Saturday September 17, 2016
BMR Rider Ben Morley sensationally recovered from a third race exclusion to finish second in this year’s National League Riders’ Championship, which was staged at Leicester on Saturday night.

The defending Champion had secured five out of a possible six points when he was disqualified for bringing Matt Williamson down on the first bend of Heat 11, but quickly bounced back to win his two remaining rides – and then also hold off Birmingham’s Tom Perry in a dramatic run-off for second place.

It proved a more difficult night for Morley’s colleague Rob Branford, who missed his opening ride after arriving late due to traffic chaos. Last year’s bronze winner managed two second places when he did get on the track, but that unfortunately was as good as it got as two subsequent retirements left him well down the pack.

The Championship was won by Cradley’s Max Clegg, who lifted his second national title in the space of just four days after earlier claiming the British U-19 crown on Wednesday night.

Our congratulations to him, and also to our own Southend Flyer.


1st Max Clegg (Cradley) 14
2nd Ben Morley (Rye House) 11 (after run-off)
3rd Tom Perry (Birmingham) 11,

Other scorers:

Luke Bowen 10, Matt Williamson 9, Nathan Greaves 8, Ben Wilson 8, Lee Payne 7, Ashley Morris 7, Jake Knight 7, Mark Baseby 6, Daniel Halsey 5, Ryan Blacklock 4, Rob Branford 4, James Shanes 4, Chris Widman (Res) 4, Ryan Kinsley (Res) 1, Liam Carr 0.

Rye House supporters will have the opportunity to salute Ben Morley’s achievement – and also those of his Team as a whole in 2016 - tomorrow (Sunday) when the BMR Raiders host their final Travel Plus National League home fixture of the season.

The opposition will come from the Isle of Wight, who will bring with them 2010 National League Riders’ Champion Lee Smart, as well as two riders who were part of early incarnations of the Raiders in James Cockle and Mark Baseby. Nathan Stoneman is also set to feature for the Warriors, just nine days after posting a remarkable 21 point maximum when his side won at Coventry.

The Island side gave the Raiders a rough ride in Ryde when the two sides last met in August. That defeat has been the only real blip in the Raiders’ record since winning the Fours, and provides an obvious focus for revenge. A victory would also bring them within sight of the Warriors’ eighth place position in the table, with three away fixtures still outstanding.

Said Rye House Team Manager Peter Schroeck ahead of time, “There is an old saying that success breeds success – and that’s how it has felt these last two months. As we keep saying, we win as a Team, and we lose as one – that’s why we celebrated the Fours title right across the squad. Every one of the boys has been really getting stuck in – they have ALL season – but they are finally now getting the rewards their efforts deserve.

“We’re really looking forward to the match. As you can guess, all the boys are up for it, and we want to get a result that will set us up nicely for our final away fixtures.”

The action starts at 6pm.

BMR Raiders:

Rob Branford, George Hunter, Macauley Leek, Connor Locke, Ben Morley, Luke Priest (captain), Matt Saul R/R

Isle of Wight:

Mark Baseby, James Cockle (captain), Layne Cupitt, Kelsey Dugard, Lee Smart, Nathan Stoneman, Chris Widman

Sunday’s match at Rye House will be followed the following night by the BMR Rockets’ home Premier League finale against Scunthorpe, which kicks in at 7.30pm. A match preview for that fixture will follow separately.

Picture: MARK HALL