Make mine a triple
Make mine a triple

Make mine a triple! That’s what’s happening at Iwade Speedway track this Sunday (12th. August) when the Kent ‘Crayford’ Kestrels go into action, completing their home matches in the Southern Development League [SDL] in one fell swoop: with the visits of the three opponents they’ve yet to host this season. 

Coming into land first will be nearest challengers to the Kestrels in the current SDL standings, the Exeter Falcons.  The battle of the birds of prey indeed is likely to be decisive with John Sampford’s side boasting a 100% record after wins on the long roads to the Isle of Wight, Plymouth (where the Falcons roost) and against Weymouth at Eastbourne – added to the home win back in June over reigning champions Reading Racers.  A win this time at home over Exeter and getting points against the other two visitors on Sunday will clinch the title for the Crayford Supporters-sponsored Kestrels.

Those other two opponents in the ‘triple header’ are Weymouth Wildcats and the Isle of Wight Warriors. Weymouth are currently bottom of the table and were beaten earlier this week by the Isle of Wight – who have strengthened considerably since the Kestrels’ hugely impressive win across the Solent last month.

For the table topping Kestrels’ side boasting a proud 100% record, Jacob Clouting returns aiming to get his season back on track.  The teenager holds the SDL track record at Iwade set in the opening fixture this term. Since then Jacob has stepped down from Travel Plus Tours National League [TPTNL] duties with the senior Kent side but is still very much in the view of management for longer term plans and will be anxious to continue his good form at Development League level – especially with the prospect of the league title now within grasp.

Sadly if the title is won on Sunday it will be without the rider to date ever present for the Kestrels in the SDL both this season and all of 2017, James Laker, The 16 year old from Eastry near Sandwich crashed when riding as a stand-in reserve for Plymouth Devils on Monday at Central Park Stadium and unfortunately suffered a fractured wrist.  Coming in to replace James is one of the Kestrels who made history in their last match away at the Isle of Wight, Jamie Couzins.

The rider from Faversham currently enjoying a spell in the Kings’ side and looking impressive both in the KOC win over Plymouth and away at Birmingham in the TPTNL on Wednesday was part of the quartet who recording a maximum 30-6 win over the Wizards in the SDL match down on the Isle of Wight in July.

The other Kent born and bred member of the Kestrels’ squad is Canterbury’s Andrew Palmer and he returns after missing the trip to Ryde.  And while we note that Kent’s juniors have a 100% record in the league and got a 100% heat win rate in their last match – well, then their very own ‘Mt One Hundred Percent’ is Alex Spooner.

The 18-year-old has a perfect record in this year’s SDL – ridden 16, won 16.  That’s a sweet sixteen for sure and the teenager from Wickford who scored a superb paid 12 for the senior side in the draw at Birmingham earlier this week will be determined to keep up his perfect racing record.

The sides taking on this quartet of Kestrels (who’ll be very busy having reach to ride 12 times over the course of the afternoon) are [in alphabetical order]:

Exeter Falcons

James Chattin;Max Pankhurst;  Adam Sheppard; Mick Sutton

Weymouth Wildcats
Luke Barnes; Jordan Bull; Bailey Fellows; Jacob Fellows

Isle of Wight Wizards

Ben Isley; James Sealey; Chris Watts; Rob Watts

The action gets underway at 1pm on Sunday 12th. August and being an SDL Kestrels fixture the match (a triple header) is at Iwade Training Track, The Old Gun Site, Raspberry Hill Lane, Iwade. ME9 8SN.

Admission is £8; with youngsters under 13 free.