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Bank Holiday Weekend Preview!
Photo by Dave Payne
Thu 30 Apr 2015 by Comets Press Office
Home and Away against the Bandits to determine League Cup group standings!
This Bank Holiday weekend sees the Comets complete their League Cup group fixtures by taking on the Berwick Bandits home and away, which will ultimately confirm who progresses to the semi-final stage from the Border Group.

While the group winner will automatically progress to the semi-finals of the competition the second placed club also has an opportunity to reach the semi-finals as the best-placed group runner up from the three groups that make up the whole competition.

The Bandits are already out of contention for a play-off place while Edinburgh and Glasgow are currently at the top of the group table with 13 match points each, which is a figure that the Comets can equal if they take maximum points from their two clashes against the Bandits. In that situation the final positions would then be decided by race-points.

In a departure from their traditional Saturday race-night this week the Comets make the trip over to the east coast on Saturday to take on the Bandits, with the racing getting underway at their Shielfield Park venue at 7:00pm. The Comets then entertain Berwick in the return fixture at Workington's Derwent Park the following day, Sunday 3rd May, with the first race getting underway at 7:30pm.

The Bandits are captained by ex-Comet Kevin Doolan while the all-action Ben Barker is their number one and with Danes Thomas Jorgensen and Claus Vissing in their line-up an enthralling nights of action is in prospect for the fans.

However, the Comets must also face the Bandits this weekend without two key riders – American star Ricky Wells and long-serving Aussie Rusty Harrison.

Harrison, who was injured in last Saturday's 50-40 home victory over Edinburgh, is currently in Carlisle hospital following the crash that left him with a broken shoulder, broken collarbone, some broken ribs and a punctured lung. Meanwhile Wells is racing over at Lonigo in Italy on Sunday afternoon in a Grand Prix Qualifying meeting and needs Saturday to get out there with his equipment.

With two riders missing the Comets are entitled to a guest for one rider and rider replacement for the other and so will operate rider replacement in both matches for Harrison, who is third in the Comets official May averages, which means that every rider with the exception of Kenneth Hansen is eligible to take a rider replacement ride on behalf of Harrison. Meanwhile, a guest rider will fill the void left by Wells, as the Comets team manager Tony Jackson explained:

“Unfortunately booking guests never gets any easier due to the many commitments of the modern-day speedway rider. Coming in to replace Ricky at Berwick on Saturday is Newcastle's Steve Worrall, and we thank him for that. Meanwhile, on Sunday, it was even harder to find guests as we had very few teams to choose from because of the teams that are in action that day but also because of the teams that are racing down south with an early afternoon start the next day, which is Bank Holiday Monday.

“The new five-percent enhanced average rule for home guests didn't help the situation on this occasion and consequently we are extremely grateful to Redcar's in-form Jan Graversen for agreeing to help us out at home on Sunday evening as a guest for Ricky, while we will continue to use rider replacement for Rusty.

“Nevertheless the team, and both of our guests, will be giving everything they can this weekend in an effort to reach the League Cup semi-finals,” added Jackson.
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Last Updated :  Thu 30 Apr 2015, 01:45 UK
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Photography
Dave Payne, Adrian Randall