to be given outings in the No.4 race jacket, which includes the vital Heat 14.

Lyon said: "In the last few meetings we have proved to be particularly vulnerable towards the end of a meeting. We just need a bit more experience in that particular race and at the moment Shaun is the right man for that. We will also try Rusty in there for a few of the away meetings over the next week."

MILDENHALL stage two meetings in two days this weekend with local rivals King's Lynn visiting in the Premier Trophy on Saturday, followed the next day by Redcar in the Knockout Cup - with Robbie Kessler set to make his long-awaited home debut.

Manager Laurence Rogers said: "Kings Lynn seem to be better on the road than at home but hopefully we can put a stop to that as we did last year. Saturday will see the home debut for Robbie Kessler although Kai (Laukkanen) continues as captain as Robbie concentrates on getting match fit."

NEWCASTLE manager George English said not too much should be read into the Diamonds' Premier Trophy home defeat by Scunthorpe - and is predicting a different outcome when the teams meet in the League!

English said: "Last week it was annoying to lose to Workington, a side we should have beaten, but tonight it was all down to bad fortune and I can say the next time Scunthorpe come here we will send them away pointless. Our luck will turn, and we'll need it too to take on Somerset in the Cup."

NEWPORT promoter Tim Stone regarded the Wasps' one-point defeat against Redcar as a missed opportunity, especially after seeing their opponents depleted due to injury.

Stone said: "It was one hell of a meeting, very tough and a good advert for speedway. It was a nail-biting finish, but it was a meeting that we should have won and that's disappointing."

READING reserve Jamie Smith produced his best performance of the season in the Racers' key win over Workington on Monday, scoring paid eleven as his side eased to a 54-39 win.

Smith said: "Meetings like this boost your confidence and I felt pretty good on my bike. It was a good night overall, especially for the team. We needed to start off in the league with a good win and I think we have done ourselves proud tonight."

REDCAR skipper Gary Havelock was the last-heat hero for his team as the Bears won at Newport - despite going down to four riders when James Grieves and Josh Auty crashed out in Heat 10.

Havelock said: "Losing Grievesy and Josh in the same race that they were using a tactical double was a treble whammy. They got their tails back up and really had a go at us but it’s testament to the four lads who were left that we got stuck in and saw it out, amazingly."

RYE HOUSE manager John Sampford says the return of Swedish ace Stefan Ekberg from injury is a big boost to the Rockets - who defeated King's Lynn by 20-points at the weekend.

Sampford said: "He's still got a problem with his thumb, but it's not as bad as it was. We had our hearts in our mouths a couple of times when he went what we would consider as far too wide on the exit to the turns, but he pulled through and got a good double figure score."

SCUNTHORPE secured their first away win of the season with a 47-43 verdict at Newcastle in the Premier Trophy - leading to celebrations for several ex-Diamonds in the Scorpions squad.

Manager Kenny Smith said: "It was so electric. Victory was so sweet because we had so many riders with Newcastle connections. You can’t knock this team that we have put together for atmosphere, they all stick together."

SHEFFIELD are waiting to study the DVD of their defeat at Berwick before deciding whether to discipline Ricky Ashworth.

Ashworth brought down Mikal Makovsky after a race and was fined by the referee.

Tigers chief Neil Machin said: “We need to see the footage and if we decide it is necessary we will take some disciplinary action which will be kept as a private matter within the club.”

SOMERSET skipper Simon Walker feels this Friday's first leg at home will be crucial for the Rebels as they commence their bid for the Knockout Cup against Newcastle.

Walker said: "We need to build up as big a lead as possible on Friday ahead of Sunday's return fixture. Newcastle will be tough to beat on their own track, so the greater the lead we can build up on Friday the more pressure it will put on them for the second leg."

STOKE boss John Adams says the Potters will go into this weekend's Knockout Cup clashes with Workington in good spirits after their win over Scunthorpe last Saturday.

Adams said: "That was a solid team performance against a decent Scunthorpe side and it gives us a boost ahead of the KO Cup meetings. Ben Barker was unbeaten and Lee Complin only dropped one point, but it was the strength in depth we had that pleased me."

WORKINGTON'S interim averages have led to a change in riding order, with Kauko Nieminen having a higher average than Carl Stonehewer and therefore moving to No.3 to partner Charles Wright.

