Bournemouth Buccaneers head west on Friday (13th August) for a vital National Development League fixture against Plymouth Devils that could help cement their play-off position.
Facing the National League pairs winners – Nikki Glanz and Mark Simmonds – Bournemouth will need to be firing on all cylinders if they are to come away with any league points from this meeting. The Devils themselves lay 7 points behind Bournemouth having been moved up a place following further distress for the Rye House Cobras who had their July result at Scunthorpe amended from an away win by more than 6 points to an away defeat by less than 7 points after fielding an ineligible rider in the form of Tyson Nelson. The Australian had score 17 points on the night but was not in possession of the necessary paperwork to make his appearance legitimate under the Regulations. The outcome of that result change has seen the Cobras lose a further 3 league points, the club having already been hit by the expunging of the Mildenhall results recently once the Fen Tigers confirmed their cessation of activities at West Row for the remainder of the season.
Whilst that provides additional breathing space for Garry May’s Buccaneers the Bournemouth team manager is stressing that the fortunes of last year’s league and cup double winners rest firmly in their own court. “We have got to pick up as many of the league points as possible and keep our destiny in our own hands. A win at Plymouth won’t be an easy task, just look at their home results this season they have won four of their 8 matches by more than 20 points, two of those coming in their last two meetings. We need to upset that sequence, and do a Newport, who won there by 7 points.”
Undoubtedly May will have his fingers crossed that his new number one Jerran Hart can replicate the form he showed at St Boniface Arena last year. A 21 point maximum in a cup visit and an 18 point maximum in the play-off final is a record that few visiting riders will be able to boast about, but there will also be an eye or two cast in the direction of young reserve Danny Stoneman who returns to the club where it all began for him in 2007. Having scored 29 points from 15 appearances last season he was released by the Devils at the start of this year , moving to his first Dorset club Weymouth before being snapped up by Bournemouth.
Plymouth: N.Glanz, J.Pickard, M.Bates, S.Stephens, M.Simmonds, D.Gough, B.Reade
Bournemouth: J.Hart, A.Baseby, K.Howarth, M.Baseby, J.Brundle, J.Sarjeant, D.Stoneman