QUOTE OF THE WEEK II “On paper, we are not very strong, I am the first to admit but, hey, let’s get settled in and see how we get on.”
Remarkable admission from Redcar promoter Brian Havelock as the Bears go into their Premier League Cup campaign.
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OH BROTHER IS IT just me and my ageing eyes or could Poole team-mates Chris Holder and Adam Ellis really be long-lost brothers?
I certainly reckon that the Pirates’ duo have similar features and could quite easily be taken as track siblings.
WHAT a week it’s been for Belle Vue and their team boss Mark Lemon.
He oversaw a second big away win for the Aces as they took their seasonal points tally to eight – from just two matches!
Following on from their big win at King’s Lynn earlier in the month, they tanked pointless Leicester in front of their own fans.
He said: “It’s early doors and every match is important. Last season, we experienced a late rush of form that mirrors our current form so that indicates that a lot of the issues we had have been addressed.”
WHAT a week it’s been for Belle Vue – and their long-suffering management and fans!
Nearly a month behind schedule, they are still waiting for their opening meeting of the season (and doesn’t that make fools out of those critics who were so vitriolic in their attacks on the riders who refused to ride in the planned Peter Craven Memorial Trophy because of track conditions?).
Skipper Scott Nicholls speaks for the team when he says: “I know there’s a lot of people who have been left very frustrated by the number of postponements we’ve had, none more so than myself and the rest of the riders. “But I think I speak on behalf of all the team and the officials when I say that I’d much rather us delay our home fixtures and get the track sorted than try to rush things for the sake of it.”
MATCH OF THE WEEK WOLVERHAMPTON V LAKESIDE (ELITE LEAGUE) MONDAY, APRIL 18, 7.30 PM REFEREE: CHRIS DURNO. BOTH teams had what they would probably admit were pretty poor seasons last year.
But the early signs are that they will both be candidates for a play-off spot this time around although, certainly, as far as Wolverhampton go it’s very early days.
They’ve been hit by a string of postponements – four of their first five scheduled Elite League matches were called off – but the one match they did complete was a resounding victory at Coventry.
Perhaps Wolves’ lack of track action will make them vulnerable against a Lakeside team that already has half a dozen completed matches (and an individual meeting) under their belts.
The teams had been scheduled to face each other at Purfleet this Friday (April 15) but the plug was called on that over the weekend because of a shortage of riders.
The Hammers wouldn’t have been able to call on either of their doubling-up partners Edward Kennett and Richard Lawson and Wolves, too, would have been missing a couple.
Kelvin Tatum’s arrival as the Hammers’ new coach seems to have brought the team together and fans are certainly getting behind him.
The Twittersphere was awash with suggestions that he should be the next Great Britain manager after the victory over Poole that ended all those fanciful predictions that the Pirates would sweep through the year without being beaten.
Going to Monmore Green though is a major test of their title credentials as they look to end a sorrowful record of just one win there out of 13.
As so often happens under the current Elite League format, the results could very much hinge on the performances of the respective reserves.
So far, they have been the vital factor in many of the early season meetings and it could continue at Sutherland Avenue.
Kyle Howarth and Max Clegg v Lewis Kerr and Robert Mear.
Lakeside chief Jon Cook admits: “Reserve-wise, we’re not up to speed and that is a concern. Robert’s had a longer break from the rigours of league racing and will take time to find his feet whilst Lewis Kerr is coming back from serious injury.”
On paper, it’s the Wolves who look to have the edge so it if that pans out according to form, then a Freddie Lindgren inspired home side will be favourites to notch up a win in, weather permitting, their first home meeting of the season.
FORM GUIDE WOLVERHAMPTON W/LLLLW LAKESIDE WLWWLW
2015 MEETINGS April 20 Wolverhampton 52 Lakeside 38 (EL) May 25 Wolverhampton 60 Lakeside 33 (EL)
KEY MAN THERE were a lot of people who doubted the wisdom of Lakeside bringing LEWIS BRIDGER back into their line-up but there were sparks of the real rider last Friday as he celebrated the news that he’s to become a dad. Abbreviations: EL – Elite League. In FORM GUIDE most recent results far left. /indicates split between 2016 and 2015 results.
■ OLD boy Nicki Pedersen clearly still has a fondness for his old track and bosses at Eastbourne.
The World No. 3, who rode for the Eagles between 2003 and 2007, responded to an aerial shot of the Arlington raceway tweeted by current club chairman and former Eagles star Martin Dugard.
Martin wrote: ‘You wonder why riders take a bit of time to get used to it.’
Replied Nicki: ‘I loved it @martindugard23. On and off the track one of the greatest places where I really enjoyed my time and racing. #ThanksEveryone.’
April 16, 2016 speedway star 15