Sunday September 11, 2016
The BMR Raiders extended their successful run to four wins in five matches – with an away match point at Mildenhall and the little matter of the Fours Championship thrown in for good measure along the way – when they edged the Fen Tigers in Sunday’s second local derby at Rye House.

A tense affair with plenty of close racing, the lead changed hands on no less than three occasions, and there was never more than four points between the sides until a curious Heat 14 that ultimately settled the match. Race leader George Hunter was under severe pressure from former Rye man Alfie Bowtell when both fell independently on the third lap, causing the action to be halted, both riders excluded and the heat awarded as a 3-2 success for Macauley Leek that gave the Raiders an unassailable 44-39 advantage.

There was still time for a dramatic nominated race that saw Ben Morley fall but Rob Branford more than compensate by storming past Danny Halsey and Jon Armstrong for a stunning victory. Talking after that pulsating finale, the Raiders’ No.1 stressed that even though the match was already won, “Every time I get on the track, I try to give it 100%. It doesn’t matter what race it is to me; I’m a racer and that’s what I’m here for. I treat it the same as any other race.

“It’s good to ride against guys like Jon Armstrong; you know that he’s going to leave you enough racing room. When you have that trust with another rider, you can really put yourself out there and push the boundaries.

“With my form at the moment, I really don’t want the season to end. I’m just taking it meeting by meeting and keeping myself busy. I’m not looking at the end yet, but it feels as though the season has gone really quickly. Fortunately the off-season will go pretty quickly too, and before you know it we’ll be in March again.”

And of Saturday’s National League Riders’ Championship in which he will aim to place two rungs higher than 2015’s silver position: “I’m not going there to get beaten. It’s the same as every race and every other meeting. I treat every race the same, and go out in every one to win.

“Let’s see what happens.”

BMR Raiders:

Robert Branford 11 (5 rides), Ben Morley 11 (5), Luke Priest 9 (4), Macauley Leek 7+2 (4), Connor Locke 5 (4), Sam Woods 3 (4), George Hunter 1 (4)


Danny Halsey 13+1 (6 rides), Jon Armstrong 12+1 (6), Connor Coles 8+2 (5), Alfie Bowtell 6 (5), William O’Keefe 3 (4), Alex Spooner 0 (4), Kyle Hughes R/R

Match Points: Rye House 3 Mildenhall 0