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Tigers’ edge

AARON Summers believes Glasgow will be given an edge with most of their team participating in more than one league.

The Tigers captain has just signed a deal to ride for Leicester in the Elite League, meaning he could spend the rest of this season doubling-up.

With the Lions racing on a Saturday night and Glasgow’s fixtures taking place on a Sunday afternoon, Summers will now have busy weekends with plenty of travelling.

But far from tiring himself out, the 28-year-old is relishing the chance to be on the bike more, and thinks his Tigers team-mates Richie Worrall, Richard Lawson and Danny Ayres, who all race in a second league, will be of the same opinion.

He’s also confident the machinery he’s got in place for this season will be good enough to keep him going in both leagues.

Sam Masters, in imperious form for Edinburgh on Friday, wonders where the opposition’s got to! Picture: RON MacNEILL

He said: “It’ll be good to be riding constantly again. “It doesn’t really bother me, though, it’ll be fine. It means I’m certainly wasn’t an easy decision to make, but I don’t feel I can currently continue in the role.

“I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the challenge of being a team manager. It is something I always wanted to do and it has been both tough and rewarding.

“But it takes up a lot of my time, and costs me a lot of money, to be involved in speedway.

“It has become too much for me to juggle my work and family commitments along with my finances.

“I missed out on time with my eldest three children when they were little as I had separated from their mum.

“I’m not going to put myself in the position of missing out on seeing my young son, who is now six months old, grow up.

“Whoever takes over from me will inherit a fantastic group of riders. They are a great set of guys and they’re already working well together on and off the track.

“One blip aside against Sheffield, we’ve started the season very well and there is no doubt in my mind that Panthers will be right up there challenging for the title.”

The man to initially assume control is Allitt with Peterborough promoter Ged Rathbone adamant he won’t rush into a decision on a long-term replacement for Johnson.

Rathbone said: “I can’t pretend I’m not disappointed to lose Carl, but I respect his decision. I also thank him for the considerable time and effort he has put into the club.

“He is a Panthers man through and through, and that is what makes him so popular with supporters.

going to have to build another bike with me being so busy. There is a little bit of expense involved with it, but that way, I have another spare bike if anything was to happen at the Elite League meeting the night before or anything like that, so that you’re not rushing around or rocking up with one bike.

“It’ll be exactly the same equipment for both leagues. I’m confident with what I’ve got just now, it’s working pretty well.

“It doesn’t really change how I prepare. There will be a bit of driving but that’s how speedway is. I’ll have someone who can drive for me anyway.

“It’s definitely good to be on the bike more. It’s better for you when you’re riding more often.

“You don’t lose anything on the bike, if you’re coming into a meeting after a week-and-a-half out, it can take you a bit of time to get back into it. It’s a lot better being able to ride so much.”

Glasgow go to Edinburgh this Friday in the League Cup, hoping they can repeat the feat of Berwick last week, who beat the Monarchs on their own patch.

The Tigers won convincingly over their neighbours in their last home meeting, and Summers thinks they’re capable of the same again if each rider can keep picking up points in the way that they have done so far.

He said: “They’re not the team they were last year, and with the team we have this year, there’s no reason why we can’t do it.

“You need everyone to score really. We have our top four and we should all score something decent, and we just need the other three guys to keep their scoring up and do their bit, and not run last places, and it’ll be sweet.

Monarchs setback

EDINBURGH have won most of the PL trophies in the past two seasons, but everyone realised things will be much harder this time round.

They have two very inexperienced new boys in their side, and the team has been built to gradually improve over the year, with perhaps some setbacks in the early stages. Having said that, losing at home to Berwick for the first time for 18 years wasn’t really in the script!

That makes this Friday’s visit from Glasgow in the second home League Cup match a daunting one indeed, though also a chance for everyone other than the immaculate Sam Masters to show improvement on what will hopefully be a dry track.

The weather again did Edinburgh absolutely no favours with the opening night rain-off followed by what is known at Armadale as a “near rain-off.” In many ways they can be worse than the outright postponement.

However, the track rode very well and everyone who did turn up found it an entertaining meeting, no doubt particularly the few who came up from Berwick. DVD sales should be good.

Alex Harkess had no doubt about what the problem was.

“The engine room of the team didn’t perform, it was as simple as that. We are looking to Ryan Fisher, Kevin Wolbert and Erik Riss to score heavily to take the pressure off the youngsters.

“That just didn’t happen though Sam was brilliant and Max Clegg did all we expect of him.”

Captain Masters recorded an immaculate five-ride maximum and won all his heats with ease. However, he said: “That’s not the important thing, it’s a team sport and we didn’t win.

“I’m delighted that Dale is able to step in for the next few meetings to give us a bit of continuity moving forward.”

Report: MARK PLUMMER

“We can help them with set-ups and lines to ride. I don’t see that being too much of a problem for us.”

Report: BRYAN COPLAND

“Hopefully though, I could see some signs with the new boys, a couple more meetings and we will be all right. They are all fighters, none of them are giving up. They speedway tra speedway tra x x

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In brief... Semi stride SHEFFIELD took a massive stride towards the Premier League Cup semi-finals with last week’s superb win at Peterborough.

And team co-manager Marc Bates says it underlines Tigers’ credentials as serious silverware candidates.

The Owlerton men had put in a stodgy performance against Scunthorpe 24 hours earlier, needing the last race to secure the bonus point in a 49-41 victory.

But at Alwalton, Tigers were superb against a highly-rated Panthers side who had drawn in the steel city a fortnight earlier.

The 49-44 win saw them surge to the top of the midlands pool table and positive results in their remaining fixtures against Ipswich should see them qualify.

Kyle Howarth top scored for the Tigers with paid 13 in a breathtaking display which earned him the bumps from his teammates, joining forces with flying youngster Josh Bates for a trio of telling 5-1s.

Heat leader duo Simon Stead and Jason Garrity (above) claimed two race wins while Dimitri Berge continued his fine form and Richard Hall’s Heat 14 victory extinguished any hopes of a late home fightback.

Said Bates: “All the team rode well, the top five were fantastic again.

“If we can ride like that all season then we are more than a match for anyone, home or away.

“We’ve been to one of the league favourites and beaten them in their own back yard, so I think that just proves how strong this team can be.”

The Witches come to Owlerton for the penultimate group fixture next Thursday with the return at Foxhall Heath two days later.

Week’s TOP tweets

Dale Allitt will temporarily step back in as team boss while the promotion assess their options going forward #speedway

@PboroPanthers

April 16, 2016 speedway star 19

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