Big Match Preview: Scunthorpe v Workington

Mar 28th, 2024

Good Friday


ELLIE ROSE TRAVEL Scunthorpe Scorpions face Cab Direct Championship newcomers Workington Comets at the Eddie Wright Raceway this afternoon (Good Friday, 5.30pm) in the northern group of the BSN Series in their opening meeting of the 2024 season.

Scorpions finished a memorable 2023 season by winning the Knockout Cup, after defeating Poole Pirates by 92-88 in the final. There have been a number of changes over the winter at the EWR: the departure of No 1 Ryan Douglas; former No 1 David Howe coming in as the new team manager after Dave Peet stepped down in the wake of the KOC triumph; and Ellie Rose UK taking over as title sponsors of the Scorpions.

But there’s also a strong sense of continuity, with five out of seven Scorpions returning from the 2023 side, arguably the second strongest Scunthorpe team at second tier level – behind only the 2012 title winners.

The clash with Workington is intriguing – especially with the debut of Celina Liebmann at No 7 for the Comets. The 22-year-old German is the first female rider to gain a regular team spot in professional speedway in the UK and this meeting marks her debut for Workington.

Scunthorpe promoter Rob Godfrey said: “I can’t believe it’s already the 20th consecutive season of racing at Normanby Road.

“It was in 2005 that speedway returned to Scunthorpe and we’re already well past the combined total of the Saints (eight seasons at Quibell Park from 1971-78) and the Stags, who ran for seven seasons at Ashby Ville between 1979 and 1985.

“There have been plenty of highs at the Eddie Wright Raceway in the last 20 seasons, most notably our league title win in 2012 in the most dramatic of fashions against Somerset in the play-off final.

“But there have been lows, too, such as the Covid year of 2020 when the season was a non-event and we were one of the very few clubs who even managed to stage a meeting that year. At least it maintained our run of consecutive years of racing and brings us to where we are now and our 20th season.

“We are looking to pick up where we left off in 2023 as Knockout Cup winners and keep that going. Most of the team is intact and we’ve only made two changes from last year, whereas some of the other teams have made a lot more.

“Our two new faces are Kyle Howarth and local lad Luke Harrison, both of whom will be familiar to Scunny supporters. Kyle is a quality act, while we don’t want to put any pressure on Luke, but I do think he will be scoring points from the word go.

“We get started against Workington and how good is it to see the Comets back at second division level where they belong! Andrew Bain, Steve Lawson and everyone up there has done a marvellous job in relaunching the sport at a new track, pretty much following the same path as we did all those years ago.

“They have put together a very interesting looking line-up too, with big guns like Craig Cook, Troy Batchelor and Claus Vissing at the top end, but some brand new names to British fans at the other end. A special ‘wilkommen’ goes out to Celina Liebmann, who becomes the first female rider to race professionally in the Championship.”

For those who cannot make it to the Eddie Wright Raceway, Scorpions are live streaming home meetings for just £11.99 at:

Adult: £20.00
Student/OAP: £18.00
Child (0 – 16): Free (must be accompanied by paying adult)
Programme: £1.00
Pay on the day at the turnstiles by cash or card.

Expected teams for this afternoon (Good Friday):

Ellie Rose Travel Scunthorpe Scorpions: 1. Kyle Howarth, 2. Connor Mountain, 3. Simon Lambert (captain), 4. Michael Palm Toft, 5. Jake Allen, 6. Nathan Ablitt, 7. Luke Harrison.

Workington Comets: 1. Craig Cook, 2. Claus Vissing, 3. Antti Vuolas, 4. Tate Zischke, 5. Troy Batchelor, 6. Sam McGurk, 7. Celina Liebmann.

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