Premier League News from our rivals
Photo by Dave PayneWed 04 Sep 2013
Issued by the BSPA Press Office on Tuesday 3rd September 2013
BERWICK boss Ian Rae admitted the loss of captain Kozza Smith with a wrist injury left the Bandits with a huge uphill battle in their heavy defeat at Newcastle on Sunday.
Rae said: “We were hit very hard by the Diamonds in the first few heats of this match and it started to drag a few heads downwards, but the hammer-blow for us was losing Kozza in the first running of Heat 4. He always gets the lads going and races with more determination than any rider I know and to lose that sort of inspiration so soon was something we struggled to cope with.”
EDINBURGH No.1 Craig Cook achieved the notable feat of breaking the Leicester track record on three separate occasions – including in Heat 15 – in the Monarchs' 40-50 defeat in the East Midlands.
Next fixture for the title-chasing Armadale side is a home clash with fellow high-flyers Ipswich on Friday.
GLASGOW'S returning manager Stewart Dickson admitted his first major decision had to be to revamp the Tigers' riding order, which he felt was not getting the best out of the team members.
Dickson said: “I was there for the match against Somerset and watched the meeting. Dakota North and Joe Screen raced against each other when they were riding; Henning Bager is the only other Danish rider in the team with Anders Thomsen and to have them paired together means that Bager can't talk to him in Danish in between races to tell him what he thinks is right or what he's doing wrong.”
IPSWICH stormed to the top of the Premier League table with a 62-31 win over Plymouth, overcoming the absence of No.1 Ben Barker who will miss the rest of the season due to injury.
Witches boss Pete Simmons said: “Top of the league has to feel good. They all dug deep again and Josh (Grajczonek) proved to be a good choice of guest to cover for Ben. We can't relax just yet though, as we want to maintain that top position until the end!”
LEICESTER have an advantage of eight race points over Redcar in the race for the Premier League play-offs following their impressive 50-40 home win over Edinburgh on Saturday – and both the Lions and the Bears have one tough away match remaining.
Leicester co-promoter Alan Jones said: “It was a make-or-break meeting where nothing less than three match points would be good enough. That was a tall order against the Monarchs who have picked up at least one match point in every away Premier League fixture so far this season. It was a real team effort that won the day and for once we were not outsmarted at reserve which has been our Achilles heel since we lost Alex Edberg to injury at the beginning of July.”
NEWCASTLE kept their play-off push very much on-track with a comprehensive 62-31 home win over Berwick, highlighted by a maximum from No.1 Richie Worrall.
Diamonds boss George English said: “We certainly demoralised the Bandits early on with four straight maximum 5-1s off the belt and it took a good few heats before the visitors finally found some footing on which to score some good points. We go what we wanted – three league points – and a good points difference to add into the equation which, for now at least, places us fourth in the table.”
PLYMOUTH have booked former favourite Ricky Wells to make a guest appearance in their home clash with Newcastle on Friday with Mikkel Bech unavailable.
Co-promoter Ashley Taylor said: “We will be looking to round off our home league fixtures with another victory following the success against Sheffield last week. But Newcastle are currently fourth in the table and they can never be under-estimated, especially as they are battling for every point to make sure of their place in the play-offs.”
REDCAR boss Jitendra Duffill admits he is hoping for a favour from rivals Newcastle, who face Leicester on Sunday, as a big Diamonds win would significantly help the Bears' play-off chances.
Duffill told Gazette Live: “It's not often we want our greatest rivals to do well but we need Newcastle to do what they do to most teams at home and that's destroy Leicester. But it won't be any easier for us at Rye House - it could all come down to race points difference, but I hope it doesn't.”
RYE HOUSE are celebrating qualification for the Knockout Cup Final after overcoming Redcar despite racing the second leg without Pontus Aspgren, who picked up an injury in the first half of their double-header at Hoddesdon.
Manager John Sampford said: “Losing Pontus earlier on in the night did not bode well, but the rest of the boys really rallied round and got stuck in. It certainly helped that we made such a strong start because that kept the momentum and advantage in our favour, even though it took until Heat 14 to clinch the tie. The boys are absolutely ecstatic to be in the Cup Final.”
SCUNTHORPE have announced plans for a Retro Cup tie with Sheffield on September 15, to be run with a 13-heat format and a rider-of-the-night second half.
Promoter Rob Godfrey said: “It'll be a great afternoon for some of our longer-term fans, who pine for the days of 13 heats, tactical subs and second halves. For those who buy the magazine ‘Backtrack' and love to wallow in a bit of nostalgia, this should be the perfect meeting for them. For newer supporters, it's a chance to see how we used to do things.”
SHEFFIELD boss David Hoggart admitted it was a straightforward decision to bring Simon Lambert back for a second spell with the club after his recent release from Somerset.
Hoggart said: “When we heard Simon was available again we got straight on the phone, it was a no-brainer really. He was brilliant for us in his first spell and became a real weapon for us at Owlerton, he's not had the easiest of seasons but we think it's going to be a good move for both of us.”
SOMERSET promoter Debbie Hancock says a top two Premier League finish remains a priority as the Rebels look to enter the play-offs in top form.
She said: “While we have assured ourselves of a place in the play-offs there will be no let-up by the team as we want one of those top two league places come the cut-off date so that we can determine our opposition in the play-offs, and so we will be gunning for maximum points from our remaining three league matches, starting with Berwick on Friday night.”
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Last Updated : Wed 04 Sep 2013, 20:35 UK