Mildenhall up next for Kings
Mildenhall up next for Kings

It’s back to Travel Plus National League [TPNL] action for the Kent SLYDE Kings with two quick fire matches, both of which will be absolutely vital in the chase for the coveted top four and qualification for the end of season championship-deciding Play Offs.
First up is a trip to West Row in Suffolk to take on Mildenhall on Saturday evening (12 August).  It’s a very quick renewing of acquaintances with the Fen Tigers, as the two teams met in a hard-fought encounter as recently as last Monday at the SLYDE-sponsored Kings’ Central Park Stadium home. 

That match was a National Trophy Group encounter and ended in a 55-34 victory to Kent.  However, the last visit to Mildenhall’s home circuit back in May was a 55-34 score the other way round.  And if that equality wasn’t enough to show how evenly balanced the two teams are – well, a glance at the TPNL table shows both sides locked together on 19 points; currently five points off the top four berth both so covet.

It’s a third meeting of the two teams at West Row – the other match was very early season and resulted in a 55-35 win to the hosts.  So having suffered virtually identically sized defeats (by 20 and 21 points respectively) Chris Hunt and his charges now that getting vital TPNL match points from Saturday evening’s scrap is going to be a major challenge.

Kent will be using a Guest to cover for the still recovering from injury Luke Bowen – bones are healed now on his broken shoulder and the Kings’ skipper is undergoing an extensive programme of physio in order to get back in the saddle as soon as possible; but Saturday is just a little too early for that.

The Guest for the visit to the Fens is Adam Roynon who has made a return to the TPNL this year – riding for the Plymouth Devils.  The Barrow-born racer has winning pedigree at the West Row circuit as he was a member of the Fen Tigers’ all-conquering outfit of 2004 which won the Conference (the name then for what’s now the National League) League & Knock-out Cup ‘double’,  A former Conference League Riders Champion, Roynon is one of the real stars of the TPNL and could be an inspired pick as Guest by Kings’ team boss Chris Hunt.

Elsewhere in the side another former Mildenhall rider Nathan Stoneman unfortunately remains on the sidelines – with his broken leg having just been fitted post-op with a full cast, the Welsh-born racer seems destined now to be out for the duration of the campaign.  Covering by Rider Replacement worked extremely well in Monday’s NT match up with the Suffolk side and there will pressure on yet another one time Fen Tiger returning to his former home track Ben Hopwood, on the in-form Jack Thomas and on the second strings and reserves to step up to the plate once more for the visitors.

Mildenhall are poised to be unchanged with Connor Mountain who had the most difficult of nights at Central Park on Monday out to prove a point – two crashes which saw him twice disqualified restricted the Fen Tigers’ number one’s scoring on Monday.  Sam Woods didn’t have a fruitful return to his one-time home track on Monday  (the Boston-born racer having been an ‘original’ King from Kent’s 2013 team) but will be aiming to replicate his season’s best return of paid 12 last time his former employers visited West Row.