Massive night for Scunthorpe Scorpions this Friday as they bid to finish top of speedway table
The Henderson Insurance Scunthorpe Scorpions continue the exciting build-up to the speedway play-offs, as they bid to finish top of the regular Premier League table on Friday night. The Scorpions will be out to take three Premier League points from a vital clash against the Glasgow Tigers at the Eddie Wright Raceway on Friday (7.30pm) – and hope that other results go their way.
The Scorpions are already assured of their best ever Premier League finish (their previous best being fifth in 1983), but it’s now a case of bagging a top two place, or even top position.
The situation regarding the top four is currently as follows:
Business Cards From Only £10.95 Delivered www.myprint-247.co.ukView details
Contact: 01858 468192
Valid until: Sunday, June 30 2013
Current league position: 1st.
Current Premier League Points: 48.
Current Race Points Difference: +158.
Remaining fixtures: Plymouth (away) – Friday 21st Sept.
Maximum Premier League Points: 52.
Current league position: 2nd.
Current Premier League Points: 48.
Current Race Points Difference: +143.
Remaining fixtures: None.
Maximum Premier League Points: 48.
Current league position: 3rd.
Current Premier League Points: 47.
Current Race Points Difference: +91.
Remaining fixtures: Glasgow (home) – Friday 21st Sept.
Maximum Premier League Points: 50.
Current league position: 4th.
Current Premier League Points: 41.
Current Race Points Difference: +12.
Remaining fixtures: Redcar (away) – Thursday 20th Sept, Edinburgh (away) – Friday 21st Sept, Workington (away) – Saturday 22nd Sept.
Maximum Premier League Points: 53.
Therefore, Leicester can reach the highest points tally (53), but in order to do so they would have to score three away wins of 7 points or more, on three successive nights.
The Lions face a Redcar team who have really started to get dialled into their home track in recent weeks, an Edinburgh side who lost to Scunthorpe in wet conditions at home but otherwise have in good form around Armadale, and finally Workington, who have an unbeaten home league record but are currently decimated by injury.
It is possible seeing the Lions take wins in one or two of those meetings, but to win all three would be a tall order. If they win all three, they would certainly be deserving of the top spot.
But it’s more likely for the top spot to be between Newcastle and Scunthorpe.
The Diamonds are away at bottom club Plymouth on Friday night. However, the Devils will be going out to win the meeting by at least seven points, and therefore avoid finishing bottom of the 2012 Premier League by climbing ahead of Sheffield. That would clinch a place in the end-of-season competition that features the 7th to 12th placed teams for the Devils.
Newcastle have a superior race points difference to Scunthorpe, and therefore the Scorpions need to outscore the Diamonds by two league points on Friday.
If the Scorpions were to win on Friday, and also take the third league point for winning by more than 7 points at home, the Scorpions would move onto 50 points.
That would leave Newcastle needing a draw or a win at Plymouth to edge out the Scorpions.
If Newcastle failed to score any points at all at Plymouth (i.e. a loss by 7 points or more), then Scunthorpe could top the table by taking just two points off Glasgow (i.e. a win by less than 7 points), provided Leicester (with their inferior race points difference) scored 8 or less points from their three away meetings on Thursday, Friday and Saturday.
Scunthorpe team manager Richard Hollingsworth said today: “Friday night is THE night, where in all probability, the team who finishes top the table is likely to be decided. I’m sure fans with smart phones will be following the updates at Plymouth and Edinburgh on Friday night, while watching the action unfold in front of them at the Eddie Wright Raceway at the same time.
“However, for the riders and management, we can’t allow for that sort of distraction. Our task will be simple. And that will be to make sure we score all three Premier League points against Glasgow.
“We never under-estimate the opposition, and Glasgow do pose a threat. The Tigers pushed us close in a curtailed League Cup at the Eddie Wright Raceway earlier in the season (final score 40-34), and were 14-10 ahead when the Premier League fixture was initially washed out on July 20th.
“What has delighted me in recent weeks has been our all-round strength at the Eddie Wright Raceway. Hugh Skidmore was a very competent guest last Friday, and had three very good rides out of four, and yet he finished as our bottom scorer! Michael (Palm Toft) and Gary (Irving) have been consistently banging in the points from reserve, as have the whole team.
“We have Robin Aspegren as a guest for Thomas Jorgensen on Friday. Robin acquitted himself very well last time he guested for us, when he came in at the last minute to guest for Nick Morris against Plymouth. We were very impressed by him, and it has led to this repeat booking. It could well be that Robin plays a part for us in the play-offs as well.”
Glasgow have Poole’s Sam Masters as a guest for their injured No 1 Joe Screen.
Scunthorpe have scored 19 out of 19 Premier League points, since defeat at Workington on August 11th. Since the Scorpions have picked up a club record away win at Edinburgh (54-39), plus home wins against Sheffield (51-42), Somerset (50-40), Plymouth (54-39), Berwick (58-34) and Redcar (55-38).
Hollingsworth enthused: “We’ve hit form at just the right time of the season. We want to continue that on Friday night, and take the momentum through into the play-offs.
“There’s also the chance for us to complete an unbeaten home record at this level for only the second time, and for the first time since 1983. We’ve only dropped two Premier League points in our previous 11 home matches so far – to Newcastle and Berwick.
“It’s going to be an exciting few weeks, but we will take it one step at a time.
“The first step is to beat Glasgow on Friday, and keep our fingers crossed that results elsewhere go our way. Even though the championship is decided in the play-offs, finishing top of the Premier League table for the first time ever would mean so much to Scunthorpe Speedway”, concluded Hollingsworth.
Henderson Insurance Scunthorpe Scorpions: 1. Josh Auty, 2. David Howe R/R, 3. Robin Aspegren (Sweden), 4. Ashley Birks, 5. Nick Morris (Australia), 6. Michael Palm Toft (Denmark), 7. Gary Irving.
Glasgow Tigers: 1. Sam Masters (Australia), 2. Mason Campton (Australia), 3. Josh Grajczonek (Australia), 4. Henning Bager (Denmark), 5. James Grieves (Scotland), 6. James McBain (Scotland), 7. Charles Wright.