Photo: by JACK CUPIDO
Edinburgh are through to the Championship KO Cup semi-final after defeating rivals Glasgow by the narrowest of margins. The Monarchs lost 52-38 at Ashfield on Saturday but the 16-point lead they held from Friday’s home leg saw them secure a 91-89 aggregate victory.
HERE’S our latest soundbytes and fixtures from around the tracks up and down the country.
“I think, in places, we made it more difficult for ourselves than maybe we needed to but the main thing is we got the win on the night. We knew it was going to be tough without Max [Fricke] and Ipswich were tough customers and they made life pretty hard for us, especially in the beginning.”
Aces skipper Brady Kurtz was relieved to come through Monday’s home clash with Ipswich with a win, after being taken to a last-heat decider.
NEXT HOME: Wolverhampton, Mon June 13
NEXT AWAY: Wolverhampton, Mon June 20
“Both Erik (Riss) and Starkey (Paul Starke) are in great form, Starkey goes well here, so I would have much preferred to come here with a full team, although R/R does cover Starkey quite well now. We did miss Erik, but I do accept they were hampered missing Max (Fricke) and using R/R as well, so that did kind of even itself out.”
The Witches were edged out at Belle Vue on Monday, again being unable to track a full-strength team, but boss Ritchie Hawkins was still pleased to come away with a point.
NEXT HOME: Premiership Pairs Round 2, Thur June 16
NEXT AWAY: King’s Lynn, Thur June 9
“I said earlier in the day when we were discussing the meeting ahead that I’d be happy if we could come away with a point. But it’s actually a bit deflating because we certainly could have had three points if not four, but we just made a couple of mistakes and there were a few bits of bad luck.”
Alex Brady’s Stars were narrowly beaten 46-44 at Ipswich last Thursday in a meeting which could easily have gone either way.
NEXT HOME: Ipswich, Thur June 9
NEXT AWAY: Peterborough, Mon July 4
“The boys don’t go out there to come last obviously, but it’s baffling. Somebody said to me Wolves have got some quick riders – they have, but last year we had a very similar team, and they had similar riders too, and we beat them comfortably.
Okay, it’s all on the night, but it doesn’t make any sense at all, and it’s now getting embarrassing. It’s not good enough.”
Panthers boss Rob Lyon is at a loss to explain the defending champions’ current struggles, with another defeat at home to Wolverhampton leaving them scoreless after five matches.
NEXT HOME: Sheffield, Mon June 13
NEXT AWAY: Ipswich, Thur June 23
“Wolves might have turned up and beaten us twice and they might now think that they can come and do that for a third time. Other people might think that also, but that could actually work in our favour – you never know, do you?”
Tigers skipper Kyle Howarth hopes his side can end their run against bogey team Wolverhampton when the sides meet again at Owlerton this Thursday.
NEXT HOME: Wolverhampton, Thur June 9
NEXT AWAY: Peterborough, Mon June 13
“We needed to erase the damage done by the home defeat to Ipswich by recording something on the road. We got very close at Ipswich, we should have won there but just missed out, but the boys acquitted themselves really well tonight, and it’s a relief to have our two reserves in position taking the weight off one another.”
Wolves boss Peter Adams says his side are back on track after winning 50-40 at Peterborough last Thursday, making up for an earlier home defeat to Ipswich.
NEXT HOME: Belle Vue, Mon June 20
NEXT AWAY: Sheffield, Thur June 9
“It’s hard not to be frustrated by another performance when we just didn’t have that extra bit of magic to see us home. Even so we left ourselves too much to do from the starting gate again and against a team with three strong heat leaders that was always going to be a huge ask.”
Bandits boss Gary Flint was left to reflect on a third successive home defeat, this time at the hands of Leicester, which did significant damage to their play-off hopes.
NEXT HOME: Redcar (KOC), Sat June 11
NEXT AWAY: Poole, Wed June 29
“Leicester have got a very strong team and I’d be very surprised if they don’t make the final. No excuses though, it is what it is. The boys tried pretty hard, it was a little bit frustrating.”
Recent signing Justin Sedgmen kept up his strong form but the Brummies slipped to a third successive defeat at Perry Barr in last Wednesday’s local derby against Leicester.
NEXT HOME: Edinburgh, Wed June 8
NEXT AWAY: Leicester Sat June 25
“Richard Lawson did what was required and Sedgy (Justin Sedgmen) did something I wouldn’t have put any money on at all and tonight he is just a hero. Golden heats obviously would have made them the favourites as the home team, but we got the 3-3 that won us the tie, and you may be able to tell I’m quite pleased with that actually.”
