Category Archives: National League
The National League went down to the final race of the season with just one point deciding the title. That drama just summed up the season overall, with the lowest tier of British league racing continuing to provide exciting action on a regular basis courtesy of some hot British talent.
Despite a number of impressive riders, I have narrowed things down to name the Speedway Fans National League Team of the Year.
Dudley Heathens teenage star Tom Perry was left incredibly pleased last night having finished as a shock runner-up in the British Under 21 Championship at his home Monmore Green track in front of the vocal Heathens fans. Speaking after his rostrum finish, the Wolverhampton youngster said “I’m delighted, especially in front of my home fans. Dudley are brilliant and I would’t change my team at all. They follow us in numbers home and away, and they are just incredible. I came here not even thinking I would make the final to be honest, so I am really happy”.
Even Perry admitted to being shocked at his incredible performance on what he had previously said would be the biggest night of his career. “This is a massive surprise even for me. When I spoke before the meeting to my mechanics and my family I said I would be happy if I made the semi-finals, so to get a place on the rostrum is amazing”.
Now, Perry goes on to the World Under 21′s Championship Qualifiers, and he is relishing the opportunity to compete on the world stage. “I get the chance to ride in the World Under 21 Qualifiers after this. I am riding in Holland on the 19th May and then I have got a longtrack meeting on the 20th so its going to be a busy week for me”.
As well as competing for Dudley, Perry is also lining up at reserve for Somerset in the Premier League, and he is now looking ahead and hoping this result can give him a confidence boost. “Now I am just looking to try and challenge Adam (Roynon) and Ashley (Morris) for the number 5 spot and up my average a bit and hopefully up my average for Somerset in the Premier League”.
Sheffield man Joe Haines was absolutely delighted last night having regained the British Under 21′s Championship he won in 2010. Speaking after the meeting, Haines admitted that he found this meeting harder than ever, saying “This is awesome, I mean last time I won it in 2010, and I thought tonight would be a bit easier but it was the hardest one yet by far, so I am delighted with the win”.
The Bolton youngster had endured an awful spell of injuries so far in his career, including a life threatening crash in Australia last winter that left him in a coma. Yet he now appears to have returned to where he was before his injury, and he is delighted himself at how he has comeback, and finally feels a lot of hard work has paid off. “From where I was a year and a half or two years ago with my injuries, to get where I am to win tonight was awesome. It’s took a lot of hard work but I think I am finally getting back to where I was to be honest”.
Haines will spend the season riding at reserve for Premier League Sheffield, and this win should certainly help boost his confidence as he aims to push his season forward.”Now I just want to kick on with the Premier League really. Sheffield is my main aim and hopefully I can score big for them and then hopefully I will dip into the Elite League a bit more and just see what happens from there”.
Joe Haines is the British Under 21 Champion once again after he snatched victory in an exciting meeting at Monmore Green in which home favourite Tom Perry and Kyle Howarth completed the rostrum. Haines had to get to the final the hard way, but after winning the rerun of the semi final, he took the chequered flag from the gate when it mattered to reclaim the title he won in 2010.
A couple of days of torrential rain across the UK has caused a string of speedway postponements, washing out all scheduled speedway meetings.
On Tuesday, the second leg of the National Shield between Dudley and Mildenhall was called off due to a couple of hail storms at the Monmore Green circuit that afternoon, with the Isle of Wight vs Stoke Challenge meeting following suit and behind postponed.
The typical April Showers remained over Wednesday, and both Elite League fixtures scheduled were cancelled. Kings Lynn had been scheduled to host strugglers Belle Vue, whilst champions Poole were denied the chance to tackle high-flyers Swindon at Wimbourne Road.
Unfortunately, there was no improvement today and another trio of exciting clashes succumbed to the British weather. Sheffield vs Berwick in the League Cup was called off well in advance whilst a Premier League meeting between Ipswich and Scunthorpe followed suit. Finally, the Elite League meeting between Peterborough and Eastbourne at the East of England Showground was postponed, and the Lakeside vs Wolves match in the same division scheduled for tomorrow (Friday) has also been called off already.
