Danny King: Time to contact Poland and beating Ritchie at golf (again!)
© Copyright Stephen Waller
Danny King column: I’m recalling my Polish engines... Could Witches meet Peterborough in a cup final?
Well, it wasn’t to be.
And five days on, I’m still pretty fed up about it.
Not managing to win the Championship after such a long and draining season has been hard to stomach.
Sheffield were worthy winners, make no mistake.
I think our injuries caught up with us to be honest. Rider replacement for Justin Sedgmen didn’t get anywhere near the points a fit ‘Sedge’ would have done. Or imagine if Nico was still with us?
We missed Connor Mountain too, hopefully he’ll be back next week.
It’s been a catalogue of ‘ifs, buts and maybes’, but that’s speedway. Every club has its share of injuries. I do think we have been hit as hard as anyone though.
So, to finish the league campaign in second place after all we have gone through is something we should be proud of. It just hurts we couldn’t see it through in the final. It was a quiet drive home for me, Clara and the boys on Saturday night.
We really lost the tie at Sheffield.
Eight points down with three heats to go, if we had kept it to that, we would have been in with a real shout. But we let it slip at the death in heats 13, 14 and 15 and eight suddenly became 16.
I had a couple of second places in heats 13 and 15 but not for the first time recently, I didn’t feel I had the speed.
I don’t know what’s happened, but I’ve summoned my engines back from Poland this week in time for the KO Cup semi-final with the Tigers next week. I need to see if they will help.
And I’ll be able to get stuck into giving the engines a real go, ironically at Sheffield on Sunday.
It’s the start of a hectic week for me, with six meetings in seven days! And I’ll be seeing more of Sheffield than many Sheffield fans!
Sunday, it’s the Championship Pairs (with Rory Schlein), at Sheffield.
Monday, it’s Sheffield v Leicester, promotion/relegation clash.
Wednesday, it’s Leicester v Sheffield, promotion/relegation clash.
Thursday, Sheffield v Ipswich, KOC semi
Friday, Ipswich v Sheffield, KOC semi
Saturday, Championship Riders’ final, at Glasgow.
Blimey, after that little lot I’m going to need a lie-down.
The Pairs will certainly give me a chance to get my engines from Poland set up for Sheffield and me and Rory Schlein will be giving it a real go, while the next night, as you can see, I’m at Owlerton again riding for Leicester in the promotion/relegation first leg.
This is a strange meeting.
Promotion and relegation has never been a big thing in speedway as clubs need to be able to afford to move up. Sheffield though will be well up for this and I think this is going to be a very tough assignment for us at Leicester to see them off over two legs.
Of course Josh Bates and Lasse Bjerre ride for both clubs in their separate leagues. What is going to go on there with who they ride for, at the time of writing, I have no idea!
It’s all a bit crazy, but I know the Lions want to win badly. So, after the return at Leicester on Wednesday, I’m back at Sheffield for a third time in five days! Is that allowed under the eight-day rule?
I must admit I don’t think in all my years of racing I have ever ridden at the same circuit three times in five days in competitive meetings. In fact I know I haven’t.
So, it’s a busy week ahead and we have to get over our disappointment because there is a big KO Cup semi-final to come next week.
The winners play Peterborough or Newcastle/Glasgow in the final. I must admit it would quite something to race Peterborough in the final, not just because it’s my local track, but because it would generate a big crowd.
I know Ritchie Hawkins was very disappointed we lost to Sheffield. He really wears his heart of his sleeve as team boss and I think he’s done a great job keeping things going through this injury-hit year.
Last week I didn’t put him in a good mood for the final after thrashing him in the Tin Cup golf challenge between ourselves – I went round in 84!
So, no action at Foxhall this week. But you fans have been superb for us this year and it was great to see you all on Saturday.
Hopefully see you all next Friday for those Tigers again! – This time in the KO Cup.
AS TOLD TO MIKE BACON