PLYMOUTH’S WINNING RUN CONTINUES
PLYMOUTH moved to within a point of the Championship lead with a 48-42 win over Edinburgh for a sixth successive league victory at the Coliseum.
It was also a positive effort from the Monarchs, who fought back strongly to claim a league point thanks to a 5-1 from Sam Masters and Josh Pickering in Heat 15.
The visitors had been eight points down after three races but did briefly pull level only to drop ten down prior to that effort from their top two against Ben Barker and Michael Palm Toft.
Barker top-scored for the Gladiators with 12 points whilst reserve Ben Morley added 10+2. Masters scored a superb 16+1 from the Monarchs.
Monarchs boss John Campbell said: “Very proud of the boys. Exceeded expectations and if it wasn’t for some track work orchestrated by Ben Barker before Heat 12 then we might have got even closer.
“It was great that Sam and Josh got the 5-1 that we needed in heat 15 to get a well-deserved Championship point.
“A special mention to Jacob Hook for sticking in after four pointless rides and getting his reward. We move onto Poole looking for more points.”
CHAMPIONSHIP leaders Leicester head to Birmingham tonight (Wednesday) for the first of four meetings in eight days.
The Lions will be without Connor Mountain at Perry Barr, whose partner has gone into labour, and rider replacement will be in operation.
The Brummie have three guests in their line-up after suffering a series of injury blows, with Erik Riss, Jake Allen and Adam Roynon standing in for Claus Vissing, Josh Auty and James Shanes as they bid to avoid a third successive home defeat.
Birmingham boss Laurence Rogers said: “We looked at the options available to us and we think we’ve got three solid guests in there who could help us take it to Leicester.
“Jake has had some good performances around Perry Barr in the past, and hopefully he can come in and do the job we need him to on Wednesday.
“Risky showed us on a number of occasions last season how good he can be around Perry Barr too, and Royno has done plenty of laps, so we’re hoping he can play a big part from down at reserve.”
Lions boss Stewart Dickson said: “Obviously we’re looking to get something there, a point would be the minimum, but to be honest we’ll be looking to do more than that.
“We know it won’t be easy, they’re patched-up but Justin Sedgmen has started like a house on fire for them, and you never know what they will get from their guests.
“When you see what Poole scored there, Leicester have to be going there trying to win the meeting. Certainly a point, but if things go our way it’s a meeting we’ll be looking to win.”
POOLE bid to keep up the pressure at the top of the Championship when they host Edinburgh at Wimborne Road tonight (Wednesday).
The Pirates are level on points with Leicester and Glasgow, and could take over at the top if the Lions slip up at Birmingham.
The hosts are at full strength whilst the Monarchs continue to operate rider replacement for the injured Lasse Fredriksen, whilst Jason Edwards guests at reserve for James Sarjeant.
Pirates co-promoter Danny Ford said: “Off-track, the Monarchs have plenty to deal with right now, and I can wholly sympathise with them, but we must focus on the on-track activity and look to consolidate our current rich vein of form.
“We banked thirteen league points during May, losing just the once, and that was a good return.
“In June we have a total of twenty points to go for with four home meetings and two away, and so we need to make the home meetings count.”
OXFORD return to National Development League action with the visit of Plymouth to Cowley tonight (Wednesday).
The Chargers operate rider replacement for Ben Hopwood, who has retired, and Jacob Fellows rides at reserve as Jody Scott, who is now in their one-to-seven, is injured.
Alfie Bowtell guests for the Centurions again in place of the injured Dan Gilkes, whilst unattached three-pointers Sam Woods and Ben Phillips are also named in the side instead of Henry Atkins and Eli Meadows.
BELLE Vue’s NDL team is back to full strength with the signing of Jake Mulford, who comes into the side in place of Jack Parkinson-Blackburn.
Mulford, who makes his Colts debut in Friday’s home clash with Oxford, goes straight in at No.1 but with a proven record of success at the venue.
He scored a remarkable 19+2 paid maximum for in Kent’s win at the National Speedway Stadium last season, but has not raced in the domestic leagues so far this year.
Mulford said: “Kent originally made me an offer for this season but with them moving to Iwade, there were too many clashes with grasstrack so I couldn’t commit to them.
“But this is a big opportunity for me and I’m so excited to be riding for Belle Vue. There’s a lot of riders who would give anything to race for this club.
“It’s a professional outfit, the track is amazing, and the fixtures are perfect for me. The team, likewise, is looking really strong now and I’m happy to be a part of that.”
WEDNESDAY JUNE 1:
CHAMPIONSHIP: Birmingham v Leicester 7.30, Poole v Edinburgh 7.30
NATIONAL DEVELOPMENT LEAGUE: Oxford v Plymouth 7.30
THURSDAY JUNE 2:
PREMIERSHIP: Ipswich v King’s Lynn 7.30, Peterborough v Wolverhampton 7.30
FRIDAY JUNE 3:
CHAMPIONSHIP: Scunthorpe v Redcar 5pm
CHAMPIONSHIP KO CUP Q/F 1st leg: Edinburgh v Glasgow 7.30
NATIONAL DEVELOPMENT LEAGUE: Belle Vue v Oxford 1pm
BRITISH YOUTH CHAMPIONSHIP (500cc/250cc): Belle Vue (follows NDL fixture)
SATURDAY JUNE 4:
CHAMPIONSHIP: Berwick v Leicester 6.30
CHAMPIONSHIP KO CUP Q/F 2nd leg: Glasgow v Edinburgh 7pm
NATIONAL DEVELOPMENT LEAGUE: Berwick v Leicester (follows Champ fixture)