KSN are proud to support:

Kent Royals lose to on form Berwick Bullets
Kent Royals lose to on form Berwick Bullets

It was a hard night for the Kent Royals at Shielfield Park on Saturday night as they went down to a twenty-point defeat 43-23 to the Berwick Bullets, in a meeting that was abandoned after Heat 11 due to the incoming fog.

For The Royals it was a fifth successive defeat in all competitions, a situation that manager Jamie Willis described as “totally unacceptable”. Willis stated that over the next few days he and promoter Si Kellow will be exploring all the avenues in which changes can potentially be made. Kent were reduced to six riders for the meeting as Joe Alcock was missing after feeling the effects of his two falls at Armadale the night before.

The meeting started well for the visitors with an opening race 5-1 from the Essex based duo of Ben Morley and Rhys Naylor, but that was as good as it got for Kent as the lead had disappeared by the end of the third race as the hosts hit back with successive maximum heat advantages of their own. For the Royals it was Morley and fellow heat leader Nathan Ablitt who kept the scores respectable both scoring seven points and were the only two Kent riders to take a win.

The Bullets were led by Greg Blair who took a 9-point maximum from his three completed races before the meeting was curtailed and the best of his three wins came in the fourth heat when he pulled off a last to first pass of the second of the opening lap to then go on to win. It could have been a third successive maximum heat win for the Bullets, but Royals heat leader Nathan Ablitt got passed former Kent rider Jamie Halder for second, with Halder then falling and allowing the race to be shared.

As the fog set in over Shielfield, the home side put the hammer and down were already sixteen points to the good when The Royals claimed their second heat advantage of the meeting in Heat 9. Sussex born Ablitt, got the better of a tight first corner with Berwick’s Danny Phillips and was leading for the majority of the race, when entering the last bend Phillips tried to make an inside pass on Ablitt which caused both riders to come down. Thankfully both riders were okay, and the referee decided to award the race in favour of Ablitt with Phillips disqualified as the cause of the stoppage. This gave the Royals a 4-2 heat advantage which brought the scores to 34-20 in favour of Berwick.

The last two races before the fog became too thick for the racing to continue saw Berwick increase their lead to twenty-points with a maximum heat advantage in the tenth race from Connor Coles and Jamie Halder over Tom Woolley and Connor King, and a 4-2 heat advantage from Greg Blair and Josh Embleton with Royals number 1 Ben Morley splitting the duo.

Speaking this morning (7/5) Manager Jamie Willis reflected on the defeat, “Frustrated, very frustrated. They (Berwick) were dialled in from the get-go and we couldn’t match them for speed or gating. Something needs to change, whether that’s riders, riding order or our pre meeting preparation, it’s going to be a busy couple of days for Si and me as we look to find the right formula.” Jamie also took the opportunity to address the fans. “We can only apologise to all those supporting us trackside or at home and we will do all we can to turn around our performances.”

Next up for the Kent Royals it is a return to home fixtures for the first time since Easter Sunday with the return match against Berwick this coming Sunday (14/5). The Royals will need to win by a minimum of 21 points if they are to overturn the aggregate bonus point.