Sunday, 29 November 2015

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Workington speedway facing tough battle to reach Knockout Cup semi-final

Edinburgh Monarchs 56 Workington Comets 34: Workington Comets have 22 points to make-up tonight if they are to make their second competition semi-final of the season.

Already through to the Premier Trophy last four, the Comets know they have a tough task to reach the Knockout Cup semi-final.

The Premier League champions Edinburgh Monarchs are a tough nut to crack home or away and like the Comers are also bidding to get through to their second semi-final.

When the two teams met in the Premier Trophy it was 60-34 at Armadale but the Comets could only win the return by six points – 48-42 – at Derwent Park.

Club owner Keith Denham, who has had to take on the mantle of team manager because of Ian Thomas’ illness, insists it’s not all doom and gloom however.

“I know it looks a lot to have to make-up but in the Knockout Cup the tactical ride facility doesn’t apply.

“We did not have the opportunity to reduce the deficit with a high-scoring black-and-white helmet replacement.

“That will also apply for Edinburgh at our place so if we can keep pulling away from them early on we can put pressure-on to run them close.

“I know it’s going to be tough but I don’t think it’s quite as bad as the scoreline might seem at first glance,” said Denham.

The Comets only won five of the 15 heats – three of them going to Kevin Doolan and the other two to fellow heat leader Andre Compton.

The fact that the Comets did not manage a heat advantage all night added to the problems and the best they could manage were seven shared heats.

Although the tactical ride opportunities were denied them Workington did have the opportunity to choose their gates in two of the heats between races five and 14.

The tactical gate choice produced wins for the Comets on both occasions with Compton and Doolan both successful in heats nine and thirteen, but they were only worth 3-3 in overall terms.

Edinburgh, who like the Comets used rider replacement at number two, were strong throughout with number one Ryan Fisher leading them home on 15 points from six rides, which included four wins.

They also heavily out-scored the Comets at reserve where Aaron Summers (10) and Sean Stoddart (4) doubled the tally of the Workington pair Craig Cook (6) and guest Jan Graversen (1).

Cook, however, worked particularly hard after starting with three duck-eggs because he then grabbed three second places from his four remaining rides.

Workington will again use rider replacement for John Branney in tonight’s return at Derwent Park but Somerset’s Justin Sedgman takes over at reserve for the injured Charles Wright.

“If we can get off to a good start and keep the pressure on them then there’s a chance we can turn things round,” said Denham.


1. Ryan Fisher 3,1,3,3,2,3 = 15

2. Thomas H Jonasson R/R

3. Michal Rajkowski 3,1*,1*,1 = 6+2

4. Andrew Tully 2*,2,2,2*,3 = 11+2

5. Matthew Wethers (C) 2,3,3,1*,1*,0 = 10+2

6. Aaron Summers 1,2*,1,2,3,1 = 10+1

7. Sean Stoddart 3,1*,0 = 4+1


1. Kevin Doolan (C) 2,3,3,3,1* = 12+1

2. John Branney R/R

3. Adrian Rymel 1,2,1,0 = 4

4. Richard Lawson 0,0,1*,0,0 = 1+1

5. Andre Compton 3,2,3,0,2 = 10

6. Craig Cook 0,0,0,2,0,2,2 = 6

7. Jan Graversen (G) 1,R,0,0, 0 = 1



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