Monday May 01, 2017
The BMR Rockets beat both the weather and their opposition as they ran out comfortable 54-36 victors over Leicester in an enjoyable Bank Holiday Monday encounter in Hoddesdon.

The Rockets had simply too much all-round fire-power for the Lions, fielding no less than six different riders who were paid for at least one race win. They took early control of the fixture to lead 23-13 by Heat 6, and simply never loosened the reins.

New signing Ricky Wells delivered four full victories himself, briefly unravelling with a last place in Heat 14 before re-coiling to take the finale, while Edward Kennett dropped his only point to Kim Nilsson in Heat 1. Scott Nicholls followed them both into double figures with paid 11, and Chris Harris and Stuart Robson steadily racked up their own points, to finish with paid scores of 9 and 8 respectively.

The Rockets were on their way as early as Heat 3, when both Wells and Harris worked their way past early leader Erik Riss for the 5-1 that set them up 15-9, and although a brief but heavy shower after Heat 4 led to a short delay and what was for the next few races a greasy circuit, normal service was very quickly resumed from the Rockets’ perspective as the home side had the match effectively wrapped up with a full five races to run, thanks to another maximum from Kennett and Robson over Riss - who was being nominated for double points – in Heat 10.

There was still time for Kennett and Nicholls to add a third 5-1 – this one in a tight and tense Heat 13 that also very much featured Nilsson and Danny King – in a race that actually ran five laps due to the yellow flag being erroneously shown after four but was awarded at the latter point.

Full credit to Leicester, who fought gamely throughout, but were visibly handicapped by the absence of Kacper Gomolski (SEC commitment) and Josh Bates (a late withdrawal due to illness). Nilsson failed to add to his early success over Kennett, and the same was true of King after his victory in Heat 4, while Riss was somewhat hit-and-miss and Lasse Bjerre only opened his account in his final ride. The Lions did, however, have a hidden gem tucked away at reserve, as former Kent and Glasgow favourite Danny Ayres bustled his way into double figures.

It was the Rockets who roared loudest, however, and none more so than Ricky Wells, who showed how quickly he has bedded down with his new colleagues in his top-scoring 12. Smiling afterwards, he admitted, “I think that last week (against Poole and Wolves) was a bit of a teething period, but I had a good week off and bounced back today. I always liked this place when I came here in the Premier League (now Championship); it was a bit about set-ups and a bit of myself.

“I was really happy today. I was off the worst gate in Heat 14, and got a last for some reason, but overall I felt it was a really good performance.”

It wasn’t quite a case of four seasons in one day, but Ricky certainly had to contend with extremes in track conditions across his heats. “I went out in my first race and the track was perfect. Straight afterwards, it rained quite a bit and the track went rather soggy but, you know, hats off to the track staff as well. They did a really good job, and I knew it would get better, and at the finish it was as good as it could be.

“The team got a great win as well, which makes it even better.”

BMR Rockets:

Ricky Wells 12 (5 rides), Edward Kennett 11 (4), Scott Nicholls 9+2 (5), Chris Harris 7+2 (4), Stuart Robson 6+2 (4), Rob Branford 5+1 (4), Ellis Perks 4+1 (4).


Danny Ayres 11+2 (6 rides), Kim Nilsson 10 (5), Danny King 6 (5), Erik Riss 5 (4 rides, inc 1 as a TR), Lasse Bjerre 3 (4), Richard Hall (guest) 1 93), Danno Verge (guest) 0 (3).

Match Points: Rye House 3 Leicester 0