The Kent Royals took the Tunnel Trophy with a 49-41 victory over The Hammers, in a competitive meeting which ebbed and flowed in the Easter Sunshine.
The Hammers, operating Rider Replacement for Jordan Jenkins, kept the NDL side in reach throughout – with the strength of former Hammers Aflie Bowtell (full maximum) and Ben Morley (11 paid 12) the telling difference in the final few heats.
For the Hammers, Nathan Ablitt top scored with 13, backed by reserve Ben Trigger with 10, although all Hammers riders chipped in with important points on what was an extremely positive afternoon for all concerned.
Hammers Team Manager Mark Sexton commented:
“Despite the delays which meant the meeting didn’t run entirely smoothly, the whole afternoon was positive from our point of view. The 6 riders who took to the track all wore the Crossed Hammers with pride and I couldn’t be prouder of the effort that they and their pit crews put in.
In terms of our ethos, I think we ticked every box. Tracking a side with two 15 year olds at reserve, two teenage graduates from the old Lakeside academy and a rider making a long desired return to the shale was enormously satisfying.
Full credit must also go to Tom Spencer who travelled down from the Midlands and, at no notice, skippered the side in a mature and supportive way.
The result didn’t go our way but as we were largely beaten by old friends, it doesn’t really feel like a loss.
Thanks to Si and his team. It was great to see a bumper crowd at the track and we hope that the Royals have a successful season.
Maybe we’ll get the chance to take the Tunnel Trophy back!”
Here’s how @lakesidelive saw the meeting unfold.
Kent Royals = 49
1. Alfie Bowtell – 3, 3, 3, 3, 3 = 15
2. Jamie Halder – 1, F/Ex, 2, 1 = 4
3. Danno Verge – 3, 2, 2′, 3 = 10 + 1
4. Joe Alcock – F/Ex, 1′, 3, 2 = 6 + 1
5. Ben Morley – 3, 2, 3, 1, 2′ = 11 + 1
6. Chris Watts – 0, F, 0 = 0
7. Sam Woolley – 2, 1, 0, 0, 0 = 3
Thurrock Hammers = 41
1. Jordan Jenkins R/R – (BT 0, SH 3, TS 2, NA 2)
2. Jack Kingston – 2, EX, 1, 1′ = 4 + 1
3. Sam Hagon – 1′, 3, 1, F/Ex, 1′ = 6 + 2
4. Nathan Ablitt – 2, 3, 2, 2, 3, 1 = 13
5. Tom Spencer – 2, 1′, R, 2, 0 = 5 + 1
6. Ben Trigger – 0, 3, 2, 3, 2, 0 = 10
7. Vinnie Foord – 1, 0, 1, 1 = 3
8. Rhys Laker –
SGB Referee: Paul Carrington
Gates: Hammers win toss and take gates 1 & 3 in heat 1. Kent to have choice of gates in heat 15.
Heat 01: Bowtell, Kingston, Halder, Trigger…58.4 (track record)…4-2
Line Up: Bowtell, Halder, R/R – Trigger, Kingston
Comments: FTG. Alfie Bowtell showing his class out in front. Jamie Halder kept Jack Kingston honest throughout.
** Small delay before heat 2 as Ben Trigger has back to back rides for the Hammers**
Heat 02: Trigger, Woolley, Foord, Watts…59.1…2-4…6-6
Line Up: Watts, Woolley, Trigger, Foord
Comments: Race stopped due to an unsatisfactory start. Chris Watts with a massive roller from the tapes. Bit of a late stoppage as the riders were on Bend 3 before it was stopped, Vinnie Foord pulled a 360 into the turn but he’s up and ok.
Heat 03: Verge, Ablitt, Hagon, Alcock (F/EX)…61.4…3-3…9-9
Line Up: Verge, Alcock, Hagon, Ablitt
Comments: Race stopped as Joe Alcock fell on the entrance into L2 B1, Sam Hagon did an amazing job to avoid him but then hit the air fence very hard. Both riders are up & ok, but Joe Alcock has been excluded from the re-run.
Re-run: FTG. Ablitt passed Hagon on L3 & pushed Verge all the way to the line.
