Pirates v Gladiators Preview

The Plymouth Westcolour Gladiators return to action tonight with a tough looking trip to their nearest neighbours the Poole Pirates in a Fixture that could have a significant impact on the final League Table and Play Off choices at the end of the League season.

Having been defeated in the Knock Out Cup by Poole early in the season before they had really blown the winter cobwebs away the Westcolour Gladiators caused one of the shocks of the season when beating the Pirates by 53-37 points in their Home league Fixture a few weeks later. Having also thrashed runaway League leaders the Leicester Lions by 60-30 at The Coliseum, the Gladiators will travel over the border to Dorset in fine fettle.

However, the Club suffered a double disappointment in the past 24 hours, with the very late cancellation of the home Fixture against Newcastle Diamonds, who had signified their intention to close their season due to financial issues late on Monday evening . This meant that significant financial outlay that all Speedway Clubs have to spend to stage Meetings could not be stopped meaning that the Westcolour Gladiators have suffered a significant financial loss too.

To compound the bad news the very much in-form talisman Ben Barker suffered a sickening fall at Peterborough on Monday night riding for the Ipswich Witches which left him with shoulder injuries and bad bruising. Whilst the full extent of the injuries won’t be fully known until the worst of the swelling and bruising are known the early prognosis is that Ben could be missing for between 2 to 6 weeks, joining Edward Kennett and Dan Gilkes on the injury list.

With Leicesters Kyle Howarth already booked to replace Edward Kennett but with an average lower than Barkers, Team Manager Garry May has made a tactical switch and will operate Rider Replacement for Kennett, Howarth will now be Guest for Barker and that will allow any of the other Plymouth Riders to share Barkers 4 scheduled rides between them.

The Line up is now-:

Rider Replacement ( for Edward Kennett)

Alfie Bowtell

Kyle Howarth (Guest)

Michael Palm-Toft

Hans Andersen

Ben Morley

Harry McGurk

The Poole Pirates are at full strength and line up-:

Danny King

Zach Cook

Steve Worrall

Ben Cook

Richard Lawson

Drew Kemp

Nathan Ablitt

Tapes Up at 7.30pm

You can purchase a LIVE STREAM of the Fixture on Poole Pirates excellent in-house service here: https://livestream.poole-speedway.com/

We’ll have a full report of the Meeting tomorrow afternoon and hopefully an injury update on Ben.

Image Credit: Jon Sproad