[T]his Saturday at Derwent Park sees the Comets go head to head with their closest rivals, the Newcastle Diamonds, in the second leg of their SGB Championship Knockout Cup first round tie, where they will be aiming to overturn an eight-point deficit from the first leg at Newcastle.
Obviously neither side wants to be knocked out of the cup at such an early stage of the season so a close and exciting clash is anticipated, which could very easily go right to the wire!
In addition to progressing to the next round of the cup, the aggregate winners will also become the holders of the Ian Thomas Shield for 2017. This is traditionally raced for in the opening weeks of the season but, with the teams having been drawn together in the first round of the cup, it made perfect sense to use the cup-tie to determine the winners of the shield for this season.
Their Derwent Park clash was originally scheduled to be the first leg, however the weather intervened three weeks ago, which now makes the re-arranged fixture the second leg. But, with the Diamonds running out 49-41 victors in their home leg at Brough Park the tie is now very delicately poised where a piece of bad luck for either side on the night could make all the difference!
Looking ahead to Saturday evening, club owner Laura Morgan anticipates an absorbing contest that will excite the fans: “It really has all the makings of a classic encounter and it promises to serve up some excellent entertainment for the supporters.
“The first leg at Newcastle was very keenly-contested and we now know exactly what we need to do, which is win by more than eight points on the night in order to achieve aggregate success. However, the Diamonds have a slender lead that they will be very keen to hold on to.
“If we can get in amongst the points early on and eat into their lead then we can get a bit of momentum going, especially with the support of our own fans, which can be crucial if it all gets a bit tense.”
The match will see two members of last summer’s World Cup Silver medal winning Team GB side going up against each other; with the Comets number one Craig Cook facing rising young GB star Robert Lambert, his opposite number in the Newcastle side. Meanwhile, the Newcastle line-up also contains a former Comet in Ashley Morris, who rode for the Comets from 2012 to 2014, before his season was curtailed through injury.
Comets supporters are reminded that, as this is a Knockout Cup meeting, season tickets are not valid for this Saturday’s meeting with Newcastle. This year’s season tickets are only valid for league fixtures and for any occasional publicised additional offers.
Following the Knockout Cup meeting there will be a six-heat Northern Junior League fixture, between the Workington Meteors and the Newcastle Gems. Meanwhile, after the racing is over on Saturday evening, the newly-formed Workington Speedway Trust will be holding a ‘Meet the Riders’ event in the bar under the grandstand, which will also be used as a fund-raising photo opportunity for supporters.
Making it a busy weekend for the Comets riders and supporters, the Comets head north to Glasgow on Sunday for their first away league fixture of the season, which gets underway at 5:00pm.
With the new speedway season now underway there are still sponsorship packages for all budgets available on request from Dan on 01900 813999 or email [email protected]
- Saturday 22nd April at 7pm: Workington v Newcastle (SGB Knockout Cup, 1st round, 2nd leg)
- Sunday 23rd April at 5pm: Glasgow v Workington (SGB Championship)
- Saturday 29th April at 7pm: Workington v Redcar (SGB Championship)