Kent Kings keen to stay 100%
Kent Kings keen to stay 100%
The Kent SLYDE Kings seek to retain their 100% record in this season’s Travel Plus National League [TPNL] when they play host to surprise packets Stoke Potters on Monday.

The side from the north-west have defied the critics who questioned a selection policy that has resulted in the gathering together of the oldest squad in Speedway’s third tier by producing what is probably the most shock result of the past few seasons when they beat reigning champions Birmingham up in the Potteries last weekend. 

Following on from a big away win in the Knock-out cup [NKOC] at their neighbours Buxton. it’s certainly been an excellent start to the campaign for Malcolm Vasey’s side.

Leading the way for the side who’ve been based at Loomer Rd in Chesterton just outside the Potteries’ city since the mid 1970s is an Australian born rider who is poised to make his Central Park debut on Monday, Mitchell Davey.

Hailing from Ayr (not the one in Scotland, the one in in Queensland) Davey actually was exclusively based north of the border in the UK on his first sojourn to the land of his forebears with stints at Glasgow, Berwick and Edinburgh.  A bad leg break in 2013 halted his progress and it was something of a shock when he reappeared and this time able to ride in the TPNL last term with now defunct Coventry. 

Davey joins a Stoke team relying much on the experience of the elder statesman of British Speedway, 51 years young, Tony Atkin.  North Wales born and bred, Atkin has an amazing racing CV with four British titles won on the Grasstracks and a British Open Championship title on the ice – riding on shale he took the National League Pairs title when with his home country club Newport back in 2009. 

With his compatriot Nathan Stoneman in action for the Kings it’s a rare occasion to see two Welsh riders in direct opposition to each other.

Also rare to see riders both in their 30s at reserve but this is the situation with the Potters. David Speight made a surprise comeback to the sport aged 36 years last term with Buxton – in time to appear for the Hitmen here and to score a handy seven points. 

Yorkshire-born David Wallinger was an arrival at Buxton mid-way through last term having been off the scene since appearing for Cleveland back in the mid-noughties. 

He has had a superb start to the season with his new side: recording a paid maximum on his return to his old track at Hi Edge and scoring a match-winning paid ten against the double champions last weekend. It’s his Central Park debut on Monday also.

The other heat leader alongside Atkin & Davey is West Midlander Luke Priest, returning to the club where he won the third tier Fours championship 11 years ago.  He has more recent pedigree in that championship too – winning the NL Fours with his 2015 & ’16 side Rye House last year.

Always a popular visitor to Central Park, the young New Zealander Ryan Terry-Daley will see Kiwi pride at stake when he comes up against the Kent SLYDE Kings’ own Bradley Andrews.

Kent are unchanged and will be looking to continue a rich vein of home form in the TPNL which has seen Chris Hunt’s team charge through the 60 points barrier in both of their league matches at Central Park so far in 2017.

The action gets underway at Central Park Stadium at 6.30pm on Monday 22nd. May.