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Kent Kings vs Isle of Wight Warriors – Preview
Kent Kings vs Isle of Wight Warriors – Preview

The Kent Kings Speedway season gets serious on Sunday (7th. July) with the first leg of a new competition, the NORA League Cup seeing the Kings taking on the other stand-alone club who ride under the NORA banner, Isle of Wight Warriors.

With the second leg taking place at the IOW club’s Smallbrook Stadium in Ryde on Thursday 18th. July, Sunday is the opportunity for Ben Clifton’s charges to build as big a lead as possible in pursuit of aggregate success for this first senior piece of NORA silverware up for grabs.

Promoter Steve Ribbons commented: “We had hoped when the season was in the planning stage that another club were going to share Iwade and also enter a side in what could then have been a multi-team division and though that’s not happened, we do still hope that more teams will be encouraged to join the NORA revolution, as the Speedway served up by our guys (all of whom, remember, were not wanted this year in any of the British Speedway league teams) has been second to none.

“Now obviously there can’t be an actual league this season, so this League Cup Final over the two legs, contested between the two NORA sides with their own tracks, is the most important competition from our club’s perspective that we’re in this season.”

And there’s a line up change which is bound to be a crowd-pleaser.  Aussie Dayle Wood is one of the biggest characters in the sport these days – hailing from the birthplace of Speedway, New South Wales the 30-year-old brings a real old school vibe to his racing which is all-out, action-packed. 

Ribbons went on: “We are delighted that Dayle has agreed to sign up for us and will be riding in both legs of the NORA League Cup Final.  Coming from a place delightfully called Wagga Wagga and sporting the most impressive moustache I think any of us have seen, he’s going to be a real crowd pleaser. 

“There’s a great back story too involving three times World Champion, Tai Woffinden remarkably auctioning off his Phil Crump Classic Trophy minutes after winning it in a meeting in the winter before last down under, donating all $1,500 proceeds to Dayle so he could travel to the UK to further his Speedway career!” 

The Warriors are led by former British Beach Racing champion Arran Butcher, seen previously at Iwade in the colours of Mildenhall; and have a former Kings rider in the form of Jacob Clouting in their ranks. 

Most attention is likely though to be concentrated on Chatham-based Sonny Springer after the 15-year-old on his Isle of Wight debut last week recorded a paid 15 points maximum. 

German Henning Loof, another Aussie Matt Marson and rookie Morgan Williams (riding for a first time at The Old Gun Site) complete the visitors’ line up, with the Kings unchanged bar the arrival of Wood replacing the retired Sam Ward.

The action gets underway at the Sittingbourne Speedway track in Iwade at 2pm (parade at 1.45pm) on Sunday 7th. July.