Comets Injury Spell Strikes Twice Ahead Of Witches KO Cup Ties
Attention turns to the Premier League Knockout Cup this weekend as the Workington Comets take on the Ipswich Witches home and away within the space of three days to see who will win the right to face Somerset in the quarter-finals. But, for the Comets, the injury jinx has struck again in the run up to the KO Cup tie with the loss of two of their septet.
First to go was Essex-based reserve Chris Mills, who suffered a broken left wrist in a freak accident when carrying out a practice start last Saturday evening at Derwent Park; and Chris has now been joined on the injured list by skipper Richard Lawson, who was the innocent victim of a fearsome-looking crash caused by Martin Smolinski in his opening ride, heat 2, at Birmingham this evening when riding for Lakeside in the Elite League.
Comets team manager Tony Jackson said: “Yet again we find ourselves looking for guests early in the season. I couldn't believe it when Chris got injured on Saturday night. He was showing good form and very much looking forward to visiting Ipswich, which is reasonably local to where he is based in Chelmsford. He has spent time riding for the Witches in the past and would have been very useful riding at reserve. It looks like it will be around four weeks until he is fit to race again and in the meantime we must book a guest to cover for him. After finding very few options for our visit to Ipswich we have been able to book reigning British under-19 Champion, Stefan Nielsen, who currently rides for Somerset. He knows the Foxhall Heath circuit very well and rates it as his favourite track so hopefully he can pick up a few points for us.
“We thought that losing Chris was bad enough but then to lose Richard the night before our visit to Ipswich was a body blow. Thankfully, with the co-operation of the Edinburgh promotion, we have been able to secure the services of the Cumbrian-based former Comet, Craig Cook, who is the current Premier League Riders' Champion and is a rider that has a good record around Foxhall Heath.
“Obviously the aim is to score as many points as possible in the away leg at Ipswich, because the more points you score there the less you need to score at home in order to achieve aggregate success.”
All the action at Foxhall Heath gets underway at 7:30pm and Ipswich also have a guest rider in their side as Ben Barker is competing at Sheffield in the British Championship semi-final. To replace him the Witches have brought in track specialist Jason Doyle from Somerset to replace him. Meanwhile, they have made a change to their line-up this week ahead of our visit, electing to sign former Comet Ritchie Hawkins in place of Finnish rider Jari Makinen.
The return leg at Derwent Park on Saturday sees Barker return to the Witches side, while the Comets will be utilising the in-form Redcar rider Micky Dyer as a guest replacement for Chris Mills. So, two very attractive and close fixtures are in prospect for the next few days.
Also, at Workington this Saturday evening, immediately following the match against Ipswich, there will be an eight-rider, seven-race, second half competition taking place for reserve riders; many of whom started out at the excellent Northside Training track nearby.
UPCOMING COMETS FIXTURES:
Thursday 25th April, 7:30pm at Foxhall Stadium: Ipswich v Workington (Knockout Cup, 1st round, 1st leg)
Saturday 27th April, 7:00pm at Derwent Park: Workington v Ipswich (Knockout Cup, 1st round, 2nd leg)
Tuesday 30th April, 7:30pm at the Eddie Wright Raceway: Scunthorpe v Workington (Premier League) – Live on Sky Sports TV.
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Last Updated : Thu 25 Apr 2013, 13:35 UK