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Team Talk - Sunday 4th August
Photo by Dave Payne
Sun 04 Aug 2013 by Tony Jackson
Sunday 4th August 2013
Hello and welcome to the latest edition of ‘Team Talk' – which is running a bit late due to the million and one things that take up your time when helping to run a speedway club!

A relatively short ‘Team Talk' this week as there is not a great deal to talk about in terms of track action as we have only had last night's meeting against Rye House in the past week, but we may as well start with last night: obviously it was good to get back to winning ways after last week's defeat by Plymouth where any luck we had was bad luck.

Thankfully we had no more engine problems yesterday and everyone scored solidly right through the side, with ten race winners from six different riders and only four last places. Two of those were recorded by Rene, who when he missed the gate in his final two rides struggled to make up ground as the track slickened off towards the end of the meeting. But, overall a good night's work all-round, which kept us on top of the table, albeit by a single point; as all the clubs are bunching up behind us now. But, with everyone seemingly taking points off everyone else anything can happen in the few matches that remain (we have seven more league fixtures to race – three at home and four away).

However, as everyone has being saying all along – it is all about getting in that top six and then a survival of the fittest after that!

Before yesterday's meeting there was the ‘Kids Cycle Ride' in aid of the fund for the new ‘Safety Barrier' and it was an absolutely brilliant event, co-ordinated superbly yet again by Liz from the Track Shop.

Basically it started at 12 noon and lasted for an hour – and there were Kids of all ages lapping the track – oh how I would have loved to have done that back in the early 1970's in the days of Lou Sansom etc.

The effort put in was fantastic; one lad even did 45 laps in an hour, which is just over 10 miles. But, no matter how many laps each person did the effort was there to see and they all enjoyed it as well, which is very important.

I am told that overall the money raised was around £1,500, which is unbelievable, so on behalf of the promotion I would like to say a great big “Thank You” goes out to everyone that contributed to the success of the event – whether it be the organisers, the parents, the sponsors whatever, but especially to the kids themselves. Absolutely brilliant!

At the end of the event Dan, our Commercial Manager, and I were coerced into doing a lap of the track on a borrowed bike. It is a while since I have ridden a bike – probably about 9 years or so, and the last time I rode a pushbike around the track was in the summer of 1977 when I and a few friends worked on the track in the school holidays helping the then promoter George Graham.

We only did a lap, but by the end I thought somebody had swapped my legs for jelly! And, needless to say it eventually developed into a bit of a race between Dan and I but all I will say is that my tactics were no different to those adopted by Nicki Pedersen and if it is good enough for him then it is good enough for me! But, great fun was had by everybody.

Last week saw Rusty in action at Edinburgh in the Scottish Open Championship while Richard had a productive night on Thursday guesting for Sheffield as well as riding for Lakeside on Friday evening. Kyle was wearing the colours of Swindon on Thursday too, so even in a quiet spell the lads are all keeping fairly busy where they can.

Planning is at an advanced stage for the Team GB v Australia match on Saturday 17th August, which promises to be a great event, and hopefully the teams will be announced very shortly.

Meanwhile, we announced last week that the Cumberland Open Championship would be staged on Saturday 31st August, which will be the culmination of a ‘Fun Day' at Derwent Park as we use the day as another fund-raising event towards the new ‘safety Barrier' which is set to be compulsory for all clubs at the start of next season.

Further details as to what will be happening on the ‘Fun day' plus the riders taking part in the ‘Cumberland Open Championship' will be announced shortly.

On Tuesday we head back to Somerset for the fourth time this season after our visit to take part in the Premier League Pairs on Grand Prix Eve, followed by our two attempts to run the Knockout Cup fixture against the Rebels, with the first attempt called off after one-and-a-half races due to over-watered track conditions and the second attempt saw us robbed of KO Cup progress by mechanical problems.

Following our good showing in last month's KO Cup fixture we are hopeful that we can get something from the league match this week, but of course, you never know with speedway!

Next weekend is a busy one, with Kyle riding in the Second Round of the World under-21 Final at Berwick on Saturday night, which promises to be a cracking meeting, while Ashley has been called up to be one of the two Track Reserves on the night.

I'm sure there will be plenty of Comets fans making the journey across to support Kyle, and Ashley of course if he gets a ride.

Then, next Sunday (11th August) at 2:00pm, it is the British Youth Championship meeting taking place at the superb Northside Training Track, which is always an excellent event that seems to have gathered more credibility as the years go by and I think soon we, as a nation, will see the benefits of the youth system. Although, good as it is, we still lag someway behind Denmark, who invest a lot of money into their youth speedway project, but look at the top class riders they are producing – absolutely superb results!

Following the Youth Championship at Northside we will be entertaining Scunthorpe at 7:00pm at Derwent Park in a Premier League clash, so it promises to be a great weekend of speedway – all we need now is for the weather to behave itself!

Finally, at this time we have no further news on the condition of the injured Berwick rider Ricky Ashworth – often a popular visitor to Derwent Park down the years. All we can do, like speedway fans everywhere, is hope for some encouraging news soon.

Until next time,

Tony J
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Last Updated :  Sun 04 Aug 2013, 23:57 UK - official club website.
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