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Rusty returns and Kenneth is reserve
Photo by Dave Payne
Wed 17 Jun 2015 by Comets Press Office
This Saturday sees the Comets go for a more balanced look as Rusty Harrison returns to the side.
Following the unfortunate broken leg sustained by Nathan Greaves in last Saturday's home meeting with Rye House the Comets obviously had to find a replacement for him.

However, combined with a set of circumstances this has meant that as of this coming Saturday the Comets side can be revamped to go forward into the rest of the season.

After last Saturday's match many supporters remained to see Rusty Harrison take his first laps around Derwent Park since his crash on 25th April against Edinburgh and afterwards Rusty declared himself ready to make a track return this coming weekend.

Last Saturday also saw Kenneth Hansen ride his final meeting required to obtain a real average for this season, as opposed to the 7.70 assessed average that he has carried since March, which was based upon his scores for Coventry in last year's Elite League.

This added to the Comets promotion's options but, having already had several options open to them, it was decided that with the new averages allowing Rusty to return to the side as well as retaining the services of his short-term replacement Matthew Wethers this was the best way forward at this moment.

All of this means that as of Saturday Kyle Howarth will take over the number one race-jacket while Kenneth Hansen drops to reserve for the rest of June, giving the Comets a real sting in their tail.

With a team total of 42.25 from this coming Saturday, this fits within the 42.50 team building limit, although at present it is still subject to BSPA Management Committee approval.

This revamped line-up sees recently-crowned British under-21 Champion Kyle Howarth take over the Workington number one race-jacket for the first time in his career, with Rene Bach, Ricky Wells, Rusty Harrison and Matthew Wethers filling the remaining positions in the top five, while at reserve Kenneth Hansen will partner Nicki Barrett.

Comets owner Laura Morgan said: "Obviously it is very unfortunate what happened to Nathan on Saturday, and naturally we wish him all the best on his road to recovery.

"But, when we all sat down and assessed our options going forward, this route seemed the most logical and it means we should hopefully, have some real strength at reserve, which is so important with the way many teams are shaping up.

"For once things have actually worked in our favour just when we needed them to; with Rusty coming back to fitness at the very time Kenneth got a real average."

Team manager Tony Jackson added: "When Rusty was injured we applied to the BSPA for, and got, protection for him; which meant that whatever the averages were he could return to the side in place of his temporary replacement.

"However, the averages have worked out in such a way that we didn't actually need that protection as we can accommodate both him and Matthew (Wethers), who will now be remaining with us, as opposed to being released once Rusty is fit.

"The way the team is set up now seems to have a good balance about it in many ways. I believe that Kyle will flourish at number one, as nothing fazes him, while Kenneth will regain his confidence at reserve after what has been a difficult start to the season for him with some niggling injuries and well-documented off-track health issues.

"Having Kenneth at reserve will take some pressure off Nicki Barrett and if Kenneth's average puts him back into the top five next month there will be a solid scorer ready to take his place.

"We are all hoping that this will have a positive impact on performances, particularly away from home, where we need to get some points on the board.

"However, we have raced less matches than any other side in the league so far, but having taken maximum points from both home matches we have raced top teams Edinburgh and Peterborough away from home already, while this week's visit to Somerset will be equally tough. So, in that respect the fixture list hasn't been that kind to us but I really feel that we can push on now."

Subject to BSPA Management Committee approval, the line-up for Saturday will be:
1 Kyle Howarth 7.61
2 Rusty Harrison 6.81
3 Rene Bach 7.39
4 Matthew Wethers 5.08
5 Ricky Wells 7.18
6 Matt Williamson (Guest for the injured Nicki Barrett)
7 Kenneth Hansen 4.71
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Last Updated :  Wed 17 Jun 2015, 20:37 UK
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Photography
Dave Payne, Adrian Randall