Monday June 18, 2018
Just four days on from their near miss at defending SGB Premiership champions Swindon, the “BP Mitchell” Rockets were brought back down to earth with a resounding bump in a 58-32 thumping at A10 rivals King’s Lynn on Monday night.

The Hertfordshire side provided the first placed finisher in just two races, with Chris Harris the most consistent visitor in a 10+1 haul, in contrast to a fiery Stars outfit that had made light of Ty Proctor’s absence with a shoulder injury as newly crowned British Champion Robert Lambert went through the card and Michael Palm Toft and Lewis Kerr each dropped points in just a single outing.

Despite an absence in the heat win department in the first four races, the Rockets hung in there at 14-10, only to be rocked by three 5-1s in the space of the next four stanzas as the score rapidly spiralled to 32-16.

Scott Nicholls and Chris Harris headed home the field in Heats 9 and 10, respectively, but it was clearly too little too late, as Krzysztof Kasprzak’s exclusion for a second starting infraction of the evening in Heat 11 sealed a personal nightmare for the Pole and set up a fourth Stars maximum in Heat 11. Their fifth and sixth following in Heats 13 and 14, to give the final result its lopsided appearance.

Rye House Team Manager Peter Schroeck admitted afterwards that, “That was a really tough meeting for us. They (King’s Lynn) were just too good for us, and Michael Palm Toft at reserve seemed to be everywhere we went, leaving them very strong in that department.

“The track was pretty grippy, and the boys took longer to get used to it, but we can’t use that as an excuse. There were glimpses of success, but simply not enough as a team. Bomber (Chris Harris) had a good night, but K.K. (Krzysztof Kasprzak) definitely had one to forget, with bike problems at the start and things going from bad to worse.

“All we can do is dust ourselves off, re-group and focus on Wednesday when we’re back on our own patch and we can put things right (against Belle Vue).”

“BP Mitchell” Rockets:
Chris Harris 10+1, Scott Nicholls 7+1, Nikolaj B Jakobsen 6+1, Stuart Robson 5+2, Krzysztof Kasprzak 2, Aaron Summers 2, Max Clegg 0.

King’s Lynn:
Michael Palm Toft 15+3, Robert Lambert 14+1 (maximum), Thomas Jorgensen 11, Lewis Kerr 10+1, Niels-Kristian Iversen 7+2, Kasper Andersen 1, Taylor Hampshire (no.8) 0, Ty Proctor R/R.

Match Points: King’s Lynn 3 Rye House 0

As noted above, the Rockets do indeed have the opportunity to “put things right” on Wednesday when they return to home comforts after a three week break to host 10-time top flight champions Belle Vue.

It’s an intriguing prospect, with the Rockets defending a 100% home record and the Aces boasting the league’s strongest top five on paper. 2017 British Champion and 2018 Grand Prix man Craig Cook heads their charge, being joined in their heat leader ranks by current Australian national titlist Rohan Tungate and 2016 World U-21 Champion Max Fricke.

The Manchester men’s middle order is equally impressive, consisting of three season Rocket Jason Garrity – who is installed as cover for the side-lined Steve Worrall – and sensational teenager Dan Bewley, who has lifted the British U-19 title, finished as runner-up in the senior event and won through to the World U-21 Final…. all in the space of the last month! What a whirlwind ride it has been for the 19 year old Cumbrian.

Belle Vue are completed at reserve by parallel Berwick Bandit Jye Etheridge and Polish first year man Damian Drozdz.

Despite that impressive resume, the Aces are yet to fully spark in 2018, with away points at Somerset and Leicester – both from narrow 47-43 defeats – currently outweighed by a home reverse against King’s Lynn, and Peter Schroeck is not one to dwell on individual achievements either. “Yes, Belle Vue look strong on paper, but so do we. It’s what happens on the track that matters; how you turn up on the day. The meeting is there to be raced.

“The boys all know what they’ve got to do. We’re not hitting the panic button yet, but we must win at home, or we will have to look to change things.

“We’re in our own back yard, and as I said earlier, it’s down to us to put things right. We know we can do it.”

“BP Mitchell” Rockets:

Max Clegg, Chris Harris, Nikolaj Busk Jakobsen, Krzysztof Kasprzak, Scott Nicholls (captain), Stuart Robson, Aaron Summers

Belle Vue:

Dan Bewley, Craig Cook, Damian Drozdz, Jai Etheridge, Max Fricke (captain), Jason Garrity, Rohan Tungate


Adults £18, Seniors (over 60s) £16, Registered Disabled £12 (Accompanying Carer £12), Full-Time Students (17-22) £6, Children (aged 12-16) £6, Children (under 12) FREE. Match programme: £2.

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Gates open at 6.00pm.