Despite a home victory for Mildenhall, the Dudley Heathens will have made the trip back up to the Midlands as the happier of the two teams and with a good chance of National Shield victory following a strong away performance.
Although nobody scored more than 10 for the home side, they scored consistently throughout and just did enough for victory. Contrastingly, the Heathens were bolstered by big-scoring number one and a double figure return for Ashley Morris, yet 4 of their riders scored 4 points or less.
The Mildenhall Fen Tigers opened up a 6 points lead in the opening two heats, and after 7 consecutive 3-3′s made the gap 10 as Cameron Heeps and Joe Jacobs gave the home side their 2nd maximum of the day.
However, with the gap at 10 points the Heathens were eligible for a tactical ride, and after a double point win for Adam Roynon gave the visitors a 6-3 in heat 11, Darryl Ritchings and Tom Perry gave the Heathens a 5-1 of their own to put them within 3.
A Mildenhall 4-2 in the penultimate heat ensured victory for the home side, but Morris and Roynon gave the Heathens the upper hand going into the second leg of the shield at Monmore Green on Tuesday 17th with another 5-1 in the final race of the evening.
Mildenhall Fen Tigers
1. Cameron Heeps 1, 3, 3, 1′, 1 = 9+1
2. Joe Jacobs 3, Fx, 3, 2′, 0 = 8+1
3. Stefan Nielsen 1′, 3, 1′, 1 = 6+2
4. Daniel Halsey 2, 0, 2, 3 = 7
5. Lewis Blackbird 3, 3, 2, 2 = 10
6. Nathan Stoneman 3, 0, 1′, 1 = 5+1
7. Josh Bates 2′, Fx, F, 0 = 2+1
1. Adam Roynon 2, 1′, 6!, 3, 2′ = 14+2
2. James White-Williams 0, 2, 1′, 0 = 3+1
3. Tom Perry 3, 2, Fx, 2′ = 7+1
4. Byron Bekker X, 1′, 1, 2 = 4+1
5. Ashley Morris 2, 2, 3, 0, 3 = 10
6. Darryl Ritchings 0, 1′, 0, 3 =4+1
7. Dan Greenwood 1, 1′, 2, 0 = 4+1
Tomorrow sees British speedway experience one of the busiest days of the year, with 20 clubs contesting a massive 13 meetings between them across the country.
In the Elite League all ten clubs are in action. Coventry and Poole contest a mouth watering double header, with Peterborough and Kings Lynn doing the same along with Eastbourne and Lakeside. Belle Vue host Wolverhampton in a single fixture for those two clubs, whilst Swindon travel to Birmingham for the return leg of tonight’s Elite League clash.
The Premier League clubs are in action in the season opening League Cup competition which is now in full swing. Edinburgh host Newcastle, whilst Leicester travel to Ipswich in what promises to be a cracker. Sheffield and Redcar follow on from tonight’s clash by meeting again at Redcar, whilst Somerset host Rye House to complete the League Cup fixture list.
Finally, the Rye House Raiders take to the track together for the first time at home to the Isle of Wight Islanders in a National League Knock-Out Cup tie.
Previews of all meetings to follow here on speedwayfans.co.uk
In a competitive Staffordshire Cup clash at Monmore Green the Dudley Heathens just prevailed over a strong Stoke Potters side.
Number one Adam Roynon continued where he left off with Coventry last night as he rolled off 4 wins out of 5 heats, only being beaten in heat 13 by Richie Worrall.
Roynon was well supported by local youngster Tom Perry who scored a superb 12 points from his 5 heats including 3 wins, whilst debutant Byron Bekker also scored well with 8+3 in the number 4 jacket. Those three riders really were the ones who won the meeting for the Heathens, although Darryl Ritchings continued his good 2011 form with a handy 6+1 score. New boys Dan Greenwood and James White-Williams will probably be disappointed with 3 and 2 points respectively, whilst a score of only 2 for Ashley Morris was very disappointing.
