Speedway: Tigers star misses out on semi-final place

From left to right, Magnus Karlsson, Oliver Allen and Jason Doyle.
From left to right, Magnus Karlsson, Oliver Allen and Jason Doyle.
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Tigers racer Ricky Wells was left to wonder what might have been after going agonisingly close to a place in last night’s Premier League Riders’ Championship race-off.

Wells, who revealed 24-hours before the event that his relationship with club owner Neil Machin had broken down, started the meeting in style with a win but failed to gain enough points to make the cut.

Rye House star Olly Allen emerged as the champion on a track he has always enjoyed after starting his career alongside Owlerton legend Simon Stead.

Wells said: “It was a tough meeting and there were five or six of us on seven points at the end. I started off good and then had a blip in my third ride, then I was racing hard after that to try and get up to a semi-final spot but I just didn’t get it. It’s just one of those things and I’ll move on to the next one.

“My third ride was a bad blip, I didn’t make a bad start but I just got pushed out and then I couldn’t get in. I wasn’t as fast today as I am in the league; I don’t know why. Maybe the weather conditions caught me off guard.”

Allen spectacularly rounded pre-meeting favourite Craig Cook in the semi-final to book his place in the final and then did the very same in the last heat, scraping the fence on his way past his rivals.

Surprise package Magnus Karlsson headed the qualifying scorechart but had no answer to Allen in the final and had to settle for second, while Australian World Cup star Jason Doyle took third place.

It was one of the best Championships in recent years and British Speedway event co-ordinator and Tigers team manager David Hoggart was delighted.

He said: “The weather was fine, the crowd was excellent and everyone behaved themselves and rode well. I’m pleased for Oliver (Allen) because he rode very well and he showed a lot of guts in some of his passing moves.

“There were some very good races; all the riders looked after each other and rode fairly, and it was a super finale to a great meeting.”