Decent win for Kent Kings
Decent win for Kent Kings

A first away win this season in the Travel Plus Tours National League [TPTNL] at the Isle of Wight delighted a large contingent of sea-faring Kent SLYDE Kings’ fans.

However, there was a slightly sour taste in the mouth that the extra point for securing a seven or more points win was stolen away from the visitors in a sequence of controversial incidents in the final stages of the match.

Nothing though disputing the dominance of the Kings in the opening salvoes – dashing largely untroubled to a 12-point lead by the completion of the first five heats.  An opening 5-1 from Taylor Hampshire and his skipper Luke Bowen over the hosts’ Ben Morley set the trend – and was the start of an excellent evening for Hampshire who racked up a best ever away total for the Kings, paid 11 and only dropping any points to an opponent in a controversial heat 11 to the Warriors’ Alfie Bowtell.

Alex Spooner became the next visiting rider to take the chequered flag for three points – seeing off the challenge of the hosts’ stand in at reserve, the impressive William O’Keefe in heat two. Jack Thomas and Anders Rowe kept the maximum feeling going in heat three and a third 5-1 in five heats from Bowe & Hampshire again saw the lead move out to what was already looking a decisive dozen.

The lead indeed was still 12 after ten heats but then fates intervened for the beleaguered hosts.  Like his racing partner Hampshire, Bowen was unbeaten by a home rider when pitched against top man for the Warriors, Bowtell in heat 11. Calamity struck when within the two minutes warning period his chain guard come off – hasty assistance from team mate Nathan Stoneman seemed to have resolved the problem but the unforgiving clock and the equally unmoving referee thought differently  and instead of being able to defend his unbeaten record from tapes, it was from a 15 metres handicap which against the speedy Bowtell was a step too far.
The situation at the starts were certainly not going in the Kings’ favour.  Heat 13 saw Bowtell get a flyer but this time no one was called back – suddenly the lead was down to eight.  Rowe and Spooner’s 4-2 in the penultimate heat took the lead back to double figures again – surely the full four match points were secured now..?

Heat 15 was to reprise Bowen against Morley and Bowtell– a fair race this time surely?  The usual shenanigans at the start and before being called to order Bowen’s roll forward saw the tapes broken.  A tapes exclusion wasn’t possible as a sanction before the green light was on, but still Mr. Allan the referee gave the maximum penalty to the Kings’ skipper – citing delaying the start as the reason.  So again, Bowen had to go off 15 metres and another late meeting 5-1 reverse saw the final winning margin down to a frustrating six points only.

The two sides renew acquaintances in just a handful of days – with the Warriors visiting Central Park for a second time this season on Monday 9th. July – 6.30pm start time.


Isle of Wight Warriors                                                                    42

  1. Ben Morley                1, 3, 2, 2′, 2′                                          10+2
  2. Rider Replacement: Chris Widman
  3. Scott Campos 1, 1, 3, 2                                                7
  4. Danno Verge 0, 0, 2, 1, 2                                           5
  5. Alfie Bowtell 3, 2, 3, 3, 3                                           14
  6. William O’Keefe 2, 1, 0, 0, 0                                           3
  7. Shaun Tedham 1′, FX, 1′, 0, 1′                                     3+3
  8. Jamie Couzins 0                                                              0


Kent SLYDE Kings                                                                               48

  1. Luke Bowen 2′, 3, 1′, 1, 0                                         7+2
  2. Taylor Hampshire 3, 2′, 3, 2                                               10+1
  3. Jack Thomas 3, 3, 3, 3, 1                                           13
  4. Anders Rowe 2′, 1, 1, 3                                               7+1
  5. Nathan Stoneman 2, 2, 2, 0                                                6
  6. Nick Laurence 0, 0, 0, 0                                                0
  7. Alex Spooner 3, 1′, 0, 1                                               5+1-


Heat Results

1 (rerun) Hampshire, Bowen, Morley, Couzins 70.8 (1-5)

2 Spooner, O’Keefe, Tedham, Laurence 76.6 (4-8)

3 Thomas, Rowe, Campos, Verge 73.6 (5-13)

4 (rerun) Bowtell, Stoneman, Spooner, Tedham (fell exc.) 70.8 (8-16)

5 Bowen, Hampshire, Campos, Verge 71.1 (9-21)

6 Morley, Stoneman, O’Keefe, Laurence 70.6 (13-23)

7 Thomas, Bowtell, Rowe, O’Keefe 70.4 (15-27)

8 Hampshire, Verge, Tedham, Spooner 70.8 (18-30)

9 Campos, Stoneman, Verge, Laurence 71.8 (22-32)

10 Thomas, Morley, Rowe, Tedham 70.3 (24-36)

11 (rerun) Bowtell, Hampshire, Bowen (exc. 2M 15 metres), O’Keefe  70.7 (27-39)

12 Thomas, Campos, Tedham, Laurence 71.1 (30-42)

13 Bowtell, Morley, Bowen, Stoneman (35-43)

14 Rowe, Verge, Spooner, O’Keefe (37-47)

15 Bowtell, Morley, Thomas, Bowen (exc. delaying start 15 metres) (42-48)