Hot competition for Invicta Pairs
Hot competition for Invicta Pairs
Something of a retro feeling all round at Central Park on Monday evening as the Kent SLYDE Kings club staged their annual celebration of all things Kentish Speedway – with ex-riders from Crayford and Canterbury days of yore in attendance; old club names remembered in the pairings’ titles; and the old style scoring system, rarely employed these days, of 3-2-1-0 in this otherwise less familiar four pairs format. 

The lower number of riders saw each pair taking each other on twice; but six rides was not to trouble the currently invincibility of Luke Bowen around Central Park – notching up six emphatic race victories on the night to make it a club record twenty race wins in a row around his home circuit. 

Old rival and predecessor as top dog at the Kent club, Ben Morley (representing the meeting sponsors in the ‘Roundels’ side) had no answer to Bowen’s supremacy; but it was when the other Luke, the experienced Clifton followed home his namesake in a decisive heat eight that the victory was largely secured for the side bearing the Kings’ name on the night.

Some good racing warmed the cockles of the Central Park crowd, with Nathan Stoneman and Jack Thomas perhaps the most authentic pair – they’d have triumphed indeed, if the modern fangled way of scoring these kind of events (4-3-2-0) had been deployed.

One had to feel massively though for young Alex Spooner.  Leading Clifton comfortably in his first outing only to fall on lap three and take a nasty knock for his trouble, the rookie riding under the ‘Crayford’ banner then saw another chance for points go up in smoke in his final ride when Bradley Andrews went out of shape and totally arrested the youngster’s progress.

Nostalgia is one thing but it’s the here and now which really matters and this will have been seen as a thoroughly useful final opportunity for the Kent SLYDE  Kings to limber up for the challenges ahead – which sees the King’s Lynn Young Stars the next Travel Plus National League [TPNL] visitors to Central Park next Monday (15th. May) with a 6.30pm start time.
Kent SLYDE Kings                                23
Luke Bowen      3  3  3  3  3  3                18
Luke Clifton      1  1  0  2  1  0                  5

CSS Crayford Kestrels/Highwaymen       12
Ben Hopwood   2  3  2  1  2  2                12
Alex Spooner    X  0  0  0  0  0                 0

The Whistle Gang Crusaders                  20
N. Stoneman     2  1  1  2  2  1                  9
J. Thomas         1  2  2  3  1  2                11

ATCLPS Roundels                                 17
B. Morley          3  2  3  1  3  3                15
B. Andrews       0  F  1  0  0  1                 2       

Heat Results
1 (awarded) Bowen, Hopwood, Clifton, Spooner (fell exc.)  no time (4-2-0-0)
2 Morley, Stoneman, Thomas, Andrews  58.6  (4-2-3-3)
3 Bowen, Morley, Clifton, Andrews (fell)  58.5  (8-2-3-5)
4 Hopwood, Thomas, Stoneman, Spooner  59.1  (8-5-6-5)
5 Bowen, Thomas, Stoneman, Clifton  58.9  (11-5-9-5)
6 Morley, Hopwood, Andrews, Spooner  58.9 (11-7-9-9)
7 Thomas, Stoneman, Hopwood, Spooner  59.9  (11-8-14-9)
8 (rerun) Bowen, Clifton, Morley, Andrews  59.1  (16-8-14-10)
9 Bowen, Hopwood, Clifton, Spooner  58.4  (20-10-14-10)
10 (rerun) Morley, Stoneman, Thomas, Andrews (fell rem.)  60.5  (20-10-17-13)
11 Morley, Hopwood, Andrews, Spooner  60.2  (20-12-17-17)
12 Bowen, Thomas, Stoneman, Clifton  59.5  (23-12-20-17)