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Sunday, 20 April 2014

Oh, for an injury free season

The Workington Comets injury jinx has struck yet again.

Every year we seem to go through this - with key riders getting injured at crucial times that disrupts our season.


No sooner had we lost Kyle Howarth for the rest of the season then Kenny Ingalls follows him on to the treatment table following his horror smash on Saturday.


As with last season in the short term we have coped admirably without our riders, with guests, for once, in the main scoring well.


However, as team manager Tony Jackson has already said there is still far too much to ride for this season to have to rely on guests and rider replacement.


As is always the case the team that wins the title is the one that is solid, rides consistently all the way through and injuries have the least affect on them.


It is not always how you begin the season but how you end it.

I GO on about our injury problems but it is nothing compared to what Berwick have had to endure over the last few weeks.


They must have run over about a dozen black cats to suffer the luck they have had with a list manager Ian Rae would not care to look at.


In the past couple of weeks all their heat leaders Seb Alden, Lee Complin and Ricky Ashworth have all took heavy knocks and they lost two reserves in one ride at Rye House

.
Incredibly they won that match with only four of their team still fit to ride.


Three new signings later and a return for Alden has got them looking like a speedway team again and for everyone’s sake let us hope none of their riders suffer any more injuries not least so for Rae who spent most of his recent holiday on the phone trying to pin down new signings rather than enjoying a break.

LAST week I mentioned that the race to finish top of the Premier League is hotting up with the picture becoming clearer all the time.


Although we know finishing top does not win you the title I feel looking at the current teams up there having first pick of who you want to face in the play offs will be a huge advantage.


Although not counting any chickens just yet Workington would be almost certain to make the top six - providing injuries don’t hamper their chances - but themselves, Newcastle and Somerset looking the most likely to fill the top three positions so finishing top means you could avoid meeting the other two depending on who teams pick to face.


The Diamonds and Rebels are the two teams that have pushed us closest at Derwent Park this season so avoid them and pick some other so called weaker teams would bode well.


But as we know with the top six teams battling it out for the title nothing will be easy.

WE had a surprise winner of the Grand Prix at the weekend with Antonio Lindback ending his eight year wait for a gold medal.


Lindback has never seemed to cut it on the biggest stage despite being billed as a future world champion early on in his career.


However, he has had pressure from fans and the media and admitted a more laid back and relaxed approach paid off big time as he took the win with the seventh winner out of eight rounds confirming the unpredictability of this year’s championship.


Up at the top Mr Consistency Greg Hancock secured another place in the final while his rivals faltered with none of them making the final four and now he leads the field by 10 points.


Chris Harris also saw an improved performance but still has a long way to go to reach the top eight which looks improbable at the moment but with Cardiff in two weeks and another three rounds following anything is possible.


One thing is for sure though - with so much young talent coming through he cannot rely on a wild card - as he has done for so much of his Grand Prix career - to gain entry into next year’s championship.

By Paul Crute
Published: August 17, 2012

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