Berwick Bandits and Newcastle Diamonds head south for ties

Berwick Bandits and Newcastle Diamonds head to the far south of the country tonight for their latest Premier League engagements

Berwick Bandits and Newcastle Diamonds head to the far south of the country tonight for their latest Premier League engagements.

The Northumbrians go to the Plymouth Devils, while the Tynesiders are off to the Somerset Rebels.

Plymouth will have Simon Nielsen making his debut at reserve tonight, having been sanctioned by the British Speedway Promoters’ Association, and he takes over from Chris Schramm, who has joined Newcastle.

Number one Ty Proctor is still injured and former Plymouth favourite Ricky Wells, now with Sheffield, will be the guest replacement.

The Devils will use the rider replacement facility to cover the absence of Mikkel Bech, who will be riding in the FIM Under-21 World Cup Final in Poland on Saturday.

Plymouth will be looking to bounce back from their 56-37 defeat at Berwick on Saturday with revenge on their minds.

Devils skipper Cory Gathercole said: “Having the return match against the Bandits so quickly gives us the ideal chance to get something back, so we will be hoping we all have a good night.”

There is a doubt over the fitness of Australian Kozza Smith, who is suffering from an inner ear infection which has an effect on his balance.

If he is ruled out, the Bandits will also operate rider replacement.

Reserve Nicki Barrett is also ruled out through injury so Berwick have called up Danish teenager Kasper Lykke, who scored 12 points for Rye House on their visit to Plymouth early in the season.

Newcastle will enjoy the debut at reserve of former Devil Schramm at Somerset tonight.

He comes in for Steve Worrall (pictured above) who took the brave and very professional decision to step down from the Premier League to regain his shattered confidence at National League level.

The Rebels are buoyed by the news Tom Perry is fit to return to the side after a recent illness, but no sooner had Perry come back into the side than another injury hit the Rebels.

This was his fellow reserve Stefan Nielsen, who suffered a broken collar-bone after a heat-two fall in Saturday’s match against Leicester.

Rebels team manager Garry May said: “Unfortunately injuries are part and parcel of the sport.”

TONIGHT’S LINE-UPS

PLYMOUTH DEVILS: Ricky Wells, Mikkel Bech - Rider replacement, Cory Gathercole, Todd Kurtz, Mark Lemon, Jake Anderson, Simon Nielsen.

BERWICK BANDITS: Edward Kennett, Kozza Smith (if fit or Rider-replacement), Robin Aspegren, Matty Wethers, David Bellego, Kasper Lykke (guest), Paul Starke.

SOMERSET REBELS: Jason Doyle (captain), Nick Morris, Josh Grajczonek, Alex Davies, Kyle Newman, Tom Perry, Lewis Rose (guest).

NEWCASTLE DIAMONDS: Stuart Robson (captain), Christian Henry, Andrew Tully, Ludvig Lindgren, Richie Worrall, Chris Schramm, Lewis Kerr.

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