Saturday August 09, 2014
The Silver Ski Rockets may ultimately have been unable to wrest away the match points but they certainly restored some much needed pride in a narrow 49-44 home defeat against high-flying Somerset.

The Rockets had been buried 72-20 by the same opposition just the night before at the Oak Tree Arena, but, boy, did they give the defending league champions a fright this time around!

With the scores level at 12-12, Steve Boxall and Jason Garrity gave Rye a four point advantage with a storming 5-1 over Nick Morris in Heat 5. That clearly set the tone for the following race, where the returning Edward Kennett and Luke Bowen – with a huge drive around the outside off gate four – achieved the same result over Olly Allen to lift the Rockets 8 points clear. A further 4-2 from Anders Mellgren and Oliver Greenwood, who finished either side of Brady Kurtz, took the score to 26-16.

The Rebels gambled on a Tactical Ride option in Heat 8 – their pairing of Charles Wright and Paul Starke had scored just a single point between them up to that juncture – and the gamble paid off with an 8-1 over Bowen and Jason Bunyan. It proved to be the turning point of the night.

Jason Garrity’s second lap drive inside Allen to bag second place prevented a further Somerset 5-1 in the next heat, but the 4-2 brought the progressive score to 29-28.

Then came the race of the night – and one of the very best of the season. The two Rebels, Brady Kurtz and Pontus Aspgren hit the front in Heat 10, but Edward Kennett clearly had other ideas. He powered inside Aspgren off the second bend and then reeled in Kurtz before finally passing him off the final bend of lap three to claim a magnificent victory.

The Rebels finally took the lead, however, with a 4-2 in the next race, and moved further ahead with a similar score in Heat 13. Kennett saved a 5-1 in that one with another fourth bend manoeuvre to beat Morris to the chequered flag for second spot.

A 4-2 from Garrity and Greenwood over Aspgren brought the score to a tantalising 43-44 with the final race to go, only for the fast-starting Allen and Morris to make sure of a Somerset victory by maxing out against Garrity and Kennett. But it had been a narrow escape.

Rye House promoter Len Silver was clearly disappointed with what was the Rockets’ fourth home league defeat of the season. “We desperately wanted to show tonight that our new-look side is capable of beating the good teams – and we should have won the match. Unfortunately, moral victories count for nothing in this league.

“The whole atmosphere of the meeting seemed to change with that 8-1. Up until then, we were head and shoulders above them.

“On the positive front, Edward’s shoulder is much better now that he has had his trapped nerve released. It is still not 100%, but the bit of pain he gets is now tolerable.

“And Steve Boxall was using an engine for the first time tonight supplied by Michael Lee that he really loved. Yes, he was a bit hit-and-miss tonight points-wise, but that was down to his gating. When he did gate as he did in his two wins, he skated the race.”

Those positives will hopefully help set the scene for what are no less than three League fixtures in the coming week. The Rockets host Newcastle on Wednesday (August 13th at 7.30) and Ipswich on Saturday (7pm start), with a long-distance trip to Plymouth sandwiched in between on the Friday.

Rye House scorers:

Edward Kennett 11 (5 rides), Jason Garrity 9+1 (5), Anders Mellgren 7 (4), Steve Boxall 6 (4), Jason Bunyan 5+1 (4), Luke Bowen 3+1 (4), Oliver Greenwood 3 (4)

Somerset scorers:

Olly Allen 11 (5 rides), Brady Kurtz 9 (4), Nick Morris 8+1 (5,) Charles Wright 8 (4 rides, inc 6 as a TR), Pontus Aspgren 5+2 (4), Todd Kurtz 5 (5), Paul Starke 3+2 (4)

Match Points: Rye House 0 Somerset 3

The Rye House Raiders took their winning sequence up to nine matches with a 22-14 victory over Stoke in the Midland Development League fixture that followed the main event. Three successive 5-1s quickly made sure of the result, at 15-3, with Danny Ayres going through the card with three wins and a second place behind partner Luke Harris after he had fallen and quickly remounted in Heat 2!

Rye House scorers:

Danny Ayres 11+1 (4 rides, max), Luke Harris 6 (3), Rob Watts 5+3 (4)

Stoke scorers:

Danno Verge5+1 (3), Adam Sheppard 5 (4), Scooter Webster 4+1 (4)

Rye House v Somerset (PL)
Rye House v Stoke (MDL)