Date: Monday October 4, 2021
EDINBURGH are in control of their Championship play-off quarter-final after winning 51-39 in the first leg at Redcar on Sunday.
Josh Pickering starred for the Monarchs with 13 points and his total was matched by impressive reserve Drew Kemp, with No.1 Sam Masters adding 10+2.
Jake Allen scored 11 for the Bears and Charles Wright picked up 10+1 but the home side suffered from the absence of the injured Michael Palm Toft and now have an uphill task when they visit Armadale.
Pickering said: “We came here with every intention to win. We got the draw early in the season, but that was our first away match and we hadn’t had any practice so tonight we knew we would go better.
“We are here to win, home and away we are going to be very strong. For me, I was just focused on winning races, that’s my job now for this team and I need to score as many as possible.”
Redcar co-promoter Jamie Swales said: “Having to run rider replacement was the key difference in my opinion this evening but you could not fault the lack of effort from our guys.
“Jordan Jenkins hurt his wrist again which didn’t help but rider replacement returned two points and even if Tofty was having a bad night he would return at least six for us.”
PETERBOROUGH have a two-point lead heading into the home leg of their Premiership play-off semi-final against Wolverhampton tonight (Monday).
But the Panthers are still sweating on the fitness of Michael Palm Toft, who has been elevated to No.1 in their October averages with Bjarne Pedersen going to reserve as Hans Andersen moves up.
The home side have Lewis Kerr on standby to guest if required, whilst Wolves are at full strength and need to win at the East of England Arena for the first time this season if they are to reach the Grand Final.
Peterborough boss Rob Lyon said: “We still have a job to do and Wolverhampton will come to us with a positive attitude.
“We know it will be a hard night for us but we’ll give it everything and hopefully that will get us over the line.
“We won’t be taking anything for granted, we’ll just go on the front foot and hopefully that will be enough.”
Wolves skipper Rory Schlein said: “I’ve told the boys we have to stay positive, we have to go on the front foot from the start and we have guys who can go really well around the Peterborough track.
“We’ll go there with a game plan and try and claw it back. It’s only two points, we can do it, it’s certainly not over yet.”
SHEFFIELD and Belle Vue get their delayed Premiership play-off semi-final underway with the first leg at Owlerton tonight (Monday).
The meeting fell victim to the weather last week but the sides are unchanged with the Tigers having won both home clashes with the Aces in the regular campaign, although both went to last-heat deciders.
Sheffield co-owner Damien Bates said: “It’s the biggest night of speedway Owlerton has seen in the modern era, our first ever Premiership play-off and we can only hope the lads are on form and up for the challenge.
“I’m sure Simon Stead will have them fired up for it and, if anything, the wait has just made us more desperate to get on with it and get stuck in.”
Belle Vue boss Mark Lemon said: “We have our game plan and our goals for this meeting. We know we are quite capable of putting on a very strong performance at Owlerton and I expect no less on this occasion.
“The boys are hungry, the whole club is hungry for league success and we know we must bring a decent advantage into the second leg at the National Speedway Stadium.”
NEWCASTLE have made an early start to 2022 team building by announcing James Wright will remain with the club this year.
Wright will continue as skipper of the Diamonds having taken over role during the current campaign, in which he made a successful return to the sport.
Club owner Rob Grant said: “James has been a total professional for us – a real pleasure to work with, and he was super-keen to come back to us for next year having enjoyed his time up here to date.
“He’s truly ‘old school’ with bags more potential to bring to the table, so we’re only too delighted he’s back with the Diamonds.
“This past season he was involved in some terrific tussles proving he’s still very much capable of mixing it with the best opposition the other team can throw at him.”
SCUNTHORPE skipper Simon Lambert says the club can take plenty of pride from the 2021 season despite their play-off disappointment.
The Scorpions lost 36-54 at home to Leicester last Friday making them rank outsiders to reach the semi-finals when the return takes place in the East Midlands this weekend.
Lambert said: “On the whole, we’ve had a great year and it’s been the biggest honour of my life to be club captain of this side.
“It’s been a pleasure to ride for Scunthorpe this year and I very hope I’m back here next year – I’m pretty sure I will be.
“We exceeded expectations this year. We were written off by everyone, and we were tipped to be battling for the wooden spoon, but that never happened or looked like happening. I’m proud that we reached the play-offs, which no-one expected us to do, but we knew we could do it.”
BIRMINGHAM manager Laurence Rogers has revealed there has been some interest declared in taking over the club.
Co-owners Peter and David Mason stepped down following last Wednesday’s final meeting of the season against Edinburgh, leaving the Brummies’ future for 2022 uncertain.
Rogers said: “We have had several bits of interest over the past week or so and I’m doing everything I can to get things moving in the background.
“All I can really say is watch this space at the moment. I’m not prepared to let all of our hard work go to waste.
“I’m part of the furniture now, I can’t move from here and I won’t give up without a fight, let me tell you that much.”
MONDAY OCTOBER 4:
PREMIERSHIP PLAY-OFF SEMI-FINAL 2nd leg: Peterborough v Wolverhampton 7.30; 1st leg: Sheffield v Belle Vue 7.30
TUESDAY OCTOBER 5:
NATIONAL DEVELOPMENT LEAGUE: Kent v Leicester 6.30
THURSDAY OCTOBER 7:
PREMIERSHIP PLAY-OFF SEMI-FINAL 2nd leg: Belle Vue v Sheffield 7.30