HARRIS SLIPS FURTHER:
Chris Harris slipped further behind in the World Championship Grand Prix rankings with another disappointing night at Malilla in Sweden, writes Nigel Walrond.
He is now a massive 35 points adrift of the top-eight placing he needs to guarantee a position in the 2013 World Championship series, with only two rounds remaining.
It means the Cornishman will have to rely on receiving one of the GP organisers' four wild card picks for next season, but there will be hot competition for those.
Polish ace Jarek Hampel seems almost certain to be given one of them, after all his injury problems this season, while Australian youngster Darcy Ward looks nailed on to get another.
It remains to be seen which three riders will qualify through the Grand Prix Challenge later this month, but the big question is, will the organisers opt to go without a Briton in their line-up next season – highly unlikely given the demands of television – or will they opt for Harris's GB team-mate Tai Woffinden instead?
Harris was involved in some good racing throughout Saturday night's Scandinavian Grand Prix, but on a racer's track that should have suited him, he did not seem to have the speed to really compete at the front of races.
A disastrous last place in his first outing was followed by two second-places and a third to give him five points. However, needing a heat win in his final outing to reach the semi-finals, he again trailed in at the back.
It has been a poor season by Harris's standards, missing out on the British title, and his Elite League side, Coventry Bees, failing to make the end-of-season play-offs.
The meeting in Malilla was won by Poland's Tomasz Gollob, with Australian Chris Holder capturing second place to put him eight points clear of reigning world champion Greg Hancock at the head of the overall standings.
Scandinavian GP: 1 Gollob 21, 2 Holder 17, 3 Lindback 18, 4 N Pedersen 11. Other scores: Lindgren 11, Sayfutdinov 11, Hancock 8, Crump 8, B Pedersen 6, Vaculik 6, Hampel 6, Jonasson 5, Ljung 5, Harris 5, Andersen 5, Jonsson 1, Nilsson 0, Sundstrom 0.
Overall standings (after 10 of 12 rounds): Holder 134, Hancock 126, N Pedersen 123, Gollob 114, Crump 111, Sayfutdinov 107, Lindgren 100, Lindback 92, Jonsson 77, Andersen 58, Harris 57, Vaculik 55, Hampel 52, B Pedersen 49, Ljung 49, Bjerre 41.
"You do excellent articles on speedway in Guardian Sport and particularly on Chris Harris.
"I have been a fan of Chris since the Trelawny Tigers at the Clay Country Park days, he is a superb rider who can 'sometimes' come from the back and win and on rare occasions, win with a good start.
"Unfortunately with today's standard of riders in the GP series it is more difficult, and Chris lacks that 'split second' at the start, and is that split second behind at the start, which means he trails in third or last.
He has the speed with a good start and can hold the best riders in the world off, I am sure that he knows this and tries to eradicate his poor starts.
I hope that if he does not qualify for next year's GP's, the governing body gives him a wild card, the GP series wont be the same without him. I wish I knew how to advise him to start quicker – maybe its all in the mind?"
– Vian Curtis, Newquay
NEWQUAY PREMIER INDIVIDUAL LEAGUE:
The Newquay Premier Individual League darts kicked off the new season on Friday at the Tavern. With a couple of new faces playing this year it should turn out to be a far more challenging season.
Opening the evening was Garry Beckerleg up against Tony Coomber, with Tony showing a bit more experience over the longer format it was Tony who surged into a 3-1 lead with Garry missing a few vital doubles.
But Garry soon hit back to take the next three legs aided by an 18 darter to go 4-3 up. So down to the decider with both players having chances it was Tony who took the final leg to make it a 4-4 draw.
Second match of the night we had Ady Pascoe facing another new player Dave Phillips. Ady not really being able to find his true form found himself on the wrong end of 5-0. Dave playing well throughout the game, which included 17 and 18 dart legs respectively.
Next on we had young Ben Hawken against Geoff Sutton. Ben started well but couldn't find his doubles. Geoff took advantage of this to win 5-0. Geoff scoring well also managed the shortest leg of the night, hitting a 12 darter (180, 140, 60, 121 finish).
Fourth match it was the turn of the two Pauls, Clipston and Wills. Wills started strong and went into a 2-0 lead aided by a 17 darter.
Clipston hit back in the 33rd only for Wills to take the next three for a 5-1 win. Next came the turn of Jez Campe and Mandy Timms to step up to the oche. Jez went into an early 2-0 lead hitting steady scores throughout. Mandy hit back in the next leg which included a 180 only for Jez to take the next three legs which included 17 and 18 dart legs and a 180, winning 5-1.
Sixth game saw Steve Greer up against Ian Strang. With Steve starting well and taking the first three legs this looked like we could have the third white wash of the night, but it was not to be as Ian soon clawed back the next 2 legs, only for Steve to take the result 5-2.The last game of the evening saw defending champion Colin Spence against another new player Glen Ford, with both players starting of nervously and sharing the first four legs.
Colin won the fifth aided by a maximum; Glen hit back to take the sixth to go 3-3 but it was Colin who managed to hold his nerve and hit those all-important doubles and win 5-3.
Thank you to the Tavern for once again being a great host and continuing to sponsor the league in its second season. Next week's matches are at the Newquay Football Club, toe the oche 8.15pm.
Results from the Kernow Youth League:
U14: Helston 5 Newquay AFC 0; U15: Falmouth 0 Newquay AFC 3 (player of the match Jon Mitchell).
East Cornwall League U7: Camelford 2 Newquay Colts 11 (Player of Match, Sonny Summer Evans); U8: Padstow 9 Newquay AFC 5 (PoM, Jake Thomas); U16: Newquay Colts 11 Trevenson 0 (PoM, Dom Osborne).
NEWQUAY HORNETS 51, TRURO 10:
Newquay Hornets U16's started their 2012-13 campaign with a decisive victory over a spirited Truro side at the Newquay Leisure Centre on Sunday.
The opening minutes saw the Hornets demonstrate their authority in the scrums and after nine minutes good ruck ball was exploited by the threequarters, with winger Kris Evans touching down to open the scoring.
Centre James McFarlane slotted a fine conversion from the touchline. The lead was extended when new recruit Brad Janes scored the second try after a bullocking run at the heart of the Truro defence. Although Truro had penetrated the Newquay 22m zone, Hornets fly half Ben Stean unlocked the Truro defence for the third try.
At this stage the Hornets were in control with hooker Conner Boylan and flanker Tom Wagstaff winning plenty of loose ball and No8 Jacob Englefield showing great strength with the ball in hand.
The end of the half ended with Truro raising their game, but not before centre Janes had grabbed his second try and right wing Liam McCormick beat the Truro defence for pace. The Hornets led 27-0 at the turnaround.
The second half saw Truro really step up to the challenge and they had Newquay pinned on their line. Their efforts were rewarded with a well taken try, but the Hornets responded in kind.
Scrum half Jack Humphreys chip kicked from the base of the scrum and his kick was followed up by flanker Reece Hughes who put fly half Stean clear for his second try. Truro refused to let their heads drop and their left winger took advantage of the space he was offered to peg the difference back to 32:10.
Reverting back to their strong forwards, the Hornets regained control of the rest of the half and ran out 51:10 winners with deserved tries for Boylan and Wagstaff, as well as full back Sam Tredget. McFarlane converted the final try.
Credit should go to the Truro side who made the Hornets work for the win more than the score would suggest.