Poole speedway rider Darcy Ward injured in attack

Darcy Ward
Image caption Darcy Ward is set to miss the second leg of the Speedway Grand Final against Swindon

A speedway rider is being treated in hospital for a head injury after an attack outside a Dorset pub.

Poole Pirates rider Darcy Ward was injured early on Saturday following an incident outside the Churchill Arms, Sturminster Marshall.

The Australian, 20, will miss the Pirates' Speedway Grand Final second leg against Swindon on Monday night.

Dorset Police confirmed a man suffered a minor head injury in the incident at 01:15 BST on Saturday.

Team manager Neil Middleditch, who was out with Mr Ward moments before the attack, admitted his rider remembers very little of what happened.

'Really deflated'

He said: "The details are a bit sketchy.

"Darcy hit his head quite hard on the ground after he took a punch and we've subsequently discovered it caused a brain bleed.

"He is still in hospital and hopefully we're going to get some good news and be able to bring him home today.

"I feel really deflated as Darcy has played such a key role in getting us to the championships."

Earlier this year, Mr Ward was cleared of a charge of sexual assault against 17-year-old girl following a trial at Bournemouth Crown Court.

The second leg of Poole Pirates' Grand Final against Swindon Robins is being held at Wimborne Road on Monday night.

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