Tuesday March 18, 2014
What a start to the new season! The Silver Ski Rockets ventured into the backyard of one of the clear favourites for silverware in 2014, and emerged with a magnificent – but thoroughly deserved – 46-44 League Cup victory at Peterborough.

It was a wonderful team effort that got them there, given that lynchpin Jason Garrity struggled badly all night with bike problems. Edward Kennett looked every bit the No.1 that he carries on his race jacket, scoring 13, while Steve Boxall soldiered through a heavy crash to weigh in with 11+3 and Mathieu Tresarrieu added an equally impressive 9, plus plenty of excitement. Down at reserve, Luke Bowen’s first competitive race since June 2012 netted an emotional victory, and the Testimonial star went on to finish with 7+1 on a track he has rarely visited. Simon Lambert rounded off the Rockets’ score-chart with a 5+1 tally that included a dramatic victory in Heat 8.

It was a 5-1 from Bowen and Lambert in Heat 2 that set the Rockets on their way, and the visitors still led 16-14 heading into Heat 6, where a very heavy crash involving Boxall and Lewis Blackbird wrote off the former’s new bike recently purchased from former World No.3 Ryan Sullivan, blew out three panels of the airfence, and also miraculously left both riders fit to take their places in the re-run.

Boxall and Bowen emerged with a 3-3 from that heat in one of seven consecutive drawn races that ensured that the score remained tight. Racing highlights during that sequence included a ding-dong battle between Lambert and Blackbird for the lead in Heat 8, with the Rye No.7 re-taking the advantage on the last lap, and Boxall’s last bend steal past Ulrich Ostergaard to capture Heat 9.

With the teams trading 4-2s in Heats 11 and 13 – the latter saw Kennett inflict Ryan Fisher’s first defeat of the night – the Rockets headed into the penultimate race 40-38 to the good, only for Ostergaard and Joe Jacobs – despite a third lap puncture – to inflict the 5-1 that gave the home team the lead for the first time in the match.

The Rockets weren’t quite finished, however, with Kennett dominating the final race and Fisher slipping to the back as Boxall came through on the third bend to join his partner for the match-winning 5-1.

As Boxall himself reflected afterwards, “To finish with paid 14 in my first match back at this level was really good, although it could have been even more if I hadn’t written off my first bike. I took a really heavy tumble in that one, and was bent over backwards in the fall, so I will definitely be feeling sore tomorrow.

“But I was really pleased that we got this result; pleased for the team, pleased for the management and pleased for the fans.

“For Heat 15, I dropped a tooth on the back wheel from my previous race in Heat 13. Edward made the gate and pushed Ryan Fisher out for me to go through on the inside, and then we simply team rode home. It was a great feeling when we crossed the finish line.”

An equally jubilant Rye House promoter, Len Silver, added, “I am so proud of the boys. The fact that Rider-Replacement for Jason Bunyan produced just one point and Jason Garrity couldn’t get going all night makes it an even more magnificent result. Just wait until we’ve got a full team and they’re all going well!”

The next stop on the Rye House 2014 roller-coaster is Ipswich - again in the League Cup - next Thursday, before the team faces its first home meeting, against the Panthers, in the East of England Cup next Saturday (March 29th at 7pm).

Rye House scorers:

Edward Kennett 13 (5 rides), Steve Boxall 11+3 (6), Matt Tresarrieu 9 (5), Luke Bowen 7+1 (5), Simon Lambert 5+1 (5), Jason Garrity 1+1 (4), Jason Bunyan R/R

Peterborough scorers:

Ryan Fisher 12 (5 rides), Ulrich Ostergaard 9+1 (5), Lasse Bjerre 7+1 (4), Ales Dryml 6+1 (4), Joe Jacobs 4+2 (4), Oliver Greenwood 4+1 (4), Lewis Blackbird 2 (4)

Match Points: Peterborough 0 Rye House 3