HERE’S our latest soundbytes and fixtures from around the tracks up and down the country.
THE BITE-SIZED BULLETIN
PIC OF THE WEEK…
Sheffield overtook Ipswich at the top of the Premiership table following a dramatic 43-35 win against the Witches at Owlerton on Monday night. That came off the back of last week’s stunning 49-41 victory at King’s Lynn and the Tigers are now a point clear in the table with two meetings in hand.
Photo Credit: DEREK LEADER
“This meeting could have a significant sway on the league table. I have the faith in the team to deal with the Tigers but this is sure to be a meeting not to miss as the War of the Roses continues to add spice to the Premiership.”
Aces boss Mark Lemon is looking forward to a blockbuster clash with new league leaders Sheffield when their league season resumes next Monday.
NEXT HOME: Sheffield, Mon July 4
NEXT AWAY: Ipswich, Thur July 14
“Hopefully we will have a full team at Wolverhampton, because Ben (Barker) has another week to recover now, and fingers crossed we can have our one-to-seven there. Our first half of the league season has been good, I’m happy, we do need to keep improving but we’ve put ourselves in a really good position.”
Witches boss Ritchie Hawkins hopes their injury knocks will ease in time for the start of the second half of the campaign, as the Foxall side hold a comfortable play-off situation at this stage.
NEXT HOME: Belle Vue, Thur July 14
NEXT AWAY: Wolverhampton, Mon July 4
“Niels (Iversen) could be available by the end of July/early August, but I personally feel we need to do something sooner, because we’re in danger of things slipping away if we don’t. I’ve been putting a lot of hours in, a lot of phone calls, and there are possibly some options out there, and hopefully sooner rather than later.”
Stars boss Alex Brady is determined to arrest a June slump in fortunes to prevent his side from slipping out of play-off contention after such a positive start to the season.
NEXT HOME: Premiership Pairs Round 3, Thur July 7
NEXT AWAY: Peterborough, Mon July 4
“Yes, we would have liked three points out of it obviously, but we’ve got one – I think we deserved a tad more, but that’s the way it goes. In the decider I could sort of see it coming down the back straight, but that’s racing. There were lots of positives to take out of it.”
Panthers boss Rob Lyon has now experienced the highs and the lows of the Super Heat in the space of ten days – after beating Sheffield, his side were edged out at Ipswich after both matches ended in 45-45 ‘draws’ after 15 races.
NEXT HOME: King’s Lynn, Mon July 4
NEXT AWAY: Sheffield, Thur July 14
“Yes it was frustrating, yes there was a delay but the fact we managed to get through to a result in the end was a good thing. As a club we’d like to thank the supporters for the patience they showed as well – they stuck with us and we can’t thank them enough.”
Tigers boss Simon Stead thanked the fans after Monday’s home meeting against Ipswich was subject to a major delay as fence repairs were carried out on turn two following Danny King’s crash.
NEXT HOME: Peterborough, Thur July 14
NEXT AWAY: Belle Vue, Mon July 4
“I thought Peterborough did well with what they’d got and were still in with the chance of a point with a couple of races to go, but we had a bit too much for them at the end of the day.”
Boss Peter Adams was able to enjoy a comfortable home win over Peterborough on Monday as the Monmore men continue to put themselves in a strong position to reach the play-offs.
NEXT HOME: Ipswich, Mon July 4
NEXT AWAY: Peterborough, Mon July 11
“The track had been recovering well from a heavy shower around 4pm but we were confident the meeting would go ahead, possibly with a slightly delayed start. That all became immaterial when the heavens opened as anyone looking at the videos and pictures posted on the internet can clearly see.”
Bandits boss Gary Flint accepted there was no choice but to postpone last Saturday’s home fixture with Scunthorpe after a downpour of biblical proportions hit Shielfield Park shortly before start time.
NEXT HOME: Poole, Sat July 9
NEXT AWAY: Poole, Wed June 29
“50-40 makes it sound much closer than it actually was. That was a walloping really and the final scoreline flatters Redcar a bit. We were the better side all the way through and it could and probably should’ve been an even bigger victory.”
Brummies boss Laurence Rogers was in bullish mood after his side enjoyed their best result of the season, with a ten-point victory over Redcar at Perry Barr last Wednesday.
NEXT HOME: Glasgow, Wed July 6
NEXT AWAY: Plymouth (ST), Tues July 12
“I’ve been riding with Sam long enough, I know where he rides and he knows where I ride. I reckoned I could draw (Troy) Batchelor away from the inside because I knew he’d try to block me. That meant Sam got through on the inside as I came round the outside.”
