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Dick Barrie's picture

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No news is good news, yes?.

With our matches being wiped out by weather worries, there’s not much in the way of Shielfield Park news to report in this weblog – but as my highly-priced contract demands that I provide words of wisdom each week, I might as well cast around the speedway scene and see what’s been happening. Or not.

Five days ago, Kyle Howarth’s was the name on every rumour-monger’s lips.

In case you’ve been in Burnmouth, Beal or Bulgaria and didn’t hear about it, Kyle – of Sheffield Tigers – had been booked in as a guest for Edinburgh for their local derby with the Glasgow Tigs on Friday past.

Prior to that meeting the Speedway Control Bureau carried out one of their continuing programme of random drink and drug testing across the country, and to his surprise (and that of those who know him) Kyle’s test returned an ‘inconclusive’ result.

He was immediately – as the rules demand – suspended until the test could be verified. Cue an outpouring of scorn on social media from parties who clearly felt the “innocent until proven guilty” presumption didn’t apply to them.

Expecting these clowns to keep their fingers away from a keyboard is like asking them to hold their breath for six weeks

Except that Kyle Howarth was innocent, with the test (proving how precise it was) having discovered traces of co-codamol, which had been administered in hospital after a crash.

Despite losing income (and Edinburgh a derby match) through the episode, Kyle Howarth’s statement yesterday afternoon says a lot about the guy. He said: “I totally understand why these tests are put in place and even after what I’ve gone through the past few days, I fully support them going forward”.

“Speedway is a professional sport at the end of the day and these things are put in place for important reasons”.

Good man, Kyle. Well said.

Except, despite have watched a pretty good speedway meeting, there were some – just some – who were at Armadale on Friday who were still lashing out feverishly about the end result days later. Blaming Kyle, the SCB or the referee. Whoever.

We have some of this ilk at Berwick, too.

Only interested in winning. Not in the quality of the contest, the enjoyment of the occasion. Quiz them on their “love of speedway” and they’ll tell you, quite seriously, they only want to win.

Nothing else. For such folk, a great night out would be the Bandits winning 70-20, no passing, no excitement, no competition.

Not for me. While I agree it’s great to get the winning feeling, I only want it to be felt after a tense, exciting, bar-to-bar , fence-thumping, tussling last heat decider. That’s speedway!

A bit like this week’s televised match from Belle Vue, which ended 44-46 in favour of Poole. Who had the insight to book Jye Etheridge as a guest for the evening. Jye was paid for six points as a Pirate, obviously making the difference in such a tight match.

Leaving those of us who were disappointed when the Aces in their wisdom -- which time has shown to be less than infinite -- chose to drop him last season, smiling quietly.
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Want to disagree with Dick (as so many do?). He is always happy to hear from interesting people at dick@crystalfm.co.uk