IPSWICH SCORES NARROW VICTORY
IPSWICH claimed a dramatic victory over Wolverhampton with a last-heat 5-1 to secure a 46-44 triumph.
The Witches had been pegged back from eight points up and went into the decider trailing by two, and facing unbeaten Wolves skipper Sam Masters who had reeled off five straight wins.
But Jason Doyle and Troy Batchelor teamed up to get the better of their fellow Aussie Masters and Luke Becker and turn the match decisively in the home side’s favour.
Doyle scored 13 and Batchelor 12+3 for the Witches, whilst Masters racked up 16 for Wolves who had to be content with one league point.
Ipswich manager Ritchie Hawkins said: “I’m delighted to get over the line in the end and get the win. We knew it was going to be a really tough night, missing Erik (Riss), and Starkey (Paul Starke) far from being 100 per cent fit.
“We are delighted to get the three points in the end, and we are nowhere near where we can or should be, but we managed to get the result.
“It was a superb Heat 15, we swapped the gate positions around from last week and that seemed to work well tonight. It is all part of learning and building knowledge throughout the season, and three points puts us in a good position in the table.”
Wolves boss Peter Adams said: “We did very well to get back from eight points behind to be leading with one heat to go, and in tight situations like this it’s all down to the gate choice.“If we’d had one and three I’m certain the result would have been different, but fair play to Ipswich, they’re a strong team and we were competing today with more or less four and a half riders.
“You’re not going to win these kinds of tight matches without stronger contributions elsewhere in the team.”
SHEFFIELD recorded their biggest win of the season so far as they slammed rivals Belle Vue 54-36 in their latest Roses battle at Owlerton.
The result maintained the Tigers’ 100 per cent league record this season and moved them to within two points of the Aces at the top of the table.
Polish star Tobiasz Musielak recovered from a last place in his first ride to reel off four wins and finish with 12 points, whilst Craig Cook was in form against his former club and scored 9+3.
Ex-Tigers man Charles Wright top-scored for the visitors with 10, but it was a second successive away match where they missed out on league points.
Sheffield boss Simon Stead said: “That was the perfect response to what happened last week (against Wolverhampton).
“I don’t think Belle Vue did anything wrong particularly, I just thought we were very, very good tonight.
“They caught us on a really, really good night, we went about our business really, really well and that was a great way to bounce back.”
Wright said: “Sheffield aren’t favourites for the league for nothing. They are a tough team on their home track, and it definitely showed in the way they rode.
“It is very disappointing and frustrating, but you need to be firing all at once to make an impact at Owlerton, and unfortunately tonight we weren’t.”
EDINBURGH and Birmingham both seek to climb the Championship when they meet at Armadale tonight (Friday).
The Monarchs picked up four points against Redcar last weekend but lost reserve James Sarjeant to injury, whilst the Brummies were beaten by Poole on Wednesday and like their hosts have been beaten twice on their own track this season.
Greg Blair comes in for the home side as a guest for Sarjeant, whilst Tom Brennan continues for the Brummies in place of the injured Josh Auty, and they operate rider replacement for Claus Vissing who suffered a neck problem on Wednesday.
Monarchs boss Alex Harkess said: “Last week I was delighted for our five fit riders against Redcar, they all chipped in with points and that’s something I don’t think we’ve seen this season. By the end of the night I was delighted.
“We need more of the same this week against Birmingham. once again there are some familiar faces. They also have a very handy guest facility which makes them more of a force than they might otherwise be.”
Brummies manager Laurence Rogers said: “I’ve spoken to all of the replacements who we think would be suitable to come in at No.1 but none of them are available for one reason or another.
“So we’ll run R/R and with any of the other six Brummies able to take Claus’s rides, I think we’ve still got a chance.”
*LIVE STREAMING: British Speedway Network – https://watch.britishspeedway.co.uk .
SCUNTHORPE and Leicester are set for a big weekend of KO Cup action – starting at the Eddie Wright Raceway tonight (Friday).
The Scorpions host the first leg of the quarter-final clash, ahead of the return tomorrow, having scored 55 points at home to the Lions in the league in April, but conceded 62 when they visited the East Midlands venue.
Joe Alcock comes in for the injured Ryan Kinsley for the hosts, whilst the Lions are back at full strength with Anders Rowe returning.
Scunthorpe promoter Rob Godfrey said: “We know we can do better at Leicester, and we will be looking for a significant improvement on the 28-point score we managed last time.
“But, first things first, though, we clearly need to establish some kind of lead from the first leg to give us something to defend at Leicester.”
Lions boss Stewart Dickson said: “We lost by 20 points there last time and we certainly can’t be losing by that amount again, because I don’t expect Scunthorpe to turn up to Leicester and put up the same performance they did at the start of the season.
“I don’t like to put a figure on it, but we certainly need to be scoring more than 35, and ideally our score on Friday would start with a 4, to make sure we’re still in the tie ahead of Saturday.”
*LIVE STREAMING: https://tv.scunthorpe-speedway.com .
REDCAR and Berwick have both received injury boosts ahead of their KO Cup tie at the Ecco Arena tonight (Friday).
The Bears return to a full-strength side after reserve Jordan Jenkins missed last week’s league matches against Edinburgh.And the Bandits have two of their three injured riders back for the first leg tie, as Leon Flint and Ty Proctor return to action, whilst rider replacement is still in operation for Jye Etheridge.
BELLE Vue race their second home NDL fixture of the season when they host Armadale at the National Speedway Stadium tonight (Friday).
The Colts continue as a six-man unit with rider replacement for Jack Parkinson-Blackburn, who is withholding services, and Harry McGurk takes over as No.1. Meanwhile the Devils, who are looking for their first league points, track former Belle Vue duo Danny Phillips and Tom Woolley.
Colts star Nathan Ablitt, who makes his home debut, said: “With all the rain-offs we’ve had, it’s been nearly two months since the team rode in Manchester but I think I’m long overdue a meeting on my home track!
“We’ve had some tough meetings in the last few weeks, so I think it will do us the world of good to come home and race in front of the Belle Vue supporters.
“We know we are a strong team at the National Speedway Stadium. I’ve had some amazing races there in the past, so I think we’re feeling pretty confident.”
FRIDAY MAY 27:
CHAMPIONSHIP: Edinburgh v Birmingham 7.30
CHAMPIONSHIP KO CUP Q/F 1st leg: Redcar v Berwick 7.30, Scunthorpe v Leicester 7.30
NATIONAL DEVELOPMENT LEAGUE: Belle Vue v Armadale 7.30
SATURDAY MAY 28:
CHAMPIONSHIP: Berwick v Glasgow 7pm
CHAMPIONSHIP KO CUP Q/F 2nd leg: Leicester v Scunthorpe 7pm
BRITISH YOUTH CHAMPIONSHIP Round 3: Edinburgh 2.30
SUNDAY MAY 29:
CHAMPIONSHIP: Newcastle v Redcar 4pm
BRITISH YOUTH CHAMPIONSHIP Round 4: Glasgow 2pm