Monarchs star Josh Pickering explained the game plan in an epic Heat 13 when both he and team-mate Sam Masters came from the back to secure a crucial 5-1 in the hard-fought win over Oxford.
NEXT HOME: Scunthorpe, Fri July 1
NEXT AWAY: Scunthorpe, Sun July 3
“When you lose your No.1 you have to worry. Craig was really unlucky – Nick Morris shed a chain and Craig had a really sore one. But the boys all chipped in – we got them all together and it was the best performance for two seasons tonight. To beat a Leicester side packed with real top-class riders so easily – that was a royal victory for us.”
Boss Cami Brown was fulsome in praise for his six remaining riders as they ran up a 56-34 win over leaders Leicester despite the massive setback of Craig Cook crashing out in the opening race.
NEXT HOME: Redcar, Fri July 1
NEXT AWAY: Plymouth, Tues June 28
“We had a chat on the track walk as we always do, but the riders didn’t need talking to too much. The plan of attack was that good teams need to bounce back and show what they’re made of, so we didn’t go overboard on it, because we know we’re a good side and we know we’re pretty strong around here.”
Lions boss Stewart Dickson was looking for a response after a heavy defeat at Glasgow on Friday – and he got it 24 hours later as his side hit 62 points against Birmingham.
NEXT HOME: Edinburgh, Sat July 16
NEXT AWAY: Oxford, Wed June 29
“The boys gave it everything and got stuck in. It would have been gutting to go home without a point, so I’m glad that we got that. But, at the same time, I was a bit disappointed, because we maybe deserved even more.”
Co-boss Peter Schroeck felt a point was the least the Cheetahs deserved from their trip to Edinburgh on Friday, where they led by six points on two separate occasions before going down to a 48-42 defeat.
NEXT HOME: Leicester, Wed June 29
NEXT AWAY: Birmingham (ST), Wed July 20
The Gladiators overcame a mid-meeting injury to Michael Palm Toft and still pulled off a draw at Poole last Wednesday, underlining their reputation as good travellers having scored a minimum of 41 points in each league fixture so far.
NEXT HOME: Glasgow, Tues June 28
NEXT AWAY: Oxford, Wed July 6
“We had a good run of away results but now that we have dropped five points here at Wimborne Road, three in the Leicester match and two against Plymouth, it is just watering down those points we banked on our travels. We don’t need to press any alarm buttons just now, but we do need to stop our opponents making life difficult.”
Pirates promoter Danny Ford says it’s essential his side rediscover the winning habit at home, after only taking one point from their last two Wimborne Road fixtures.
NEXT HOME: Berwick, Wed June 29
NEXT AWAY: Edinburgh, Fri July 8
“We weren’t sharp enough out of the gate in the first seven races. We didn’t perform well enough in the early stages but I thought Birmingham rode really well as a side and they were more aggressive out of the starts in the early stages.”
Bears boss Jade Mudgway gave an honest assessment of his team’s defeat at Perry Barr last Wednesday, when they were unable to fully recover from conceding four 5-1s in the first six heats.
NEXT HOME: Berwick, Fri July 8
NEXT AWAY: Glasgow, Fri July 1
“Against many sides at home, we’re out to score 49, to stop the away team going home with a point, but we’re not battling Poole in the table, so any margin of victory would do – a one point win was more than enough because we know they are such a good side.”
Scorpions boss Dave Peet says the target in the recent home match against Poole was simply a victory – but now they push on for home and away clashes against direct play-off rivals Edinburgh.
NEXT HOME: Edinburgh, Sun July 3
NEXT AWAY: Edinburgh, Fri July 1
NATIONAL DEVELOPMENT LEAGUE SOUNDBYTES…
“I have plenty of experience so I can give the other guys help and advice, but I can’t ride the bike for them, so I’ll help where I can. But if I score the points and help build the team morale then I’ll be doing what I was brought in to do. Some clubs don’t have any morale in the pits, and you see that on track, that will never be the case if I can help it.”
New Devils signing Lee Complin vows to play his part both on and off the track after coming into the side along with Elliot Kelly in a double change for the Scottish side.
NEXT HOME: Kent, Fri July 15
NEXT AWAY: Leicester, Sat July 16
“Ahead of the meeting, all the boys got together for a talk because we really wanted to prove a point against Berwick. When we went to their place we came away with no points and we wanted to do the same thing to them, but we knew we’d all have to be on point to do it.”
Colts star Harry McGurk racked up 16+1 in the 50-40 win over leaders Berwick on Friday, a result achieved even with them using rider replacement for the absent Jake Mulford.
