Friday May 11, 2018
The “BP Mitchell” Rockets will be aiming to maintain the forward thrust they have achieved with recent home victories over Wolverhampton and Somerset when they entertain Poole in Hoddesdon on Monday night (7.30 start).

The Rockets upended the Pirates in three of the teams’ four SGB Premiership encounters last term – most famously in a 60-30 rout down in Dorset, when Krzysztof Kasprzak made his debut in emphatic style against his former team – but finished a tantalisingly close two match points behind the south coast side in the race to the Play-Offs, so an element of still-unsettled business may yet feature in Monday’s agenda.

The Rockets remain unchanged from Bank Holiday Monday’s victory over Somerset. Since then, Chris Harris has finished 6th in the Premiership Riders’ Championship while Edward Kennett has qualified for the British Final. Both Bomber and Scott Nicholls – a five ride maximum man against the Rebels – will be looking to join him when they compete in their own Semi-Final at Leicester next Tuesday.

Monday’s opposition, meanwhile, comes from a Poole side yet to hit full stride in 2018, but which, as past history has shown, is discounted from any title race at peril. Nine top flight championships speak for themselves.

The Pirates will be led into town by 2016 Australian national Champion Brady Kurtz, with double GP round winner Peter Kildemand – currently keeping the absent Chris Holder’s seat warm – and Josh Grajczonek also holding prominent posts.

Former U-21 World Cup winner Mateusz Szczepaniak and current team Champion Kacper Woryna – who placed 4th in last year’s World U-21 series – will also feature, as will double British U-19 titlist Stefan Nielsen and 2009-10 Rocket Linus Sundstrom, who is certain to receive a warm welcome during the pre-match introductions.

Rye House Team Manager Peter Schroeck expects another dramatic battle. “As I’ve said before, there are no easy matches in this league, and no easy races. We all know what Poole can be capable of when the chips are down, and Matt Ford and Neil Middleditch never sit still in their drive towards the Play-Offs.

“But we are starting to build our own rhythm now. All the boys really got stuck in against Somerset, and that hopefully lays out the game plan for the path we want to take in the coming weeks. Winning at home is vital to setting the tone for the season, and last week’s result is going to give the team a lot of confidence.

“We’ll be after a repeat performance against Poole – although this time the added objective will be to win by a few more points and stop them taking home even a consolation match point. That’s important to the cause, and also to build us up towards the return match in Dorset on Wednesday.”

“BP Mitchell” Rockets:
Max Clegg, Chris Harris, Nikolaj Busk Jakobsen, Krzysztof Kasprzak, Edward Kennett, Scott Nicholls (captain), Aaron Summers

Josh Grajczonek (captain), Peter Kildemand, Brady Kurtz, Stefan Nielsen, Linus Sundstrom, Mateusz Szczepaniak, Kacper Woryna

In addition to Monday’s main event, the meeting is also set to feature six Rocketeers races at 125cc and 250cc level.


Adults £18, Seniors (over 60s) £16, Registered Disabled £12 (Accompanying Carer £12), Full-Time Students (17-22) £6, Children (aged 12-16) £6, Children (under 12) FREE. Match programme: £2.

Please note that those seeking Student admission must provide a copy of their current student photo ID (issued by the NUS or their university/college) at the turnstiles.

Update (Saturday): Poole have just announced the signing of Richie Worrall to replace Peter Kildemand while Chris Holder's availability is resolved. Worrall, who previously rode briefly for the Pirates in 2017, will make his seasonal debut in Monday's match at Rye House.