The 2015 Elite League was the nineteenth season of the Elite League that took place between March and October 2015. The Poole Pirates were the defending champions after winning their second consecutive title in 2014.[1][2]

Summary

Both the Birmingham Brummies and the Eastbourne Eagles elected to ride in the National League in 2015, meaning the Elite League featured just 8 teams as opposed to the 10 teams that started the 2014 season.

The Poole Pirates won the Elite League for a record third successive year, beating the Belle Vue Aces in the two-legged Grand Final. The Aces – in their first Grand Final since 2005 – hosted the first leg at Kirkmanshulme Lane, and at one point trailed by 13 points. However, a tactical ride[3] (offering double points) from Matej Žagar started their comeback,[4] and despite trailing by 10 with 3 heats to go, the Aces managed to secure a 46–46 draw.[5] At Poole Stadium, the Pirates repeated their fast start and the Aces could not gain the lead at any point during the meeting; in the penultimate heat, Kacper Gomólski sealed the title for Poole, the Pirates ultimately winning 92–90 on aggregate.[6]

As well as winning the overall championship, the Pirates finished the regular season with the most points for the second season in succession, while the team also won the Elite Shield at the start of the season, defeating the King's Lynn Stars 96–85 on aggregate.[7] The Elite League Riders' Championship was won by Australian rider Jason Doyle, a member of the Leicester Lions team.[8]

Regulation changes

At the annual Elite League AGM, which was held in November 2014, it was announced that the points limit for the top 5 members of the teams would be raised from 32 to 34. It was also decided that the fixture list for 2015 would be compiled in a matter which was described as "sympathetic" to riders competing in the Grand Prix series, with no fixtures to be ridden in the week prior to a Grand Prix. The effect of this was to potentially result in more of the top riders in World Speedway returning to race in the Elite League in the future.[9] However, there was a visa issue for non-EU riders, meaning that many American and Australian riders were unable to race in the Elite League, unless the issue was resolved.[10]

Teams

Personnel and stadia

Team Team Manager Captain Stadium
Belle Vue Australia Mark Lemon England Scott Nicholls Kirkmanshulme Lane
Coventry England Gary Havelock England Chris Harris Brandon Stadium
King's Lynn England Rob Lyon Australia Rory Schlein Norfolk Arena
Lakeside England Neil Vatcher Sweden Andreas Jonsson Arena Essex Raceway
Leicester Scotland Norrie Allan Australia Jason Doyle Beaumont Sports Complex
Poole England Neil Middleditch Poland Maciej Janowski Wimborne Road Stadium
Swindon England Alun Rossiter Australia Troy Batchelor Abbey Stadium
Wolverhampton England Peter Adams Sweden Peter Karlsson Monmore Green

Team-by-team

Unless otherwise stated, all listed riders were declared at the start of the 2015 Elite League season.[11]

Belle Vue Aces

Coventry Bees

King's Lynn Stars

Lakeside Hammers

Leicester Lions

Poole Pirates

Swindon Robins

Wolverhampton Wolves

Results

Teams faced each other four times: twice home and away. The first of the home and away meetings were called the 'A' fixtures, and the second were the 'B' fixtures.

'A' Fixtures

Home \ Away BV COV KL LH LEI PP SWI WOL
Belle Vue Aces 39–51 52–38 52–37 55–37 49–44 46–44 54–39
Coventry Bees 48–42 57–33 39–24 51–39 41–48 36–55 50–42
King's Lynn Stars 50–43 49–41 58–34 51–39 48–45 53–40 50–40
Lakeside Hammers 44–46 42–47 51–39 59–31 44–48 62–28 44–46
Leicester Lions 50–40 42–51 34–50 51–42 43–47 52–38 53–37
Poole Pirates 45–45 41–50 58–34 53–39 52–38 54–36 55–35
Swindon Robins 48–42 47–43 55–37 47–43 50–40 33–47 53–40
Wolverhampton Wolves 49–41 48–42 40–50 52–38 49–43 55–38 39–51
Source: [26]
Legend: Blue = home team win; Yellow = draw; Red = away team win.

'B' Fixtures

Home \ Away BV COV KL LH LEI PP SWI WOL
Belle Vue Aces 45–45 55–35 52–41 53–37 53–39 48–42 57–33
Coventry Bees 47–43 48–42 52–38 54–36 54–36 47–43 60–32
King's Lynn Stars 49–41 48–42 63–29 44–46 47–46 51–39 56–37
Lakeside Hammers 51–42 45–45 50–39 57–35 40–50 43–50 57–34
Leicester Lions 52–40 42–48 44–46 39–51 38–52 49–42 48–42
Poole Pirates 53–40 53–37 62–30 60–30 64–29 45–45 60–33
Swindon Robins 39–53 49–31 53–39 50–39 51–39 50–42 60–32
Wolverhampton Wolves 36–57 40–50 49–41 60–33 44–46 47–46 38–52
Source: [26]
Legend: Blue = home team win; Yellow = draw; Red = away team win.