Monarchs boss Alex Harkess paid tribute to his guests after their dramatic KO Cup triumph over rivals Glasgow, despite travelling to Ashfield without their regular top two riders.
NEXT HOME: Newcastle, Fri June 10
NEXT AWAY: Birmingham, Wed June 8
“I’m not going to make any excuses. I thought the team really tried from beginning to end, but we had no luck whatsoever. Craig (Cook) had three engine failures in his first three heats – and you saw on his second bike he wins his last two heats. But we didn’t have the leeway.”
Frustration for the Tigers and boss Cami Brown as they suffered a KO Cup exit at the hands of local rivals Edinburgh for a second year running – this time by a slender two-point margin.
NEXT HOME: Scunthorpe, Sun June 12
NEXT AWAY: Scunthorpe, Fri June 10
“Plaudits have to go to our guest, Jason Edwards, but I think the six riders as a whole did very well. It was a good team performance, and I have to say getting four league points at Berwick was beyond my expectations.”
Stewart Dickson’s Lions moved clear at the top of the table with two big away wins in the space of four nights, following up their success at Birmingham with a 49-41 victory at Berwick on Saturday.
NEXT HOME: Plymouth, Sat June 11
NEXT AWAY: Poole, Wed June 8
The Diamonds face away trips to Oxford and Edinburgh this week before returning to Brough Park to take on league leaders Leicester on Sunday.
NEXT HOME: Leicester, Sun June 12
NEXT AWAY: Oxford, Wed June 8
The Cheetahs return from their mid-season break when they host Newcastle at Cowley on Wednesday, prior to making the trip to Redcar on Friday.
NEXT HOME: Newcastle, Wed June 8
NEXT AWAY: Redcar, Fri June 10
“Edward has already seen a specialist who has suggested an operation will be necessary; but has a further appointment on June 30, when he is hopeful of getting a prompt operation date.
The experts have suggested that the recovery time after the operation should not be significant, so once the operation is scheduled he hopes to return to the saddle within a few weeks.”
An update provided on Plymouth-speedway.com as to the fitness situation of No.1 Edward Kennett, who has missed the bulk of the campaign but still hopes to make a comeback this summer.
NEXT HOME: Newcastle, Tues June 21
NEXT AWAY: Leicester, Sat June 11
“We know we are in for a very tough battle and that this will give us a good idea where we stand over two legs against one of our biggest Championship rivals, so we are really looking forward to it. We have enjoyed a good run of form of late but I remain convinced that there is even more to come from them.”
Pirates promoter Danny Ford expects a tremendous contest when his side defends their 23-match unbeaten home record against current league leaders Leicester on Wednesday.
NEXT HOME: Leicester, Wed June 8
NEXT AWAY: Scunthorpe, Fri June 17
“I’m relatively happy with a point. The boys battled hard and made a comeback. I know our guys always come on strong later in the meeting so it was just about using our tactical substitute at the right time.”
Bears boss Jade Mudgway gave reaction on redcar-speedway.com to taking a league point from a tough encounter at Scunthorpe last Friday to keep them firmly in the play-off places.
NEXT HOME: Oxford, Fri June 10
NEXT AWAY: Berwick (KOC), Sat June 11
“Jordan was a bit shaken up and winded after his fall, but he should be fine. We expected him to do well once he was at reserve and that’s exactly what happened – he could have easily scored a maximum but for his fall.
The spell at reserve will do wonders for his confidence – we can already see that.”
Scorpions boss Dave Peet was pleased to see exciting teenager Jordan Palin back in form during last Friday’s exciting home win over Redar, as the club prepare for this weekend’s big matches against Glasgow.
NEXT HOME: Glasgow, Fri June 10
NEXT AWAY: Glasgow, Sun June 12
NATIONAL DEVELOPMENT LEAGUE SOUNDBYTES…
NEXT HOME: Mildenhall, Fri June 17
NEXT AWAY: Leicester, Sat July 16
“It was great to see Jake slot into the team so quickly. We knew he would go well around here, and like I said he fitted into our dynamic nicely. We’ve got a bit of a break from home meetings for a couple of weeks, but these last few results have really boosted our confidence ready for our next away meeting.”
Colts star Nathan Ablitt praised the debut of new signing Jake Mulford, who hit double figures in last Friday’s 57-33 win over Oxford at the NSS.
NEXT HOME: Berwick, Fri June 24
NEXT AWAY: Mildenhall, Sun July 24
“That was as tough a match as we have had all season and Leicester asked a lot of questions of the Bullets. As has been the case all year everyone stuck to their task and the reward is another good win.”
