Trophy triumph for Kent Kings
Trophy triumph for Kent Kings

Kent TouchTec Kings triumphed in their National Trophy quest – emphatically beating rivals for the competition Isle of Wight Warriors – on an emotional night at Central Park on Monday.

The side went into the match knowing that actually a defeat by six or less points would be sufficient to top the table and take the title but literally no one in the Kings’ camp were remotely considering that ‘back stop’ as any kind of an issue – it was a win on the night they were after to clinch the club’s first silverware in a national team championship and this was achieved in some style, 54-35.

As team boss Chris Hunt commented at the end,

“It was our intention to hit them hard from the start so there was no danger of the Warriors getting a foothold in the match.  We’d seen what had happened on Thursday and this time it was our fast start which set us on the way and we never looked back”.

Leading from the front in the opening salvos were number one Drew Kemp and skipper Rob Ledwith who both opened their account with three wins in their first three rides with Nathan Ablitt and Anders Rowe joining in with the winning feeling as the halfway stage was reached with eight TouchTec Kings’ heat winners and a near-decisive lead of 21 points.

A tactical substitute move by the Isle of Wight in heat nine brought temporary relief from the onslaught, with an otherwise generally out of sorts Georgie Wood partnering up with National League Riders’ Champion Ben Morley to snatch a maximum heat advantage for the visitors in heat nine.  Former Kings’ favourite Morley was to complete the second half of the match unbeaten, twice beating Kemp denying the GB U21 star another maximum. Wood ended the hopes of a first ever full house for Ledwith too but nothing was to deny the TouchTec Kings their long quest for glory – making it mathematically certain as early as heat 11 and going on, courtesy of a win in heat 14 by the ever lively Richard Andrews, to win – as Paul Hardcastle may have put it – by “N-n-n-n-nineteen”!

Nothing stuttering about this victory though and after lifting the impressive silverware skipper Rob Ledwith was both exuberant and clear thinking about the triumph realised and the ambitions to go on and win more,

“If anyone had said to me six months ago that after nearly 25 years out of the Speedway saddle I’d be captaining a team to a victory like this I’d never have believed them!  This is such a fantastic club and I’m so proud of all my team mates. We’ve had a couple of casualties along the way but have kept going as a unit and got what we have thoroughly deserved.  

“With Dan [Gilkes] and Alex [Spooner] both here today to share the triumph with the rest of us, including Jacob [Clouting] who has stood in so ably, we will soon have our full squad back on track and when we do we have a great chance, I think, of adding the National League to this NT victory!”

That National League campaign gets underway in earnest with a first home NL match against genuine Play Off contenders, league newcomers Leicester Lion Cubs next Monday 10th. June (6.30pm start time).

That’s for another week, for now it was time to celebrate with gusto a memorable victory with the last word to veteran Speedway supremo, Kings’ co-promoter Len Silver,

“I have been running this club since we opened six and a half years ago and this is the happiest moment.  We have deserved to win silverware like this before and have got so close in Finals and semi-finals but not quite done it.  That’s behind us now because this squad of riders are winners and we have the Trophy to prove it. I’m very proud of everyone involved and love the lads, the fans and the club”.

 

Kent TouchTec Kings 54

Drew Kemp 3, 3, 3, 2, 2 13

Rider Replacement –  Alex Spooner

Anders Rowe 3, 3, 1, 3, 1* 11+1

Richard Andrews (G)  2*, 2*, FX, R, 3 7+2

Rob Ledwith 3, 3, 3, 2, 1* 12+1

Jacob Clouting 1, 0, FX, 1 2

Nathan Ablitt 3, 1, 2*, 2*, FX, 1 9+2

 

Isle of Wight Warriors 35

Georgie Wood 1, X, 3, 3, 0 7

Chris Widman 0, M, 0, 1 1

Ryan Terry-Daley 1, 1*, 2, 2, 0 6+1

Danno Verge 0, 2, 1*, 2 5+1

Ben Morley 2, 1, 2*, 3, 3 11+1

Chad Wirtzfeld 0, 0, F 0

Connor King 2, 0, 2, 1, 0 5

 

Heat Results

1 Kemp, Andrews, Wood, Widman  57.9 [5-1]

2  Ablitt, King, Clouting, Wirtzfeld  62.4 [9-3]

3 Rowe, Andrews, Terry-Daley, Verge  58.8 [14-4]

4 Ledwith, Morley, Ablitt, King  59.1 [18-6]

5 (rerun) Rowe, King. Widman (exc. 2M), Andrews (fell exc.), Wood (exc. not under power)  59.4 [21-8]

6 Kemp, Ablitt, Morley, Wirtzfeld  59.7 [26-9]

7 Ledwith, Verge, Terry-Daley, Clouting  60.1 [29-12]

8 Ledwith, Ablitt, King, Widman  60.4 [34-13]

9 Wood, Morley, Rowe. Andrews (EF)  59.4 [35-18]

10  (rerun) Kemp, Verge, Terry-Daley. Ablitt (FX)  60.2 [38-21]

11 (stopped, not rerun; awarded) Wood, Ledwith, Widman. Clouting (fell) no time  [40-25]

12 Rowe, Terry-Daley, Ablitt. Wirtzfeld (fell)   61.3 [44-27]

13 Morley, Kemp, Ledwith. Wood   60.1 [47-30]

14 (rerun) Andrews, Verge, Clouting, King   60.9 [51-32]

15 Morley, Kemp, Rowe, Terry-Daley   59.9 [54-35]

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