NEXT HOME: Mildenhall, Fri July 15
NEXT AWAY: Mildenhall, Sun July 24
“I think the lads are a bit disappointed to come home from Manchester with nothing, but it’s all part of the learning process, and we now have to concentrate on the cup semi-final against Leicester next weekend.”
A rare point-less encounter for the Bullets at Belle Vue on Friday, with boss Gary Flint now turning his attentions towards KO Cup action this weekend.
NEXT HOME: Leicester (KOC), Sat July 2
NEXT AWAY: Leicester (KOC), Sun July 3
NEXT HOME: Berwick, Sun July 10
NEXT AWAY: Armadale, Fri July 15
“The team spirit is fantastic, riders and mechanics, and we all went round to shake hands with the fans. It’s great that there are some fans who go to virtually all of the Cubs away meetings, we really appreciate it, so we went to thank them personally at the end for their support.”
Boss Dave Howard paid tribute to a happy camp all round as the Lion Cubs took a massive step towards the NDL play-offs with a 50-39 win at Mildenhall on Sunday.
NEXT HOME: Berwick (KOC), Sun July 3
NEXT AWAY: Berwick (KOC), Sat July 2
“Obviously, the circumstances of Heat 3 when we saw both our riders disqualified and conceding a 0-5 was really damaging and a nine-point deficit was always going to be a tall order to turn around against a team like Leicester with two such big hitter, in-form heat leaders like the Thompsons.”
Fen Tigers boss Malcolm Vasey pinpointed a key turning point early on in last Sunday’s home defeat to Leicester, with the Lion Cubs racing into a 13-4 lead after three races.
NEXT HOME: Armadale, Sun July 17
NEXT AWAY: Plymouth, Tues July 5
“I’ve ridden this track well before, but it is a big personal boast to have a meeting like this. I now need to take this form to other tracks. I enjoyed the meeting and can be happy with it, but there’s a lot more racing to do this season, and I want to take this form forward to my next meeting.”
Chargers reserve Arran Butcher hit an impressive double-figure score with 11+3 in the recent away win at Plymouth.
NEXT HOME: Leicester, Wed July 20
NEXT AWAY: Leicester, Sat July 9
NEXT HOME: Mildenhall, Tues July 5
NEXT AWAY: Armadale, Sat Aug 6
TUESDAY JUNE 28:
CHAMPIONSHIP: Plymouth v Glasgow OFF
WEDNESDAY JUNE 29:
CHAMPIONSHIP: Oxford v Leicester 7.30, Poole v Berwick 7.30
FRIDAY JULY 1:
CHAMPIONSHIP: Edinburgh v Scunthorpe 7.30, Glasgow v Redcar 7.30
SATURDAY JULY 2:
NATIONAL DEVELOPMENT LEAGUE KO CUP S/F 1st leg: Berwick v Leicester 7pm
SUNDAY JULY 3:
CHAMPIONSHIP: Scunthorpe v Edinburgh 5pm
NATIONAL DEVELOPMENT LEAGUE KO CUP S/F 2nd leg: Leicester v Berwick 4pm
BRITISH YOUTH CHAMPIONSHIP Round 5: Redcar 10.30
BRITISH YOUTH CHAMPIONSHIP Round 6: Scunthorpe (follows Championship fixture)
MONDAY JULY 4:
PREMIERSHIP: Belle Vue v Sheffield 7.30, Peterborough v King’s Lynn 7.30, Wolverhampton v Ipswich 7.30
TUESDAY JULY 5:
NATIONAL DEVELOPMENT LEAGUE: Plymouth v Mildenhall 7pm
WEDNESDAY JULY 6:
CHAMPIONSHIP: Birmingham v Glasgow 7.30, Oxford v Plymouth 7.30
THURSDAY JULY 7:
PREMIERSHIP PAIRS Round 3: King’s Lynn 7.30
FRIDAY JULY 8:
CHAMPIONSHIP: Edinburgh v Poole 7.30, Redcar v Berwick 7.30
SATURDAY JULY 9:
CHAMPIONSHIP: Berwick v Poole 7pm
NATIONAL DEVELOPMENT LEAGUE: Leicester v Oxford 7pm
TEST MATCH: Great Britain v Rest of the World, Glasgow 3pm
SUNDAY JULY 10:
NATIONAL DEVELOPMENT LEAGUE: Kent v Berwick 12pm
MONDAY JULY 11:
PREMIERSHIP: Belle Vue v King’s Lynn 7.30, Peterborough v Wolverhampton 7.30
TUESDAY JULY 12:
SUMMER TROPHY: Plymouth v Birmingham 7pm