Bullets coach Kevin Little was pleased to come through a difficult test with a victory, as the table-toppers defeated second-placed Leicester 49-41 at Shielfield Park.
NEXT HOME: Mildenhall, Sat June 18
NEXT AWAY: Belle Vue, Fri June 24
NEXT HOME: Berwick, Sun July 10
NEXT AWAY: Leicester, Sat June 18
“If it hadn’t been for Connor’s (Coles) chain breaking when he was in the lead, and Vinnie’s (Foord) silencer falling off, which cost him a point as he got excluded, we would have been closer to the win rather than just missing out on a point.”
Lion Cubs boss Dave Howard bemoaned his side’s misfortune in a 49-41 defeat at Berwick on Saturday which saw them come closer than any visiting team to Shielfield Park this season.
NEXT HOME: Plymouth, Sat June 11
NEXT AWAY: Mildenhall, Sun June 26
NEXT HOME: Danny’s Day, Sun June 19
NEXT AWAY: Armadale, Fri June 17
“Sam Hagon showed for the second successive meeting what a good young rider he is. And I wanted to give Henry Atkins an opportunity to ride, because he’s a young British rider who hasn’t been riding recently. He grabbed the opportunity with both hands and fully deserved his place in Heat 15 – he was very impressive.”
Chargers manager Peter Schroeck was in a mood to take the positives from their defeat at Belle Vue on Friday, when they had to go into the meeting without their regular top two of Jordan Jenkins and Nathan Stoneman.
NEXT HOME: Leicester, Wed July 20
NEXT AWAY: Plymouth, Tues June 14
“Dan is now home from hospital and starting his long recovery process from severe arm injuries and broken ribs and problems caused by a collapsed lung. He is already working on his fitness and is keen to make a comeback when able to do so and only following strict medical guidance.”
An update from Plymouth-speedway.com on injured Centurions and Gladiators rider Dan Gilkes, who was hurt in a crash at Scunthorpe at the end of April.
NEXT HOME: Oxford, Tues June 14
NEXT AWAY: Leicester, Sat June 11
TUESDAY JUNE 7:
CHAMPIONSHIP: Plymouth v Birmingham OFF
WEDNESDAY JUNE 8:
CHAMPIONSHIP: Birmingham v Edinburgh 7.30, Oxford v Newcastle 7.30, Poole v Leicester 7.30
THURSDAY JUNE 9:
PREMIERSHIP: King’s Lynn v Ipswich 7.30, Sheffield v Wolverhampton 7.30
FRIDAY JUNE 10:
CHAMPIONSHIP: Edinburgh v Newcastle 7.30, Redcar v Oxford 7.30, Scunthorpe v Glasgow 7.30
SATURDAY JUNE 11:
CHAMPIONSHIP: Leicester v Plymouth 6.30
CHAMPIONSHP KO CUP Q/F 2nd leg: Berwick v Redcar 7pm
NATIONAL DEVELOPMENT LEAGUE: Leicester v Plymouth (follows Champ fixture)
SUNDAY JUNE 12:
CHAMPIONSHIP: Glasgow v Scunthorpe 3pm, Newcastle v Leicester 4pm
MONDAY JUNE 13:
PREMIERSHIP: Belle Vue v Wolverhampton 7.30, Peterborough v Sheffield 7.30
TUESDAY JUNE 14:
NATIONAL DEVELOPMENT LEAGUE: Plymouth v Oxford 7pm
WEDNESDAY JUNE 15:
CHAMPIONSHIP: Birmingham v Plymouth 7.30
THURSDAY JUNE 16:
PREMIERSHIP PAIRS Round 2: Ipswich 7.30
FRIDAY JUNE 17:
CHAMPIONSHIP: Glasgow v Oxford 7.30, Scunthorpe v Poole 7.30
NATIONAL DEVELOPMENT LEAGUE: Armadale v Mildenhall 7.30
SATURDAY JUNE 18:
NATIONAL DEVELOPMENT LEAGUE: Berwick v Mildenhall 7pm, Leicester v Kent 7pm
SUNDAY JUNE 19:
CHAMPIONSHIP: Redcar v Glasgow 5pm
DANNY’S DAY: Mildenhall 2pm
MONDAY JUNE 20:
PREMIERSHIP: Peterborough v Ipswich 7.30, Wolverhampton v Belle Vue 7.30
TUESDAY JUNE 21:
CHAMPIONSHIP: Plymouth v Newcastle 7pm