SCUNTTHORPE IN PLAY-OFFS
SCUNTHORPE moved back into the Championship play-off places with a 51-39 win over Edinburgh at the Eddie Wright Raceway.
With both teams taking one win over the weekend it means they occupy the final two places in the top six, with Redcar slipping out at this stage.
Ryan Douglas scored 14+2 for the Scorpions, whilst debutant James Wright picked up 11, and skipper Simon Lambert and Zaine Kennedy added 10+3 and 10+1 respectively.
Josh Pickering piled up 18 from seven rides for the Monarchs, who were hampered by the withdrawal of captain Sam Masters, suffering from the effects of a foot injury received in Poland on Saturday.
Edinburgh boss John Campbell said: “Sam probably shouldn’t have ridden, but he always wants to give it a go. He was in quite a bit of pain after his second ride.
“I’m not sure if we would have got a point with Sam fit as it’s not a track our riders go well on.
“Josh was the exception to that of course, and I was happy with how Lasse Fredriksen and Jacob Hook got stuck in. We needed a bit more from some of the others though.”
LEICESTER have moved to bring in Max Clegg to bring them back to a full one-to-seven following the recent departure of Anders Rowe.
Clegg, who had a spell with the Lions in their old Elite League days in 2014, became available for the Championship leaders after the closure of Newcastle, and he will make his first appearance in their Summer Trophy trip to Redcar on July 15.
Boss Stewart Dickson said: “He comes in for us at reserve on a 4.52 average after racing in the difficult No.4 position for Newcastle for the last two seasons, and he has averaged comfortably over five for much of that time.
“Coming into a winning team should hopefully benefit Max, and he will also have a couple of practice sessions before his home debut.
“I’m looking forward to working with him, and after speaking to him on several occasions I know he’s really up for it.
“I’ve never worked with Max myself but I’ve spoken to a few of our boys who have raced with him, and I’ve heard good things, so we look forward to welcoming him into the team.”
DAN and Joe Thompson both scored six-ride maximums as Leicester demolished Berwick 63-27 to put one foot into the NDL KO Cup Final.
Dan reeled off six straight wins and broke the track record in Heat 1 whilst Joe added 16+2, and youngster Max Perry tallied 12+3 in the first leg clash.
Kyle Bickley scored eight for the Bullets, who lost reserve Kieran Douglas in a Heat 2 crash from which he was hospitalised with potential rib damage.
Leicester boss Dave Howard said: “All along we were saying today, ‘just get the biggest lead possible and keep on pushing throughout the meeting to get the biggest lead to take back to Berwick.’
“It was a fantastic performance, and a 36-point lead is a great place to be. We got ten paid eleven from Connor’s (Coles) rides, so rider replacement worked on our home track, although away from home I do want to get some guests when Connor’s not here.”
Berwick manager Jamie Courtney said: “There’s not a lot you can say about the result. I can’t fault the effort of the Bullets but obviously it is all overshadowed by concern for Kieran.
“Leicester being able to use both Thompsons as rider-replacement made a difficult task even harder, but I was proud of the way that the boys stuck to their task. Other than that, all I can add is 64 points in the second leg wins it!”
PREMIERSHIP leaders Sheffield head to Belle Vue tonight (Monday) in a busy top-flight schedule with all six clubs in action.
The Aces start the meeting in fourth place, three points behind the Tigers, who moved to the top with their win over Ipswich last week.
A riding order change for the home side sees Rising Star Tom Brennan become the first rider from that category to move into the top five, whilst Jye Etheridge drops to reserve.
Sheffield hand a full debut to Justin Sedgmen after his impressive guest appearance against the Witches, whilst Craig Cook returns from injury after missing that fixture.
Aces boss Mark Lemon said: “This will be a good test for Tom, having only ever occupied the reserve berth since coming into the Premiership, but he has been performing exceptionally well.
“He deserves his chance in the main body of the team, while a drop to reserve should see Jye pick up his confidence in an easier role.
“Likewise for us as a team, this is one of our toughest fixtures. Sheffield have a good track record at the National Speedway Stadium and they will be wanting to keep it that way.”
Sheffield manager Simon Stead said: “Belle Vue are a fantastic looking outfit. But at the end of the day, it’s another opportunity for us to get some more points on the board.
“We know it’s going to be incredibly difficult because they ride their track very, very well, but again, it’s somewhere where all of our boys ride well too and like. So we have to go there confident and try and continue our good form.”
WOLVERHAMPTON will make a late decision on the fitness of skipper Sam Masters ahead of tonight’s (Monday) home clash with Ipswich.
Masters pulled out of his Championship match at Scunthorpe on Sunday with a swollen foot, and the situation will be further assessed during the day.
Wolves promoter Chris Van Straaten said: “Sam is a fitness doubt, but the decision will be made as late as possible.
“With all six Premiership sides in action, it means rider replacement would be the only real option with no suitable guests available.
“His foot is swollen that badly, an X-Ray is not yet possible due to the severity of the swelling.”
Meanwhile, Ipswich are waiting on the fitness of Ben Barker who hopes to return after a shoulder injury. Erik Riss drops to reserve for the Witches, who won at Monmore earlier in the season.
Boss Ritchie Hawkins said: “We are hoping to go to Wolves with a full team. Ben is recovering well, and hopefully he will feel like he has enough strength in his shoulder to ride.
“I think we are in a stronger position than earlier in the year, we are riding better and have improved as a side since then. Our trip to Wolves was our best performance so far this season so if we can go there again and do the same or better it, I will be very happy.”
PETERBOROUGH face King’s Lynn in the A47 derby at the East of England Arena tonight (Monday) as both sides look to regain ground on the top four.
The East Anglian rivals have both suffered two home defeats to leave them adrift of the play-off places, although the Panthers have improved on their own circuit of late.
The hosts hope to have Michael Palm Toft and Scott Nicholls back after recent crashes, whilst Jordan Jenkins rides at reserve after Jordan Palin crashed in practice last week. The Stars operate rider replacement for the unavailable Niels-Kristian Iversen.
Peterborough manager Rob Lyon said: “Of late we’ve been showing more of that collective team effort which made us so successful last year, but of course the injuries haven’t helped with that.
“It will be nice to get back to a full one-to-seven again. We haven’t given up hope of making the play-offs, but we are realistic and we do need to turn things around in big style in the second half of the campaign, and we’ll keep on battling to do that.”
King’s Lynn boss Alex Brady said: “We’ve won there once already this season, so if we can replicate that without the controversy of that meeting then that would be great.
“It’s going to be tough because they’re now picking up and riding into a bit of form, so we need to do something serious over there to make sure we get four points ideally.”
TUESDAY JULY 5:
NATIONAL DEVELOPMENT LEAGUE: Plymouth v Mildenhall 7pm
WEDNESDAY JULY 6:
CHAMPIONSHIP: Birmingham v Glasgow 7.30, Oxford v Plymouth 7.30
THURSDAY JULY 7:
PREMIERSHIP PAIRS Round 3: King’s Lynn 7.30