EUROPEAN PREVIEW: PGE Ekstraliga
Round 12 of the PGE Ekstraliga takes place this weekend with the main intrigue surrounding the race for the final two play-off places.
Image courtesy of Taylor Lanning Photography
Fifth-placed Torun have 12 points, Wroclaw are in sixth with 10, and Grudziadz are the side currently missing out on nine, with all clubs having three matches to go.
However, Grudziadz have the toughest of tests this week as they race at home to unbeaten leaders Lublin on Friday evening, with Motor currently eight points clear at the top.
Torun also have a tricky fixture as they are at home to second-placed Gorzow on Sunday, where Robert Lambert will go up against double World Champion Bartosz Zmarzlik and recent GP winners Anders Thomsen and Martin Vaculik.
Wroclaw, meanwhile, are away to third-placed Leszno on Sunday evening, with their side including Tai Woffinden at No.3 and the No.8 position unannounced at this stage, but which could be taken by Dan Bewley subject to fitness.
Elsewhere, Czestochowa should officially secure their play-off place as they host Ostrow, whose relegation will be rubber-stamped with defeat.
Division One is up to Round 13 of 14, and Bydgoszcz can take another step towards finishing top if they win at Gdansk on Sunday.
The only side who can catch them are Zielona Gora, who are at home to third-place Krosno, a vital fixture takes place on Saturday between Lodz and Gniezno, with the hosts on 10 points and holding the final play-off spot whilst the visitors are two points behind.
Rybnik are also on ten points, and they travel to Landshut on Sunday, with their final fixture next week being a home match with Lodz whilst Gniezno are at home to Zielona Gora.
The penultimate round of Division Two fixtures sees leaders Opole inactive, so Rawicz can take over at the top with a positive result at Rzeszow on Sunday. Tom Brennan is declared in the line-up for the visitors, who are just a point behind Opole.
Poznan are in third place ahead of their trip to bottom side Pila on Saturday, whilst Adam Ellis rides for Daugavpils in their match at Tarnow on Sunday, in what is the final regular fixture for the Latvian club ahead of the play-offs.
In the midweek Under-24 Ekstraliga action, Anders Rowe enjoyed a successful two days with Gorzow, firstly scoring 9+1 from five rides in their narrow 47-43 defeat at Wroclaw, and then adding 11+1 from five in a convincing 55-34 home win over third-placed Grudziadz.
Elsewhere Leszno won 50-39 at Ostrow to take over at the top of the table, whilst Wroclaw beat Czestochowa 50-40 with Jordan Jenkins (2) and Sam Hagon (1) featuring for the visitors. Lublin were declared 25-23 winners over Torun in a meeting curtailed due to rain.
In Sweden, Robert Lambert and Dan Bewley both missed Smederna’s 47-43 at bottom club Masarna, whilst Lejonen gained a big 57-33 win at Indianerna.
Lower down the table, Dackarna beat Rospiggarna 47-43, and on Thursday Lejonen completed a good week with a 58-32 win over Vastervik, meaning they have now moved above their most recent opponents into second place.