ROBINS' DOUBLE BID DASHED
Thursday 11th October 2012, 15:03
Elite League title favourites Swindon won’t complete a league and cup double after being dumped out of the Knockout Cup without even turning a wheel in the competition.
Their quarter final, first leg trip to Peterborough this evening has been rained off. And with BSPA bosses eager to ensure time to run the semis and final before the season ends on October 31, Peterborough’s name was drawn “out of a hat” and they progress into a semi-final against Poole.
Belle Vue were also eliminated from the competition without riding their quarter final, second leg at Birmingham. The meeting, scheduled for this evening, was rained off and the Brummies now meet Coventry in the last four on Friday after winning 42-35 at Kirkmanshulme Lane.
"This is hardly the ideal way for Swindon to go out after such a good season, but to allow a delay would put them in the position of staging three home meetings next week, and place an unrealistic financial burden on their supporters."
- Dave Hoggart
The KO Cup fixture farce was caused by the need to complete Elite League fixtures in time for the play-off deadline after the schedule got backed up by a rain-soaked summer.
The situation has led to calls in some quarters to scrap the KO Cup for 2013 and bring British speedway into line with Poland, Sweden and Denmark, who do not stage cup competitions.
BSPA management committee member Dave Hoggart says the body was left with no choice but to settle the quarter final ties.
He said: "The weather this year has placed the sport in uncharted territory and we have had to make unprecedented decisions to maintain some sort of continuity of racing.
“This is hardly the ideal way for Swindon to go out after such a good season, but to allow a delay would put them in the position of staging three home meetings next week, and place an unrealistic financial burden on their supporters.
“The competition has to reach a conclusion by October 31 and we could see a scenario where clubs could be running two fixtures in the last week of the month.
“That's only palatable if we can guarantee the weather - but we can't, so we have had to act. I'd like to thank both promotions for agreeing to take this step, congratulations to Peterborough and of course our commiserations go to Swindon."
Poole’s semi-final dates with Peterborough are yet to be confirmed, while Coventry host Birmingham on Friday, before the second leg takes place at Perry Barr next Thursday.