WEEKEND PREVIEW: U19 Club and Elite League round 9
It’s the penultimate round of the Elite League this weekend, as 4 clubs, Wednesfield, Sheffield, Ipswich and Poole, all chase second place in the league, behind champions Horspath. Firstly, tomorrow sees the last round of Club Championships take place, as the under 19s travel to Poole.
British Under 19 Club Championship
As previously reported, Ipswich need only turn up to top the Club Championships table for the third year in a row. Current leaders Sheffield and third placed Kesgrave are absent from the line up, giving the Eagles an unassailable lead going into the final round. Exeter, Wednesfield, East Park, Stockport and hosts Poole make up the final places, with all teams having some good strength to varying degrees. Exeter and Wednesfield could steal second or third positions respectively, from Sheffield and Kesgrave should tomorrow go well.
Horspath v Newport
The newly crowned champions meet the Elite League’s bottom club at the Village, expecting to make it nine wins out of nine. The Hammers haven’t put a foot wrong all year and do not looking like letting up now. Newport have found the going a little tough at times in the Elite League, but they did notch their first win early on against Sheffield, which was a good achievement for the newcomers. If they leave the Village empty handed, there is still an opportunity at home to Poole next week to get more points on the board.
Ipswich v Wednesfield
Early pacesetters Ipswich have seen themselves pulled back into the mix by resurgent performances from Sheffield and Poole, whilst the Aces found their form away at Newport two weeks ago. It’s made for a congested middle of the table, with not much room for error, which could be the difference between finishing second and finishing fifth. A good match is in prospect for these two sides. Wednesfield are looking like getting back to full strength after a rough patch without some key riders, namely Paul Heard. The Eagles only managed two race wins against Sheffield last time out, this home fixture is the perfect chance for them to welcome back a few missing riders from the match at the Graves and move up in the right direction in the table.
Poole v Sheffield
When these two sides met in round 4, it was the battle of the bottom, with neither side having claimed any points. Since then both sides have come on strong. Sheffield found the right balance to their team and have gone unbeaten at home, save the first match of the season against Horspath and Poole have welcomed back none other than world champion Marcin Szymański, who has contributed to their recent success. Sheffield welcome back Gavin Parr, who missed the Ipswich clash, but lose Mikey Hewitson and Myke Grimes for this round. The match itself could be a great one for the spectators, as neither side can afford to lose if they want that second placed spot in the table.
Sheffield host the final round of the Women’s League on Sunday. The event features teams from the Midlands, North, South East and South & South Wales, followed by an individual event. It starts at 12 noon and takes place at Cookson Park, not the Graves, as it was originally advertised.
Other racing on Sunday had the South East GP at Kesgrave, the Northern 4s takes place at Bury and East Park take on Birmingham in a Midland League 3 match.
Enjoy the weekend!