Kings rule over beleaguered Warriors
Kings rule over beleaguered Warriors

Kent SLYDE Kings hit 60 for a third home Travel Plus National League match this season with a remarkable four of their septet unbeaten by opponents as the Isle of Wight Warriors were left regretting they’d bought a Ticket FROM Ryde on a torrid Monday for the visitors.

In an echo of the corresponding fixture held over the Solent eleven days earlier, the visiting team lost their number one to injury – in the case of the Warriors the injury to Ben Wilson was catastrophic to any chances they had to remind anywhere close to contention against an especially determined and ultimately rampart Kent side.

Guest Ben Morley turned back the clock to years spent as the incumbent top man at Central Park with an untroubled full house. The other Ben, stand-in skipper himself in Luke Bowen’s absence, Hopwood was also unbeaten by an opponent; as was Nathan Stoneman, though the latter would have seen his maximum hopes dashed should heat 15 have been completed – the rerun of the final scheduled race from which he had been disqualified not making it back to the tapes, after an earlier 50 minutes delay with the stricken Wilson receiving on track treatment.

That crash had occurred on one of the extremely few occasions when a visiting rider had led – Wilson heading Hopwood and Jack Thomas in heat five attempting to stem the flow after the hosts had burst into an 18-5 lead. Calamity struck at the end of lap two when his chain snapped throwing the IOW number one off his machine and into the path of the closely-following Hopwood.

The Kent man brilliantly laid down his bike but the awkwardness of Wilson’s heavy fall had done the damage – eventually taken off to hospital after the long delay with a suspected broken leg. By this time the unlucky visitors had already lost one-time Kent rider Alex Spooner to injury too after his return to Central Park hasd been an especially unfortunate one having fallen twice in the first four heats.

Spooner’s partner at reserve was having an equally fruitless Central Park racing debut – Jamie Sealey not marking his status as the 201st rider to appear at Kent since the track opened in 2013 by registering on the score- chart.

Man of the day was the in-form Jack Thomas – building on excellent performances at home to the USA side last Monday and a top scoring effort away at Eastbourne by recording a career landmark first ever full maximum in the TPNL. Few riders go to Plymouth this Thursday for the GB U19 Championship in better form than Kent’s hugely popular Norwich-born team.

Next up for Chris Hunt’s charges are two considerably-more challenging TPNL fixtures – away at league pace-setters and play off favourites Belle Vue Colts in Manchester on Wednesday and then entertaining Mildenhall at Central Park next Monday (10/7)
Kent SLYDE Kings 60
B. Morley 3 3 3 3 12 [M]
B. Andrews 1 F 2* 0 3+1
B. Hopwood 2* 2* 2* 3 9+3 [PM]
J. Thomas 3 3 3 3 12 [M]
N. Stoneman 3 3 3 2* 11+1 [PM]
G. Hunter 2* 0 2* 1 5+2
A. Rowe 3 1 3 1 8

Isle of Wight Warriors 22
B. Wilson 2 X Injured – withdrawn 2
C. Widman 0 1 1 1 3
J. Cockle 1 2 1* 2 6+1
S. Campos 0 1* 2 2 5+1
C. Coles 2 2 1 1 6
J. Sealey R R F 0 R 0
A. Spooner X X Injured – withdrawn 0

Heat details

1. Morley, Wilson, Andrews, Widman, 58.0 (4-2)
2. Rowe, Hunter, Spooner (f.rem) (exc), Sealey (ret), 59.8 (9-2)
3. Thomas, Hopwood, Cockle, Campos, 57.8 (14-3)
4. (rerun) Stoneman, Coles, Rowe, Spooner (f.exc), 60.4(18-5)
5. (rerun) Thomas, Hopwood, Widman, Wilson (f.exc), 60.0 (23-6)
6. Morley, Coles, Andrews (f), Sealey (ret), 60.8 (26-8)
7. Stoneman, Cockle, Campos, Hunter, 60.6 (29-11)
8. Rowe, Andrews, Widman, Sealey (f) 62.9 (34-12)
9. Thomas, Hopwood, Coles, Sealey, 59.7 (39-13)
10. Morley, Campos, Cockle, Andrews (f.rem), 60.0 (42-16)
11. Stoneman, Hunter, Widman, 61.3 (47-17)
12. Hopwood, Cockle, Rowe, Sealey (f.rem) (ret), 60.3 (51-19)
13. Morley, Stoneman, Coles, 60.3 (56-20)
14. Thomas, Campos, Hunter, 60.4 (60-22)
Abandoned after 14 heats (curfew reached) – result stands

Picture supplied by Elizabeth Leslie.