Saturday May 20, 2017
The BMR Rockets wasted little time in gaining revenge for the previous evening’s defeat at Somerset as they produced a near-identical score-line of 52-38 when the two sides met at Rye House in the SGB Premiership on Saturday night.

The Rebels had coasted home at the Oak Tree Arena thanks to an all-round team performance - and that was the case here for the Rockets as no less than five different riders delivered race wins and all seven were paid for at least one victory. One star was paid for the lot, and that was captain Edward Kennett, who blasted his second five ride maximum of the season.

The Rebels briefly suggested that they meant business when Josh Grajczonek led Heat 1, only for Kennett to surge around him on the second lap, and then 2016 Rocket Cameron Heeps inexplicably fell on the final lap of Heat 2 when set for victory, to hand Ellis Perks and Rob Branford an unexpected but welcome 5-1.

Another full house followed in Heat 3, as Chris Harris and Ricky Wells led home Richard Lawson to take the early score to 13-5, and the Rockets never loosened their grip thereafter.

Grajconek’s victory in Heat 5 helped to pull Somerset back to 18-12, only for Kennett to respond with his second win of the night in the next race. With Stuart Robson third behind Jake Allen, the Rockets moved back to an 8 point lead, and Harris protected that advantage with a simply stunning victory in Heat 9 as he delivered not one but two of his trademark passes from the back to overhaul both Jake Allen and Patrick Hougaard

The Rockets were pretty much home and dry once Scott Nicholls and Rob Branford had seen off Grajconnek’s double points nomination in Heat 11 – the Aussie was kept firmly at the back of the field as the Rye House duo embarked on a 4-2 over Lewis Kerr to lift themselves to 39-27.

There was still time for Kennett to zip past Grajczonek to join Nicholls at the front in Heat 13, and then to complete his maximum with success over both the visiting captain and Richard Lawson in Heat 15, to round off a fine night for both the Rockets and himself.

Colleague Chris Harris was quick to pay tribute to his skipper after the match. “Eddie rode incredibly well tonight. He has been struggling a bit lately (at Poole and Somerset), and it was great that he could come back with a paid max tonight. Hopefully he can continue like that from here on.

“We pretty much did to Somerset what they did to us last night. It was good to bounce back with a home win, and all the boys rode well. We have always said that when all seven of us click, we would get good results, and although a few of us had up-and-down nights – I had a last place in my first race which I think is my first one here this year – overall it was a real team effort.”

About his dramatic Heat 9 display, Bomber said in his typically unassuming style, “I didn’t make the best of starts – no surprise there! - and coming off the first corner I didn’t feel great, but once I moved out and got my momentum I felt fast, and I was lucky that I managed to pick them off one by one. It was a great race, and I really enjoyed it.”

June promises to be a big month for Harris on a personal front as he competes in both his second Grand Prix Qualifying round and the British Final. Of his forthcoming GPQ, he says, “I am not sure yet if I will be in Germany (at Olching on the 15th) or Italy (at Terenzano on the 17th), but I went to Denmark for my first round and did the job I needed to do. Hopefully, I can do it again next time.”

Finally, on June 19th’s British Final at Belle Vue and his prospects for a national title No.4: “Belle Vue is a tough track. It’s not been one of my favourite hunting grounds, but I’m going to go there with the right approach. I am enjoying my racing at the moment, and the bikes are feeling good and I’m feeling good, so hopefully I can come away with the right result.”

BMR Rockets:
Edward Kennett 14+1 (5 rides, maximum), Scott Nicholls 11 (5), Chris Harris 8 (4), Robert Branford 6+2 (4), Ricky Wells 5+2 (4), Stuart Robson 5 (4), Ellis Perks 3 (4).

Richard Lawson 10+1 (6 rides), Josh Grajczonek 8 (5 rides, inc 0 as a TR), Cameron Heeps 6+1 (5), Lewis Kerr 5+2 (5), Jake Allen 5+1 (5), Patrick Hougaard 4 (4), Charles Wright R/R.

Match Points: Rye House 3 Somerset 0