Final league table

[27]

Pos. Club M Home Away F A +/− Pts
W D L 4W 3W D 1L L
1 Poole Pirates (Q) 28 11 2 1 5 2 0 4 3 1383 1131 +252 65
2 Coventry Bees (Q) 28 11 0 3 4 2 2 2 4 1278 1189 +89 61
3 Swindon Robins (Q) 28 12 0 2 4 0 1 3 6 1290 1240 +50 57
4 Belle Vue Aces (Q) 28 12 1 1 2 1 1 3 7 1325 1223 +102 53
5 King's Lynn Stars 28 13 0 1 2 1 0 1 10 1276 1263 +13 51
6 Leicester Lions 28 7 0 7 0 2 0 1 11 1172 1360 −188 28
7 Wolverhampton Wolves 28 8 0 6 0 1 0 1 12 1168 1385 −217 28
8 Lakeside Hammers 28 7 1 6 1 0 0 1 12 1207 1308 −101 27

Play-offs

Draw

  Semi-finals Grand final
                         
4 Belle Vue Aces 50 47 97  
3 Swindon Robins 36 43 79  
    4 Belle Vue Aces 46 44 90
  1 Poole Pirates 46 46 92
2 Coventry Bees 45 31 76
1 Poole Pirates 45 58 103  

Semi-finals

14 September 2015 Report Belle Vue Aces 50–36 Swindon Robins Kirkmanshulme Lane
Referee(s):
Peter Clarke


18 September 2015 Report Coventry Bees 45–45 Poole Pirates Brandon Stadium
Referee(s):
Chris Durno


21 September 2015 Report Swindon Robins 43–47 Belle Vue Aces Abbey Stadium
Referee(s):
Mick Posselwhite


21 September 2015 Report Poole Pirates 58–31 Coventry Bees Poole Stadium
Referee(s):
Jim Lawrence

Grand Final

28 September 2015 Report Belle Vue Aces 46–46 Poole Pirates Kirkmanshulme Lane
Referee(s):
Graham Flint


30 September 2015 Report Poole Pirates 46–44 Belle Vue Aces Poole Stadium
Referee(s):
Mick Bates

Notes

  1. ^ a b Josh Grajczonek replaced Simon Stead for the seventh declaration of the season.[12]
  2. ^ a b Kyle Howarth replaced Stuart Robson for the twenty-second declaration of the season.[13]
  3. ^ a b Václav Milík, Jr. replaced Rory Schlein for the thirteenth declaration of the season.[14]
  4. ^ a b Steve Boxall replaced Ashley Birks for the third declaration of the season.[15] This change was reverted for the fourth declaration.[16] Boxall again replaced Birks for the seventh declaration,[12] with Birks returning for the thirteenth declaration.[14]
  5. ^ a b Sam Masters replaced Bjarne Pedersen for the eleventh declaration of the season.[17]
  6. ^ a b Lewis Bridger replaced Mikkel Michelsen for the ninth declaration of the season.[18]
  7. ^ a b Piotr Świderski replaced Lewis Bridger for the fifteenth declaration of the season.[19]
  8. ^ a b Josh Grajczonek replaced Davey Watt for the second declaration of the season.[20] Watt returned for the sixth declaration.[21]
  9. ^ a b Peter Kildemand replaced Adrian Miedziński for the sixth declaration of the season.[21] Miedziński returned for the twelfth declaration,[22] but this change was reverted for the thirteenth declaration.[14] Miedziński again returned for the fifteenth declaration.[19]
  10. ^ a b Darcy Ward replaced Adrian Miedziński for the seventeenth declaration of the season.[23]
  11. ^ a b Peter Kildemand replaced Darcy Ward for the twenty-second declaration of the season.[13]
  12. ^ a b replaced Kyle Howarth for the seventeenth declaration of the season.[23]
  13. ^ a b Aaron Summers replaced for the twentieth declaration of the season.[24]
  14. ^ a b Robert Branford replaced Lewis Rose for the nineteenth declaration of the season.[25] The change was reverted for the twenty-second declaration.[13]

Final Leading averages

[28]

Rider Team Average
Australia Jason Doyle Leicester 9.44
Denmark Niels Kristian Iversen Kings Lynn 8.98
Poland Maciej Janowski Poole 8.97
Sweden Andreas Jonsson Coventry 7.84
Slovenia Matej Žagar Belle Vue 7.83
Poland Grzegorz Zengota Swindon 7.79
Australia Chris Holder Poole 7.47
England Chris Harris Coventry 7.34
England Craig Cook Belle Vue 7.29
England Lewis Bridger Leicester 7.23

