ROCKETS UNDER SIEGE FROM REBELS
Saturday April 12, 2014
The Silver Ski Rockets’ League Cup hopes have tumbled after a bright start with successive home defeats. This latest came in a 52-40 loss against a powerful Somerset side that have clear hopes, both of successfully defending last year’s League Championship and Knock-Out Cup and of adding this competition to their list of silverware. They already have the Premier Shield in their cabinet for 2013.

The Rockets were systematically taken down by the Rebels and were permitted just two on-track heat advantages all night, from 4-2s as late as Heats 13 and 14. The visitors’ scoring dominance did, however, mask some hard first bends with no one backing off, epitomised best in Edward Kennett’s victory in Heat 1 and Steve Boxall’s success in a Heat 7 that had to be re-run twice after both Rebels had hit the deck in separate incidents.

Kennett once again finished top of the Rye House score chart with 13+1, although the home highlight was probably the continued great form of Luke Bowen. The Bowen 747 effectively lost a year and a half to injury, but has quickly learned to fly again in 2014, weighing in here with three wins and 11 points.

The Rockets had to contend with a long tail, however, with Jason Bunyan’s first appearance of 2014 netting 2 points, Jason Garrity just a point more and Simon Lambert failing to score.

Team Manager John Sampford explained some of the Rockets’ “hidden” and public problems after the match. “Jason Bunyan is riding with a broken rib suffered in the practice session for the New Zealand Grand Prix. He is not complaining about it and just getting on with it, but he has a strap across his chest.

“Jason Garrity is still in pain too after his crash at Plymouth last Friday – he has got a lot of problems with the base of his back – and Steve Boxall has been experiencing stomach problems ever since his smash at Peterborough on the opening night of the season, but is still battling through.

“But we’re not looking for excuses. Even with a full strength side, Somerset would have been very tough to handle. As I mentioned earlier in the week, (their team manager) Garry May doesn’t put together losing teams, and they’ve got to be one of the favourites now for this competition.

“We always try to take some positives away from a position of adversity, and the biggest one tonight was probably Luke. Some people may feel that he should have received extra rides tonight, as we only gave him five at reserve. But we gave the two Jasons their full allocations because we’ve got to get them up to speed as well ahead of the main League programme. They can’t build up any momentum sitting in the pits.”

Rye House scorers:

Edward Kennett 13+1 (5 rides, inc 4 as a TR), Luke Bowen 11 (5), Steve Boxall 7 (5), Mathieu Tresarrieu 4+2 (4), Jason Garrity 3 (4), Jason Bunyan 2 (4), Simon Lambert 0 (3).

Somerset scorers:

Nick Morris 14+2 (6 rides), Pontus Aspgren 12+2 (6), Brady Kurtz 9+1 (5), Todd Kurtz 7+1 (5), Paul Starke 5+1 (4), Charles Wright 5 (4), Olly Allen R/R.

Match Points: Rye House 0 Somerset 4