Comets versus Newcastle at Derwent Park, at 7:30pm this Friday!
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Meeting Preview - Comets v Plymouth (PL)
Photo by Dave Payne
Fri 26 Jul 2013 by Comets Press Office
WORKINGTON COMETS v PLYMOUTH DEVILS (Premier League)
Saturday 27th July at 7:00pm, Derwent Park, Workington

Tomorrow (Saturday) evening sees the Plymouth Devils visit Derwent Park for the first match of their ‘two-match mini-Northern Tour.

Now under a new promotion, having been sold in the winter by Mike Bowden - the man who brought the sport back to the city after a near 40-year absence, the club have made great strides already this year with various stadium improvements and a more attractive line-up.

But, despite losing at home (43-47)to the Comets last Friday evening the Devils are expected to put up a fight against the Comets with many of their riders likely to find the large Derwent Park circuit much more to their liking than the tight confines of the St. Boniface Arena, which is the smallest track in the Premier League - at 216 metres it is 148 metres shorter than our own circuit.

Unfortunately the attractive side put together by the new management consortium has been hit by injury, with their number one – Australian Ty Proctor (9.22) now ruled out for the rest of the season following a neck injury sustained earlier in the campaign. He is replaced at Derwent Park by Newcastle's in-form Richie Worrall. Incidentally, our own Richard Lawson fills in for Proctor on Sunday up at Glasgow.

Making his first visit to Workington is young Danish prospect Mikkel Bech (7.00), who won't turn 19 until the last day of August but he is certainly the man to beat; as was evident last week down at the St. Boniface Arena. Races between him and our top riders will be worth watching!

The third heat leader for the Devils is Mark Lemon (6.86) – the former Newcastle rider was a popular guest for us in days gone by and is now combining his role with the Devils with that of Australian Team Manager.

Mark has just returned from last weekend's Speedway World Cup where he guided Australia – minus Chris Holder – into third place having reached the final via the race-off.

Filling in the solid main body of the side are the Australian duo of skipper Cory Gathercole (6.50), and Todd Kurtz (4.82) – both of whom have picked up points on previous visits to Derwent Park. Gathercole, a cousin of 10-times Australian Champion Leigh Adams, spent several years at Somerset while doubling up with neighbouring Swindon in the Elite League. Meanwhile Kurtz joined Plymouth following the closure of Newport a couple of years ago.

Completing the Devils side at reserve are Australian Jake Andersen (3.72) and a 2011 - Danish rider Comet Simon Nielsen (4.06), who having suffered a serious leg injury while riding for Leicester last season returned to the Lions side this year only to be dropped by Leicester in favour of Swede Alex Edberg and he was then snapped up by the Devils following a mid-season team re-shuffle.

WORKINGTON ‘THOMAS ARMSTRONG' COMETS
1 Richard Lawson (c) 8.23, 2 Kyle Howarth 6.37, 3 Rusty Harrison 7.19, 4 Tero Aarnio 5.26, 5 Rene Bach 8.06, 6 Ashley Morris 3.59, 7 Chris Mills 4.28

PLYMOUTH ‘ST. BLAZEY MX DRIVE REVIVE' DEVILS
1 Richie Worrall (Guest) 9.22, 2 Todd Kurtz 4.82, 3 Mark Lemon 6.86, 4 Cory Gathercole (c) 6.50, 5 Mikkel Bech 7.00, 6 Jake Anderson 3.72, 7 Simon Nielsen 4.06
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Last Updated :  Sat 27 Jul 2013, 08:22 UK
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Photography
Dave Payne, Adrian Randall