Manager Ian Thomas said: "After six matches we can look at team positioning and then when we have raced 12 matches, there's an opportunity for team changes if those are felt necessary. It will be interesting to see how the positional changes affect us."


PREMIER LEAGUE: Isle of Wight v Workington 7.30

SKY SPORTS ELITE LEAGUE: Poole v Eastbourne 7.30
PREMIER LEAGUE: King's Lynn v Newcastle 7.30
PREMIER LEAGUE KOC: Birmingham v Glasgow 7.45

SKY SPORTS ELITE LEAGUE: Ipswich v Eastbourne 7.30, Swindon v Wolverhampton 7.30
PREMIER LEAGUE KOC: Redcar v Mildenhall 7.30 Sheffield v Isle of Wight 7.45

BRITISH UNDER-21 FINAL: Lakeside 7.30
PREMIER LEAGUE KOC: Edinburgh v Berwick 7.30, Somerset v Newcastle 7.30
CHALLENGE: Weymouth v Newport Mavericks 7.15

PREMIER LEAGUE KOC: Berwick v Edinburgh 7pm, Rye House v Newport 7pm, Workington v Stoke 7pm
PREMIER TROPHY: Mildenhall v King's Lynn 7pm
CONFERENCE LEAGUE: Scunthorpe v Redcar 7pm
CHALLENGE: Plymouth v Conference League All Stars 7.30

PREMIER LEAGUE KOC: Mildenhall v Redcar 4.30, Newcastle v Somerset 5.30, Newport v Rye House 3pm, Stoke v Workington 7.30
PREMIER TROPHY: Glasgow v Edinburgh 4pm, Birmingham v King's Lynn 6pm
CHALLENGE: Buxton v Belle Vue Colts 3pm

SKY SPORTS ELITE LEAGUE: Belle Vue v Coventry 7.30, Swindon v Eastbourne 7.30, Wolverhampton v Peterborough 7.30
PREMIER LEAGUE KOC: Reading v King's Lynn 7.30

PREMIER LEAGUE KOC: Isle of Wight v Sheffield 7.30

CRAVEN SHIELD SEMI FINAL: Poole v Coventry 7.30
PREMIER LEAGUE: Birmingham v Somerset 7.45
PREMIER LEAGUE KOC: King's Lynn v Reading 7.30

PREMIER LEAGUE: Redcar v Berwick 7.30
PREMIER TROPHY: Sheffield v Newcastle 7.45

SKY SPORTS ELITE LEAGUE: Lakeside v Ipswich 8pm
CRAVEN SHIELD SEMI FINAL: Coventry v Poole 8pm
PREMIER LEAGUE: Edinburgh v King's Lynn 7.30, Somerset v Scunthorpe 7.30

SKY SPORTS ELITE LEAGUE: Eastbourne v Swindon 7.30
PREMIER LEAGUE: Berwick v King's Lynn 7pm, Stoke v Birmingham 7.30, Workington v Rye House 7pm
PREMIER TROPHY: Redcar v Scunthorpe 6pm
CONFERENCE LEAGUE: Redcar v Plymouth (follows PT fixture)
CONFERENCE LEAGUE KOC: Rye House v Sittingbourne 7pm
CHALLENGE: Weymouth v Somerset Giants 7.15

PREMIER LEAGUE: Birmingham v Stoke 6pm, Glasgow v Newcastle 4pm, Newport v Berwick 3pm
PREMIER TROPHY: Mildenhall v Rye House 4.30
CONFERENCE LEAGUE: Boston v Plymouth 7.30

SKY SPORTS ELITE LEAGUE: Ipswich v Peterborough 3.30, Poole v Swindon 7.30, Wolverhampton v Coventry 7.30
PREMIER LEAGUE: Newcastle v Glasgow 7pm, Reading v Berwick 7.30, Rye House v Workington 2pm, Scunthorpe v Somerset 3pm
CONFERENCE LEAGUE: Rye House v Boston (follows PL fixture), Scunthorpe v Weymouth (follows PL fixture)

PREMIER LEAGUE: Isle of Wight v Berwick 7.30

SKY SPORTS ELITE LEAGUE: Belle Vue v Eastbourne 7.30
PREMIER LEAGUE: Birmingham v Newcastle 7.30, King's Lynn v Redcar 7.30

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