Kings taken down in Trophy meeting
Kings taken down in Trophy meeting
The efforts of the Kent SLYDE Kings was not reflected in the final score line as they went down to a 55-34 defeat to Mildenhall at West Row in the side’s first National Trophy [NT] group match of the season. 

Captain Luke Bowen top scored for the visitors with 12 points after reeling off four classy wins to extend his long unbeaten run to a club record 19 races before it was ended in controversial fashion in a dramatic Heat 15.

The Mildenhall duo of Connor Mountain and Jon Armstrong gated and Bowen chased hard for all four laps. Bowen made his move inside Armstrong, at the same moment the Mildenhall veteran appeared to straighten and lose control. The referee had judged that there was contact but it was Bowen who was disqualified.

The meeting started well for the visitors with a 4-2 heat advantage with a win from Bowen and Luke Clifton -, that though was really as good as it got for Kent.

Sam Woods and Alex Spooner took maximum points in Heat 2 to give Mildenhall a lead they were never to surrender.

The first attempt to run heat 3 saw both Kings hit the front before Jack Thomas took an awkward tumble picking up a leg injury. The teenager was withdrawn from the meeting as a precaution. Heat 4 saw young debutant Anders Rowe pick up his first points as a Kings’ rider.

The race of the afternoon was surely Heat 5, after missing the gate ‘Bowen 747’ took off to pass all three riders one at a time to bring applause from both sets of supporters.

Six points down at the start of heat 6, young Rowe looped alarmingly from the gate and his bike collected Luke Ruddick, fortunately both riders walked away unscathed, though Kent’s debutant was disqualified from the rerun.

From then on it was one way traffic for the home side with the occasional shared heat. The tenth heat saw a lightening start for Bradley Andrews called back before Clifton fell in the next staging, before a tight first corner between Andrews and home rider Mountain saw the home rider pull out of the race and vent his displeasure. Ruddick won the race from Andrews which put the visitors 35-24 in front with 5 to go.

Apart from a heat advantage in Heat 11 and a shared Heat 13 the other races all finished 5-1 to the home team. The pick being Heat 14 which had three different leaders. Former Kent man Sam Woods made the gate, he then made a little error and was passed by both Andrews and another former Kings’ favourite Danno Verge. Verge then passed Andrews who was then re-passed by Woods.

It was the Fen Tigers then who took the match points and put themselves ahead as early strong candidates for a place in the NT final. For the SLYDE-backed Kings they have the perfect chance to get a defeat like this out of the system with quick fire home and away fixtures over King’s Lynn Young Stars tomorrow (15/5) and Wednesday (17/5).

Mildenhall Fen Tigers 55

Connor Mountain 2 3 R 2 3 10
Luke Ruddick F 1 3 3 7
Jon Armstrong 3 2 2 3 2′ 12+1
Danno Verge 1 1′ 1′ 3 6+2
Danny Halsey 3 3 F 1′ 7+1
Sam Woods 3 1 2 2′ 2′ 10+2
Alex Spooner 2′ 1 0 3+1

Kent SLYDE Kings 34

Luke Bowen 3 3 3 3 X 12
Rider Replacement – Ben Hopwood
Luke Clifton 1 2 2 X 0 5
Jack Thomas X (Withdrawn – inj) 0
Nathan Stoneman 0 2 2 3 0 1 8
Bradley Andrews 1 0 0 0 2 1 1 5
Anders Rowe 0 2 X 1′ 1 0 4+1

Heat 1 Bowen Mountain Clifton Ruddick (fell) 51.1 (2-4)
Heat 2 Woods Spooner Andrews Rowe 54.0 (7-5)
Heat 3 (rerun twice) Armstrong Clifton Verge (15m tapes offence) Thomas (fell exc.) 53.0 (11-7)
Heat 4 (rerun) Halsey Rowe Spooner Stoneman 51.0 (15-9)
Heat 5 Bowen Armstrong Verge Andrews 51.6 (18-12)
Heat 6 (rerun) Mountain Stoneman Ruddick Rowe (fell exc.) 51.1 (22-14)
Heat 7 Halsey Clifton Woods Andrews 51.0 (26-16)
Heat 8 Ruddick Stoneman Rowe Spooner 51.1 (29-19)
Heat 9 Stoneman Armstrong Verge Andrews 52.6 (32-22)
Heat 10 (rerun twice) Ruddick Andrews Mountain (EF) Clifton (fell exc.) 53.2 (35-24)
Heat 11 Bowen Woods Rowe Halsey (fell) 53.1 (37-28)
Heat 12 Armstrong Woods Andrews Clifton (fell rem.) 54.8 (42-29)
Heat 13 Bowen Mountain Halsey Stoneman 55.5 (45-32)
Heat 14 Verge Woods Andrews Rowe 56.6 (50-33)
Heat 15 (rerun) Mountain Armstrong Stoneman Bowen (fell exc.) 5-1 (55-34)