Kent Kings v Redcar Bears preview
Kent Kings v Redcar Bears preview

After the double disappointment of another rain off at Central Park last Tuesday and then a defeat away at Scunthorpe, there’s a chance to return to winning ways for the Kent TouchTec Kings when they take on long-travelling Redcar Bears on Tuesday.

The club from Teesside are another of the first time visiting clubs this season – in fact, as the previous visiting teams in the Championship (Glasgow & Plymouth) were both teams the Kings had already met by that point away this term, the Teessiders become the first Championship side to have their first match against the TouchTec Kings at Central Park.

Though called Redcar, the team are actually based in Middlesbrough at a superb facility called, evocatively, the South Tees Motorsports Park.  The Redcar tag is in acknowledgement of the support given to them when they were establishing their splendid track back in 2006 by the local authority, Redcar & Cleveland Borough Council.

There would have been two faces extremely familiar to the Central Park faithful but for recent injuries.  Yes, both Anders Rowe and Jordan Jenkins (team mates in the 2019 Kings’ side who won the National Trophy) are in the visitors’ squad this year-  but reigning National League Riders’ Champion Rowe has suffering knee ligament damage and he has been followed onto the treatment table by arm fracture victim Jenkins and both face a several weeks lay-off which rules them out of an emotional return to Central Park.  Coming in though as ‘Guest’ for Rowe is a third former Kings’ man from that 2019 side, runner up to Anders in that 2019  NLRC, Drew Kemp.

A team mate of Rowe’s from the Ipswich Premiership side is also in the Redcar line up, -that’s Aussie, Jake Allen who will be making his Central Park debut.  Another first time visitor will be is Dane, Michael Palm Toft; but there are two Bears who the Central Park will be familiar with from visits in earlier NL encounters, James Sarjeant and former Buxton man now very much a top performer as his British title win in 2019 showed, the Bears’ skipper Charles Wright.

For the hosts, the most belated of debuts will finally see Aussie heat leader Cameron Heeps take his first rides around his new home track and with R/R still being utilised they’ll be opportunities for teenager Jake Mulford in the no. 8 race jacket.

This meeting is all-ticket (the last one before Covid restrictions which have led to advance ticketing arrangements are lifted) with advance seats needed to be booked.  These are available by personal callers to the office or by ‘phoning, 01795 475547, Monday & Tuesday 10am to 4pm.