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SPEEDWAY: Something old, something new.

Byline: MIKE BERRY

WIMBLEDON make their first visit to Brandon in 20 years tonight when they provide the first night opposition for the newly-formed Coventry Cougars.

The famous London club, who last rode in the top-flight in 1991 before a mid-season switch to Eastbourne, were resurrected in the Conference League - the third tier of the sport - two years ago and track former Bees riders Wayne Broadhurst and Mark Burrows in their experienced line- up.

For DLG Cougars boss Des Quinney, tonight's launch meeting is the first of three Conference Trophy fixtures in seven days, with a return trip to Wimbledon on Wednesday followed by a visit to Buxton next Sunday afternoon.

It is seven days in which Quinney will learn a lot about his new young charges, who boast an average age of just 19 compared to Wimbledon's 29.

Quinney said: "My concerns are about the strength of our young squad compared to some of the more experienced line-ups, and the desire to see that the venture is a success in terms of support from the fans.

"With our first three fixtures taking place in seven days, there will be little time to ponder over the merits of the team and then we face seven weeks without any official fixtures due to the fact that Peterborough have withdrawn from the Conference Trophy. Obviously that is not a sensible situation and I will be endeavouring to arrange some fixture changes to avoid such a lengthy period of inactivity.

"I must also take this opportunity to express my thanks to the team sponsor Derek Gregson (DLG Racing Products) and also to the fuel and oil sponsorship provided by BOSS (Bees Official Speedway Supporters). Their support is very much appreciated."

Ben Barker, the 16-year-old Cornish flyer who made such a big impact with the Oxford Academy side last year, doesn't ride tonight, but will make his debut in Wednesday's return with Wimbledon at Plough Lane.

o BEES teenager Morten Risager enjoyed another successful weekend in Denmark, finishing second in Saturday's Danish Championship semi-final at Herning, and then winning the joint European Under 19 and World Under 21 Championship round at Holstebro yesterday.

The fast-rising 16-year-old dropped his only point on Saturday to meeting winning Mads Korneliussen of Newport, but gained his revenge by beating Korneliussen in a run-off to win Sunday's event after both finished on 14 points.
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:Coventry Evening Telegraph (England)
Date:Apr 19, 2004
Words:395
Previous Article:SPEEDWAY: Bees hit the skids; FURIOUS PRATT SET TO SWING AXE AFTER EASTBOURNE COLLAPSE.
Next Article:SPEEDWAY: MEET THE COVENTRY DLG COUGARS.


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