Stoke did well and kept in with a chance of victory throughout the meeting but just tailed off in the final two heats as a pair of 4-2′s for the home side ensured the Heathens faithful went home happy.
Despite the defeat, the Stoke fans will have gone back on the short trip up the M6 relatively happy with plenty of positive signs for the season ahead. Although Ashley Birks (6) failed to make much impact at number 1, Richie Worrall (12+1) and reserve Ben Reade (10+1) ensured the Potters came close to an upset. Veteran Tony Aitken scored well with 7+1 but otherwise Stoke produced nothing special. Oliver Greenwood and Jaimie Pickard chipped in with 4+1 each but Dan Berwick will be disappointed after failing to score.
1. Adam Roynon 3, 3, 3, 2, = 14
2. James White-Williams 0, 0, 2, F = 2
3. Tom Perry 3, 3, 2, 3, = 12
4. Byron Bekker 2′, 2′, 1′, 3 = 8+3
5. Ashley Morris F, F, 2, 0 = 2
6. Darryl Ritchings 3, 1, 1′, 1 = 6+1
7. Dan Greenwood 1, 1, X, 1 = 3
1. Ashley Birks 2, R, 3, 1, 0 = 6
2. Jamie Pickard 1′, M, 3, 0 = 4+1
3. Tony Atkin 1, 2′, 2, 2 = 7+1
4. Oliver Greenwood 0, 3, 1′, 0 = 4+1
5. Richie Worrall 3, 1′, 3, 3, 2 = 12+1
6. Dan Berwick 0, 0, 0 = 0
7. Ben Reade 2, 2′, 1, 2, 1, 2 = 10+1
The Dudley Heathens get their season underway at Monmore Green tonight as they take on the Stoke Potters in what promises to be a competitive Staffordshire Cup clash. Three new signings will be looking to make a big impression in front of what promises to be a sizeable crowd at the adopted home of the former Cradley club. However, Stoke are sure to offer a tough challenge, with some talented riders capable of upsetting the Heathens on their own patch.
Adam Roynon will be crucial for the Heathens at number one and looked hugely impressive for Coventry at this track against Wolves last night, whilst local youngsters Tom Perry and Ashley Morris go very well around Monmore and will be certain to offer substantial support for Roynon.
After impressing last year in his debut season and winning the Rider of the Year award, Darryl Ritchings will be strong at reserve, whilst new boy Dan Greenwood will be desperate to impress in the other reserve berth as he returns to a full time position in the sport he gave up in 2008.
Byron Bekker is probably the most exciting new addition to the side, and with a wealth of experience at National League level the South African will form a powerful partnership with Adam Roynon late on in meetings which he will want to ignite tonight against the Potters.
Finally for the Heathens, Welshman James White-Williams will be looking for a positive start to his Dudley career and should be a solid scorer.
Meanwhile, Stoke line up with a strong side of their own. Promising youngster Ashley Birks fills the number one berth and should be able to reach double figures against the Heathens, whilst Richie Worrall will be excellent at this level in the number 5 race jacket.
Wolves asset Jaimie Pickard should know the Monmore track well and he is another superb young talent who continues to impress in the National League.
Oliver Greenwood, Ben Reade and Dan Berwick will all be aiming to make an impression early in the season and can all add valuable points to the Stoke effort.
Finally, veteran Welshman Tony Aitkin once again returns to Stoke at the age of 46 and with incredible amounts of National League experience he is certain to be crucial for the Potters as the leader of this young side.
So, this Staffordshire Cup season opener promises to be a tight affair, although the Heathens should just have enough to send the home fans happy on their own track.
Dudley:- Adam Roynon, James White-Williams, Tom Perry, Byron Bekker, Ashley Morris, Darryl Ritchings, Dan Greenwood
Stoke:- Ashley Birks, Jaimie Pickard, Tony Aitken, Oliver Greenwood, Richie Worrall, Dan Berwick, Ben Reade