Kent Kings to wait for home clash
Kent Kings to wait for home clash

The first returning side of the season to Central Park, Plymouth Gladiators visit on Monday 17th June in the first National League [NL] home match for the Kent TouchTec Kings.

Maybe it’ll be a portent that the Devonians were the first visitors in the National Trophy [NT] and the Kings went onto take the silverware in that competition…

There will be a lot of water under the bridge before the destiny of the NL is decided though and there was far too much water on the track on a thoroughly miserable rainy Monday on June 10th. meaning that the planned match against Leicester Lion Cubs was washed out, making the return visit of the Gladiators the first home match in the competition next on the list of targets for Chris Hunt and his charges.

And all being well, the extra seven days of recovery time will mean that two of the TouchTec Kings’ injury victims, Alex Spooner (shoulder) and Jordan Jenkins (coccyx) will be fit to return to the saddle.  The third teen on the treatment table, Dan Gilkes (pelvis) isn’t likely to be back yet though and Jacob Clouting continues to deputise.

The Kings won by a comfortable 22 points last month in the NT clash between the two teams with Drew Kemp scoring his first full five ride maximum and fellow teen Nathan Ablitt recording an impressive four heat wins in what was really his breakthrough appearance in the Invicta race jacket – repeats of those showings would do very nicely indeed.

There’s no question who the stand out man for the visitors then was – that’s the Gladiators’ skipper Richard Andrews.

And the rider from Exeter who always seems to be at his absolute best around the Central Park circuit returns a fortnight after further boosting his popularity with the Kent faithful, after his contribution as ‘Guest’ for Jenkins in the decisive NT win over the Isle of Wight.  A fellow Gladiator extremely popular with the Central Park fans is former Kings’ man, the buccaneering Welsh Dragon, Nathan Stoneman, Completing the heat leader trio is former GB U21 champion Ben Wilson.

In the reserve berths are another former Kings rider Adam Sheppard and expected to be returning from injury, like Sheppard hailing from Chertsey in leafy Surrey, Jamie Bursill.

The action gets underway at 6.30pm on Monday 17th. June at Central Park Stadium.