WEEKEND PREVIEW: Home International and Elite League this weekend

There’s not many matches this weekend, but the matches that are on are big ones! Including a preview from down under, here’s the round-up for all of this weekend’s action.

Home International 2014, Newport

This year’s Home International takes place at the Newport Sports Village in South Wales, with England, Wales, Scotland and Ireland all poised to do battle on track, to take home the trophy. All four home nations are present in the Senior category (4pm start), however Ireland are unfortunately not fielding a Junior team for the Junior competition (2pm start).

England’s team of Paul Heard, Lee Aris, Andy Angell, Leyton Glover and Myke Grimes took the Senior win at Wednesfield last year, under the guidance of Poole’s Pete Barnes and Colin Sutton. This year, Mark Boaler is at the helm and he’s selected a team that will definitely be challenging to retain the title. Double British Champion Andy Angell wins another cap, supported by Josh Brooke of Ipswich and East Parks and Wednesfield’s Matt Smith. Veterans Steve Harris and Gavin Parr complete their line up.

Wales are expected to be the main challengers to England’s title, Mark Carmichael on his home track is always going to go well, along with fellow Newport team-mate Nicky Evans. Ben Mould returns to the Welsh line up this year after missing out last year and Mark Winwood, an ever-present in Welsh colours in recent years complete their strong-looking top 4, with young Newport rider Jacob Soper taking the reserve spot.

It’s unclear which of the Scotland squad are in the Home International and which are Celtic Cup at this stage, but it’s likely Jamie Ball, Mikey Hewitson and Nathan Groves are all going to feature tomorrow and will no doubt be in the thick of the action.

Ireland are looking a bit depleted from last year. They’re missing Hull’s Adam Stephenson from the line up, but Ipswich boys Lewis Roberts and Charlie Rumbold have the ability to mix it up with the best, so expect them to lead the Irish points scores.

It’s sure to be an entertaining meeting. The smart money will be probably be on England or Wales to land the title, it’s a little too close to call between those two teams. Check back Saturday evening for the results.

Elite League

Ipswich v Horspath

It’s an interesting array of fixture this weekend, first off the Horspath Hammers are on their travels to the Eagles in Suffolk. Ipswich lost fairly heavily to Wednesfield last time out and the pressure will be well and truly on against the unbeaten league leaders. The bad news for the Eagles is the lack of DMP fixtures this weekend, which more than likely means Horspath’s Polish contingent will be flying in to bolster their attack. As good a season the Eagles are having, it will still be a big ask to overturn Horspath at their strongest. However, that all said, Sheffield were close to doing so in the first match of the season at the Graves, granted without Chris Timms turning out for the Hammers. A strong team performance from the Eagles will certainly keep the match tight, they will want to get back to winning ways as soon as possible, before the Hammers tear off into the distance.

Poole v Newport

Poole have got stronger as the season have gone on, with decent performances away at Horspath and only lacking a little bit of depth away against Sheffield. You can’t bet against them at home and Sunday will be a perfect opportunity for them to get some points on the board against their South and South Wales counterparts. Newport on the other hand will be eyeing up their second points haul of the season. A Newport victory is finely poised on how well they travel, it’s a decent journey for their Midlands based riders. Providing they put out their strongest team, they will believe they can take some points back to Wales. Poole are no pushovers though, Gluchowski, Harris, Szymanski and Wheeler are all big names in Cycle Speedway, they are also strong leaders for the younger Poole riders, who are learning more every match. They will be confident of getting off the mark this weekend and with good reason to be.

Sheffield v Wednesfield

Concluding the Elite League round-up is a tasty looking fixture between Sheffield and Wednesfield Aces. The fortunes of both sides have been the polar opposite. Sheffield with one win and three losses, the Aces with three wins and one loss. The Stars are likely to be missing Radek Handke, injured two weeks ago in the Elite League match against Poole. He came off whilst going up the inside and landed heavily on his knee on the inside line. They are still expected to put a strong team out, who now have wind in their sails following the victory against the Dorset side last time out. Wednesfield will probably still be without Paul Heard (hand) but should have most of their large squad available to them. Matt Smith will no doubt feature against his former side and will be hoping to carry on where he left off two weeks ago, a max against Ipswich, on a track that he knows well.

All three matches could be really close, if you can make it to one of them this weekend, I’m sure you’re in for a treat of real close top end Cycle Speedway racing.


Interclub Number 2 takes place at Le Fevre Cycle Speedway from 2pm (ACST) on Saturday. Salisbury, Findon and Le Fevre are all taking place. There are 6 riders in each race (2 from each club) with scores from 6-1 instead of the usual 4-1. Sounds like great fun! There are 8 grades involved, Divisions 1 – 7 and over 30s (Division 7 is under 7s and 16″ wheels). There are three run throughs of races for each grade. The club with the highest tally wins the round. Salisbury won round 1 so if they win this round they have won the Interclub Shield.

On Sunday, Findon Skid Kids host the Brian O’Neill Annual Memorial Championship, racing starting at 12pm (ACST). It is an Open Championship for all riders. Brian was a member of Findon in the 1970s and early 80s. He was a passenger, racing sidecars at the speedway when he was tragically killed in a race practice accident.

This evenings meeting at Salisbury was cancelled due to adverse weather.


Stockport host the Northern Fours and GP3 this weekend. 12pm is U10/U13/U16 Individuals, 1:30pm the team event and finishing off at 3pm with the U19’s & Div 2 Riders Individuals.

Kesgrave are hosting the second round of the Suffolk Junior League, tapes go up at 11am.

Good luck to all riders and teams this weekend!