Friday June 20, 2014
The Silver Ski Rockets truly trespassed in the lion’s den on Friday night when they ventured to Scotland to face clear championship favourites Edinburgh. But while they never looked likely to end the Monarchs’ undefeated start to the season – which now stands at twenty matches – they certainly found solace in a 57-38 defeat that saw them in with a shout of a match point until the final four races.

Luke Bowen and Jason Garrity suffered early falls as the home side quickly rattled up a 17-7 advantage, before Tactical Rider Edward Kennett combined with Bowen for the 8-1 that brought the Rockets back to within three points.

Heat advantages from four of the next five races – with Garrity taking another tumble – pushed the home side to a 38-25 position, before Kennett and Bowen combined for a second 8-1 as the Testimonial star carried Rye’s second Tactical nomination.

So, 39-33 with four races remaining. There the dream ended, as the league leaders drilled home a 5-1 in quick response, and then posted a 5-0 in Heat 14 after guest Nathan Greaves had fallen at the back and Garrity had withdrawn following a coming together with Derek Sneddon. Monday’s British Final hero was quick to voice his displeasure, which unfortunately led to an altercation between the opposing pair after the race.

Craig Cook and Steve Worrall – who went through the card for a six ride maximum - secured one last 5-1 over Bowen and Greaves in the nominated race to give the score its final complexion.

As Rye House team manager John Sampford pointed out afterwards, however, “Edinburgh are a real powerhouse outfit, and a lot of teams will come away from here this season with less than the 38 points that we achieved.

“Edward Kennett gave a true No.1’s performance, with three full or paid wins after he was beaten by Craig Cook in Heat 1. Unfortunately, he effectively blew his engine after winning Heat 13, and there was little point in putting him out in Heat 15 on a cold engine when the match was already lost.

“Luke (Bowen) also had an excellent night after his early fall, and fully deserved his spot in Heat 15. And Nathan Greaves may have only scored 2+2, but he showed up well and will have gained from the experience.

“The rest of the team unfortunately had their problems, which also ruled them out of consideration for the nominated heat. Both Jasons had difficult nights for different reasons, while Mathieu (Tresarrieu) struggled for speed and Steve (Boxall) battled to get through the match with tonsillitis, but it left him feeling as weak as a kitten.”

The Rockets will target revenge against alternative Scottish opposition – this time Glasgow, who upended them last weekend in the Knock-Out Cup – when they host the Tigers tomorrow (Saturday) night in the Premier League (7pm start).

Rye House scorers:

Edward Kennett 13+1 (inc 6 as a TR), Luke Bowen 11+1 (inc 6 as a TR), Steve Boxall 4, Mathieu Tresarrieu 3, Jason Bunyan 3, Nathan Greaves 2+2, Jason Garrity 2

Edinburgh scorers:

Steve Worrall 16+2, Craig Cook 13+1, Sam Masters 9, Max Fricke 8+1, Derek Sneddon 6+2, Justin Sedgmen 4+1, Aaron Fox 1

Match Points: Edinburgh 3 Rye House 0

Picture: RON MacNEIL