Friday August 15, 2014
A difficult start - coupled with an equally difficult finish - left the Silver Ski Rockets with a long journey home from Devon without any compensating reward from a 54-41 defeat.

The Rockets were caught playing catch-up from a controversial opening race that saw Luke Bowen excluded for bringing down Ben Barker and then Edward Kennett left at the gate expecting a further re-run after what he considered an overly anticipatory start by his opposing No.1. That re-run never came, leaving an early 5-1 opportunity prior to Bowen’s disqualification to ultimately dissolve into a Devils 5-1.

Another home maximum followed in Heat 2, and although Jason Garrity and Steve Boxall hit back with a 5-1 of their own over Rasmus Jensen and James Wright in the next contest, the Rockets slipped behind to 24-12 at Heat 6. That led to Garrity’s declaration as a Tactical Rider for double points in Heat 7, but Boxall’s exclusion for exceeding the two minute allowance left Rye nursing a 5-3 advantage from the race that could potentially have been much more.

The Rockets appeared down and out as they sagged to 41-21, only for a late fight-back to give them a chance of an away match point. It started with Kennett’s six point Tactical win in Heat 11, which was quickly followed by a 5-1 from Boxall and Oliver Greenwood to tighten the score to 45-32. Further 4-2s off victories by Kennett and Garrity left Rye just 49-40 adrift and needing a 5-1 in the nominated heat to snag a match point.

There the bad luck returned, however, as Kennett appeared to lay down his bike when Kyle Newman got into difficulties on the second bend of the decider. The race continued, however, leaving Barker and Newman to head home Boxall – and the Rockets heading home empty handed.

Rye House promoter Len Silver shared that empty feeling. “We scored 41 tonight, but we certainly deserved more than that. I’m not saying that we would have won, but we put on a very healthy show.”

“Edward led the way again, and there were good wins from Steve (Boxall) and Jason (Garrity), as well as another very pleasing performance from young Olly (Greenwood). Luke (Bowen) and Anders (Mellgren) did struggle all night, though, with their set-ups in what were very slick conditions.”

In addition to the contentious bookends of Heats 1 and 15, Silver pointed to the bad luck that struck Rye in Heat 7. “Steve Boxall’s saddle broke and he was excluded under the two minute rule; what was a 5-3 could really have been an 8-1 but for that.

Silver is hoping that the Rockets’ respectable showing will provide a positive lift for tomorrow night’s East Anglian derby at home to Ipswich. “It is going to be a tough match indeed – Ipswich are a good team and they go very well around our place – but we are more than capable of getting the win.”

Rye House scorers:

Edward Kennett 13, Jason Garrity 10, Steve Boxall 8+1, Oliver LGreenwood 4+2, Anders Mellgren 3, Jason Bunyan 3, Luke Bowen 0

Plymouth scorers:

Ben Barker 14, Kyle Newman 10+3, Sam Simota 9+2, Josef Franc 7+1, Rasmus Jensen 6+2, James Wright 6, Roland Benko 2+1

Match Points: Plymouth 3 Rye House 0