Monday September 04, 2017
The BMR Rockets meted out a fair amount of their frustration for being edged out of the Play-Offs by powering past relegation-haunted Leicester 55-38 in their home SGB Premiership finale at Hoddesdon on Monday night.

The result brought the Rockets back to within five match points of Final Four qualifiers Poole – and the ultimate margin could be as low as a tantalisingly close single point after the Hertfordshire side head to King’s Lynn for their last fixture on a date yet to be announced – while also consigning the Lions to a relegation Play-Off against the side that wins the SGB Championship.

Rye were quickly on top in an always interesting encounter as they blasted 5-1s in two of the opening three races – and that record would have been three out of three had not Stuart Robson fallen while alongside partner Ben Morley at the front in Heat 2.

The Lions were given brief hope in Heat 8 when Kyle Newman and guest Jai Etheridge maxed out themselves – for what was an 8-1 due to Newman’s Tactical nomination for double points – after second placed Ben Barker had got out of shape on the second lap. That pulled the score back from 26-16 to 27-24 in a single bound, but Ricky Wells and Krzystztof Kasprzak immediately replied with ha conventional 5-1 over Danny King in Heat 9, Scott Nicholls and Barker added another wipe-out in the next race and Chris Harris and Robson put the match well and truly out of Leicester’s reach by inflicting a third straight maximum in Heat 11.

In a side that prides itself on team effort, it was fitting that five different Rockets collected heat wins – and all seven were paid for at least one victory.

The biggest guns were Krzysztof Kasprzak, who went through the card and also delivered the biggest breathtaking moment in powering past both Etheridge and Newman in a single manoeuvre to complete his full house in Heat 14, and Chris Harris, who posted the two fastest times of the night and was only beaten late on, by Kim Nilsson and Danny King. Speaking afterwards, he said, “We really wanted to go out with a bang and win our last home one. All the boys rode well, the track was great and produced some good racing, and we all really enjoyed it.

“Losing my last two races was unfortunate - you can’t win them all – but I have thoroughly enjoyed my season here. The fans have been great, and I’ve got to say a big thank-you to them for coming out in all weathers to support the team. Without the fans, there is no club. Hopefully they’ll keep coming every week next year and we can bring them some silverware in return.”

Monday’s match was followed by an enormous victory parade, as the Rockets were joined on their lap of honour by every member of the track staff, and its significance was duly noted by Bomber. “The club has worked hard to get to where it is now, and all the volunteers deserved to be a part of the success we’ve had this year. It was the perfect mix of everyone directly involved inside the club and everyone supporting from the terraces. Without them both, we wouldn’t be anything.”

BMR Rockets:
Chris Harris 13 (5 rides), Krzysztof Kasprzak 10+2 (4 rides, max), Ricky Wells 10+1 (5), Ben Barker 7+2 (4), Scott Nicholls 7+1 (4), Stuart Robson 5+2 (4), Ben Morley 3 (4)

Leicester: Kyle Newman 12 6 rides, inc 6 as a TR), Danny King 9+1 (6), Kim Nilsson 6+1 (5), Jye Etheridge (guest) 6+1 (5), Ellis Perks (guest) 3 (4), Josh Bates 2+2 (4), Pawel Przedpelski R/R

Match Points: Rye House 3 Leicester 0