WEEKEND PREVIEW: British Team KO Cup and BYJL nationals
This weekend sees the first round of the British Team Knock-Out Cup. 13 teams are in action, three with byes direct to the Quarter finals. Before that though, we have the first national round of the British Youth and Junior League at Hull.
British Youth and Junior League – Nationals Round
The country’s top juniors descend on Humberside to battle it out for their respective categories’ title of the British Youth and Junior League. The top riders from the Under 8s, Under 10s, Under 12s, Under 14s, Under 16s and Girls categories from the four regions all meet on Saturday hoping to get off to the best start possible. It’s begins the culmination of the hard work the riders have all put it in their region to get this far. All riders should be very proud of themselves for reaching the nationals stage. Good luck to all involved.
British Team KOP Cup 2014
The British Team KO Cup has some interesting draws, with some big names sure to exit the competition at the first hurdle. Hull, Ipswich and Swindon are three teams that definitely won’t meet such a fate, as they have all received a bye into the Quarter Finals.
Bury v Coventry
Coventry have it all to do against a Bury side who have done well in the Northern league this season. Ben Scranage will certainly be a threat, proving himself with a podium finish in the Northern League Rider’s Championship last weekend, he will be ably supported by former Birmingham Elite League Rider Chris Parish. Coventry have Elite League rider Myke Grimes to lead their attack, however it will be an uphill battle for the West Midlands’ young side, without key riders Mason Phillips, Kyle Roberts and the ineligible Dominik Rycharski and Konrad Pietek.
Exeter v Poole
These sides have been like glue recently in what (we think?) will be their third meeting in the last few weeks. Last time out it was Poole who took the win with big scores from Gluchowski, Szymanski and Smith. However, this time round the two Poles will be ineligible to race and could throw the door open for a home victory.
Hethersett v Leicester
Hethersett have been well on the pace in South East Division One this season and with a home advantage could provided them a safe passage into the next round. You’d be a fool to write off the Monarchs though, they’ve been steady in Midland League Division One but haven’t been as strong as perhaps previous seasons. They possibly wait on the fitness of Craig Marchant, who injured his “Hellbow” against Birmingham last time out.
Sheffield v Wednesfield
Potentially a tricky affair for reigning champions, Wednesfield, in Sheffield on Sunday. The Yorkshire side will be without their big scoring Poles and Australian test rider Bobby McMillan. The Aces can still call on Aris, Mould, Jewkes, Johnson and maybe even Paul Heard if he is back to full fitness after missing the last few weeks with a broken hand. An Aces side with those riders would be difficult for anyone to beat, so they probably go into the match as favourites to progress into the next round.
Stockport v Newport
Arguably the tie of the round. Stockport have been unbeaten at home for a long time in the Northern League, Newport have enjoyed success in the South and South Wales league as well as their first delve into Elite League action. Newport’s Adam Bożejewicz will be their only ineligible rider. Bożejewicz aside, the Welsh team will no doubt take, and definitely need, a full strength team to overcome the might of Stockport. This will potentially be a very close match!
East Park v Birmingham
It’s not all about the KO Cup this weekend, as the Midland League has a top of the table clash to look forward to. If Birmingham can beat East Park, the title could very well fall in their hands. The Monarchs are unbeaten so far this season and East Park have only been beaten once in the league, by Chris Timms’ men, this season. East Park had a few key riders missing at Perry Barr a few weeks ago and will be looking to put out a full strength side to avenge the defeat and jump ahead in the title race. Expect fireworks, there’s a lot on this match!
South and South Wales League
Hellingly v Swindon
Swindon are injury hit and depleted after a strong start to the season. It will be a difficult match for their remaining riders at Hellingly’s track, where a distinct home advantage will be waiting for them. The Hollebons and Junior England international Jesse Moore will be waiting for the Orange army, who are a great club, that will hopefully get their riders back up to full fitness as soon as possible.
20″ Little League begins at Findon, which is a team event for the younger Skid Kids.
That’s it for this weekend, apologies for the lack of “Weekend Preview” last weekend, I was on a stag do and was in no state to write the 900/1000 words required! Good luck to all riders and clubs this weekend.