Kings take the lead after round 1
The Kent Kings produced a solid display to take the lead in the first round of the Silver Ski Holidays Fours at the Smallbrook Stadium in Ryde last night.
Isle of Wight, Plymouth, Kent and Breem Construction each took to the track with their four rider teams to contest the first of three rounds with a feast of excellent racing, close passing and a few incidents which brought the healthy crowd to their feet. Riding on home shale, the Warriors Captain Ben Morley led from the front with a faultless 4 ride maximum and was ably backed up by guest Danyon Hume, coming into the team to replace Georgie Wood who was still suffering from illness. A late call up saw Connor King step into the side and ride with the passion and determination he is becoming accustomed to on the Island this year, whilst fellow Warrior Danno Verge once again felt the force of the shale and hit the 3rd bend safety fence on his way to a credible points tally.
Plymouth returned with former Warrior Ben Wilson again in top form, but were unable to provide Ben with the backup needed to challenge the front runners. With former British International rider Paul Hurry making a rare appearance on the shale and top National League performer Luke Bowen returning from injury, the Breem Construction side had much potential, but struggled to maintain track position on occasions and were hampered with engine failures and falls throughout. Kent however provided a consistent string of points with hard but sensible racing whilst keeping in point scoring positions during every race, earning them top spot on the night and a 3 point lead to take into the next round over the Warriors.
The meeting however finished on a sombre note due to a nasty looking incident involving Plymouth’s Ben Wilson and Breem’s Luke Bowen on the last lap, last corner of heat 16. Wilson took the lead early on with Bowen fighting his machine as he gathered immense speed, which ultimately saw him enter the last bend picking up drive, sending him crashing into the unaware Wilson, throwing both riders to the shale resulting in a long delay as Wilson received treatment on the track by the paramedics. Thankfully news came through that both riders had escaped injury, and are both expected to take their places at the tapes in tonight’s second round at Plymouth.
Speaking directly after the meeting, Isle of Wight Promoter Barry Bishop said, “What an excellent night of family entertainment that was. The Silver Ski Fours had super action on track and fans were delighted with their team’s performance. Ben Morley was incredible and Danyon Hume showed just what he is capable of which no doubt was a delight to the Oxford fans for next week. All in all a great performance and now we are on to Plymouth tonight."
Isle of Wight ‘Wightlink Warriors’ 30 – Ben Morley 12, Danyon Hume 10, Danno Verge 6, Connor King 2.
Kent ‘Kings’ 33 – Dan Gilkes 9, Anders Rowe 8, Jordan Jenkins 8, Jack Thomas 8.
Plymouth ‘Gladiators’ 20 – Ben Wilson 11, Richard Andrews 5, Adam Extance 2, David Wallinger 2.
Breem Contruction ‘Stars’ 13 – Luke Bowen 6, Paul Hurry 5, Ryan Terry-Daley 1, Morgan Williams (reserve) 1, Nathan Ablitt 0.
All four teams travel to Plymouth tonight for round 2, with only one change to the riding line-ups expected seeing GB Youth rider Jordan Palin step in to cover for Georgie Wood in the Warriors team.
Isle of Wight ‘Wightlink Warriors’ – 1 Jordan Palin, 2 Ben Morley, 3 Danno Verge, 4 Connor King.
Kent ‘Kings’ – 1 Anders Rowe, 2 Jordan Jenkins, 3 Jack Thomas, 4 Dan Gilkes.
Plymouth ‘Gladiators’ – 1 Ben Wilson, 2 Adam Extance, 3 Richard Andrews, 4 David Wallinger.
Breem Construction ‘Stars’ – 1 Luke Bowen, 2 Nathan Ablitt, 3 Paul Hurry, 4 Ryan Terry-Daley.