EUROPEAN PREVIEW - FIME U19 Pairs Final / PGE
Three of Great Britain’s top youngsters are in Poland this weekend for the FIME European Under-19 Pairs Final.
Anders Rowe, Drew Kemp and Dan Gilkes represent GB in Saturday’s event at Gdansk, with hopes high that they can put in a strong challenge for honours.
The hosts are represented by Mateusz Cierniak, Bartlomiej Kowalski and Michal Curzytek, whilst the other competing nations are Latvia, Czech Republic, Sweden, Denmark and Germany. The meeting gets underway at 2pm BST.
The PGE Ekstraliga moves into the second half of the regular campaign with Lublin back on top of the standings after a 49-41 win over Leszno in Monday’s re-arranged fixture.
But only three points cover the top five in the table, and the aggregate bonus point now becomes an issue in the remaining fixtures.
British duo Tai Woffinden and Dan Bewley are also involved in the scrap at the right end, with Wroclaw currently holding second place, just a point behind Lublin.
Robert Lambert, meanwhile, will be looking to steer Torun clear of a relegation fight as they are third from bottom with four points – although the form guide would suggest they should stay ahead of Grudziadz and Zielona Gora.
Wroclaw are first into action this weekend as they face Grudziadz at home on Friday – the reverse fixture having seen the visitors’ only win of the season so far.
That was achieved by the narrowest of margins, 45-44, after Woffinden had crashed out in a first-ride tangle with Przemyslaw Pawlicki.
A convincing home win will be fully expected in the return, whilst Grudziadz have named Krzysztof Kasprzak back in their side after missing their last three matches.
On Friday evening Lublin face a fascinating trip to Czestochowa, who have won their last three matches. Lubin won the reverse fixture 49-41.
Lambert will be in action for Torun on Sunday afternoon in a key visit to Zielona Gora, holding a 51-39 advantage for the bonus point.
ZG have lost five matches on the spin, including last week’s humiliating 27-63 reverse at home to Wroclaw, whilst Torun themselves are seeking to end a three-match losing streak.
The match of the weekend on Sunday evening features third-placed Gorzow looking to do the double over fourth-placed Leszno after their dramatic away win on the first weekend of the season.
Division One leaders Krosno race at home to Gniezno on Saturday, whilst Lodz face Gdansk. Second-placed Ostrow are at home to rock-bottom Tarnow on Monday, whilst Rybnik host Bydgoszcz on Sunday.
In Division Two, Adam Ellis will be in action for Rzeszow as they make their long-awaited first home appearance on Sunday against leaders Opole. Elsewhere, re-instated Wittstock host Poznan on Saturday.
Lambert got his Swedish Elitserien campaign off to a strong start with a 14-point haul from five rides in Lejonen’s 52-38 win at Indianerna.
Lambert dropped his only point to his Torun team-mate Chris Holder, with Oliver Berntzon (12+1), Rohan Tungate (11+2) and Nicolai Klindt (9+5) all paid for double figures.
Elsewhere, Smederna were easy 57-33 winners at Masarna, and Vastervik drew 45-45 at Dackarna with a last-heat 5-1 from Artem Lagua and Pawel Przedpelski, whilst on Thursday Vetlanda edged out Rospiggarna 47-43.