See also

List of United Kingdom Speedway League Champions

References

  1. ^ "Historic league tables". Speedway Archive.
  2. ^ "2015 league tables". Speedway GB.
  3. ^ Bromley, Hayley (28 September 2015). "Belle Vue 46 Poole Pirates 46: Aces stage stirring fightback in Grand Final first leg". Manchester Evening News. Trinity Mirror. Retrieved 13 December 2015.
  4. ^ "Belle Vue Aces earn first-leg draw against Poole Pirates in Elite League Grand Final". Sky Sports. BSkyB. 29 September 2015. Retrieved 13 December 2015.
  5. ^ Mitchell, Andy (28 September 2015). "Poole Pirates drop chunky lead but still draw first blood at Belle Vue". Bournemouth Daily Echo. Newsquest. Retrieved 13 December 2015.
  6. ^ Bromley, Hayley (30 September 2015). "Belle Vue Aces' Elite League title dream sunk by Poole Pirates in Grand Final". Manchester Evening News. Trinity Mirror. Retrieved 13 December 2015.
  7. ^ Payne, Ned (27 March 2015). "Poole Pirates retain Elite Shield at King's Lynn Stars". Bournemouth Daily Echo. Newsquest. Retrieved 13 December 2015.
  8. ^ "Jason Doyle wins Elite League Riders' Championship". Sky Sports. BSkyB. 22 March 2015. Retrieved 13 December 2015.
  9. ^ "British Speedway AGM Statement". Speedway GB. British Speedway Promoters' Association. 16 November 2014. Retrieved 2 January 2015.
  10. ^ "BRITISH SPEEDWAY IN VISA CRISIS". SpeedwayGP.com. 22 January 2015. Retrieved 28 January 2015.
  11. ^ "2015 Elite League Team Declarations And Green Sheets Issue 1" (PDF). Elite League. Speedway GB. 27 March 2015. Retrieved 16 April 2015.
  12. ^ a b "2015 Elite League Team Declarations And Green Sheets Issue 7" (PDF). Elite League. Speedway GB. 7 May 2015. Retrieved 12 July 2015.
  13. ^ a b c "2015 Elite League Team Declarations And Green Sheets Issue 22" (PDF). Elite League. Speedway GB. 27 August 2015. Retrieved 13 December 2015.
  14. ^ a b c "2015 Elite League Team Declarations And Green Sheets Issue 13" (PDF). Elite League. Speedway GB. 18 June 2015. Retrieved 12 July 2015.
  15. ^ "2015 Elite League Team Declarations And Green Sheets Issue 3" (PDF). Elite League. Speedway GB. 17 April 2015. Retrieved 12 July 2015.
  16. ^ "2015 Elite League Team Declarations And Green Sheets Issue 4" (PDF). Elite League. Speedway GB. 20 April 2015. Retrieved 12 July 2015.
  17. ^ "2015 Elite League Team Declarations And Green Sheets Issue 11" (PDF). Elite League. Speedway GB. 26 May 2015. Retrieved 12 July 2015.
  18. ^ "2015 Elite League Team Declarations And Green Sheets Issue 9" (PDF). Elite League. Speedway GB. 21 May 2015. Retrieved 12 July 2015.
  19. ^ a b "2015 Elite League Team Declarations And Green Sheets Issue 15" (PDF). Elite League. Speedway GB. 24 June 2015. Retrieved 12 July 2015.
  20. ^ "2015 Elite League Team Declarations And Green Sheets Issue 2" (PDF). Elite League. Speedway GB. 2 April 2015. Retrieved 16 April 2015.
  21. ^ a b "2015 Elite League Team Declarations And Green Sheets Issue 6" (PDF). Elite League. Speedway GB. 1 May 2015. Retrieved 12 July 2015.
  22. ^ "2015 Elite League Team Declarations And Green Sheets Issue 12" (PDF). Elite League. Speedway GB. 1 June 2015. Retrieved 12 July 2015.
  23. ^ a b "2015 Elite League Team Declarations And Green Sheets Issue 17" (PDF). Elite League. Speedway GB. 10 July 2015. Retrieved 12 July 2015.
  24. ^ "2015 Elite League Team Declarations And Green Sheets Issue 20" (PDF). Elite League. Speedway GB. 17 August 2015. Retrieved 19 August 2015.
  25. ^ "2015 Elite League Team Declarations And Green Sheets Issue 19" (PDF). Elite League. Speedway GB. 5 August 2015. Retrieved 8 August 2015.
  26. ^ a b "BRITISH SPEEDWAY – RESULTS & SCORERS". Speedway GP. Retrieved 4 April 2015.
  27. ^ "Elite League". SpeedwayGB. Retrieved 13 December 2015.
  28. ^ "Greensheet Averages" (PDF). Speedway GB.

External links