FIFTH TIME UNLUCKY
Sunday September 14, 2014
It was too much to expect the Silver Ski Rockets to complete a clean sweep of winning results against Peterborough this season, but they certainly gave their opponents a huge shock before bowing out 49-40 in their final match of the season.

After Edward Kennett had set the early tone by sneaking inside Panthers guest Hugh Skidmore to win a Heat 1 completed by only those two riders, Luke Bowen and Oliver Greenwood brushed aside their reserve counterparts to push the Rockets’ advantage to 8-3, while a further victory from Bowen in Heat 8 – this time from the back against Adam Roynon – was combined with Greenwood holding off Nicki Barrett for third spot to lift Rye 7 points clear, at 27-20, and raise travelling supporters’ hopes of a “five-peat”..

The next two races radically changed the landscape, however, as consecutive home 5-1s swung the score Peterborough’s way, at 30-29, with a final sting in the tail to follow. A Panthers 4-2 in Heat 13 nudged the gap up to 3 points, before inspired guest Todd Kurtz and Max Dilger wrapped up the overall victory at 45-38 with a 5-1 over Bowen and Jason Garrity, as the Rockets faded away. A last race 4-2, with Kennett finishing between Ulrich Ostergaard and Skidmore, gave the match its final 9 point spread and denied Rye even a consolation match point for their efforts.

Kennett finished the afternoon with 3 wins and 16 points, to validate his award as 2014’s Mr Rocket and also sail past the 400 point mark for the year. He was the only rider to beat home captain Ulrich Ostergaard, which he did twice, although the Dane gained revenge with wins in the duo’s other two encounters. Bowen provided the Hertfordshire club with its other two race wins and deserved his shot at Heat 15.

Rye House team manager John Sampford admitted afterwards that “We fell away a bit in the second half of the meeting. Peterborough had some big hitters in Todd Kurtz, Adam Roynon and – particularly – Ulrich Ostergaard, who is something else around this circuit.

“It also came down to trapping in the closing stages. Despite all the dirt on the track, it was very slick unless you were prepared to ride right out by the fence, which the home riders are more used to on a big, pacey circuit like this.”

Rye House scorers:

Edward Kennett 15 (6 rides), Luke Bowen 8+1 (6), Steve Boxall 7 (5), Jason Garrity 5+2 (5), Oliver Greenwood 4+2 (5), Josh Bates (guest) 1+1 (3), Anders Mellgren R/R

Peterborough scorers:

Ulrich Ostergaard 15 (6 rides), Todd Kurtz (guest) 13+1 (5), Hugh Skidmore (guest) 9 (5), Adam Roynon 8+2 (5), Max Dilger 3+1 (5), Nicki Barrett 1 (4), Ales Dryml R/R

Match Points: Peterborough 3 Rye House 0

Footnote: Josh Bates was a late change of guest call-up to cover for the injured Jason Bunyan, replacing the originally booked Simon Lambert, who suffered a heavy fall at Workington last night.

Tom Brennan was crowned the inaugural British 150cc Champion after going through the card in the British Youth event staged after the Premier League fixture. Kai Hubbard – the grandson of former Rye House great Ted Hubbard – won an enthralling battle for second place against Kean Dicken in the deciding race, with Jason Edwards placing fourth.