Heat 04: Morley, Spencer, Woolley, Foord…60.7…4-2…13-11
Line Up: Morley, Woolley, Spencer, Foord
Comments: Spencer up into 2nd L1 B2, Foord pushed Woolley hard for the race but wasn’t close enough to pass.
Heat 05: Hagon, Verge, Alcock, Kingston (EX)…62.2…3-3…16-14
Line Up: Verge, Alcock, R/R – Hagon, Kingston (15m)
Comments: Race stopped. Jack Kingston is excluded for touching the tapes. Decision to be made whether Kingston is replaced or goes from 15m.
Confirmed that Jack Kingston starts from 15m in the re-run.
Re-run: Race stopped. Jack Kingston suffered an engine failure from 15m. Jack is excluded from the second re-run, race will have 3 riders only.
Re-run x2: Brilliant from Hagon who took the widest route round Iwade, passing Verge on L1 B3.
Heat 06: Bowtell, Trigger, Spencer, Halder (F/Ex)…59.8…3-3…19-17
Line Up: Bowtell, Halder, Spencer, Trigger
Comments: Race stopped as Jamie Halder falls L1 B2 & gets stuck under the air fence. He is up & ok but is excluded from the re-run.
Re-run: Tom Spencer gated, Alfie charged round the outside, taking the lead L1 B4.
** Small delay before Heat 7, the air fence is deflating on Bend 1, track staff are working to fix this & we’ll hopefully be back underway soon.**
Heat 07: Ablitt, Morley, Hagon, Watts (Fell)…60.0…2-4…21-21
Line Up: Morley, Watts, Hagon, Ablitt
Comments: Red lights are on at the start of heat 7, riders sent back to the pits. There’s an issue with the green light at the moment so the riders have no indication when they’re under starting orders.
Riders back to the tapes for Heat 7 so we appear to be ready to go racing again.
Chris Watts looped at the start & fell – referee commended him for clearing the track. Ben Morley led from the tapes but had a moment on L1 B4 allowing Ablitt to pass round the outside.
Heat 08: Trigger, Halder, Kingston, Woolley (FRM)…61.1…2-4…23-25
Line Up: Halder, Woolley, Kingston,
Comments: FTG. Woolley fell & remounted on B2 L1
Supported by DP Media
Heat 09: Alcock, Verge, Foord (FRM), Spencer (Retired)…60.1…5-1…28-26
Line Up: Verge, Alcock, Spencer,
Comments: FTG. Tom Spencer retired with bike issues on L1. Vinnie Foord fell on L4 but remounted to claim what could be a vital point for the Hammers.
Heat 10: Bowtell, Ablitt, Halder, Hagon (F/Ex)…58.6…4-2…32-28
Line Up: Bowtell, Halder (15m), Hagon, Ablitt
Comments: Red lights are on as Sam Hagon falls L1 B2 while challenging for the lead. Sam is up and ok but is excluded from the re-run, wasn’t really first bend bunching as Alfie left plenty of room for Sam round the outside.
Re-run: Jamie Halder now misses the 2 minutes for the re-run of Heat 10, he is excluded. John Sampford has decided to put Jamie Halder off of 15m in the restart.
Re-run x2: FTG. Halder had bike problems so coasted around for 4 laps.
Heat 11: Morley, Spencer, Kingston, Watts…60.5…3-3…35-31
Line Up: Morley, Watts, R/R – Spencer, Kingston
Comments: Red lights are on, unsatisfactory start – Jack Kingston warned to keep still at the start by the referee.
Re-run: FTG. Racing well spread out.
Heat 12: Verge, Trigger, Hagon, Woolley…61.1…3-3…38-34
Line Up: Verge, Woolley, Hagon, Trigger
Comments: Entertaining race between Verge and Trigger in front.
Heat 13: Bowtell, Ablitt, Morley, Spencer…60.4…4-2…42-36
Line Up: Bowtell, Morley, R/R – Ablitt, Spencer
Comments: Red lights are on owing to an unsatisfactory start – riders gates positions were incorrect – Starting Marshall being asked to contact the referee.
Re-run: Red lights are on again as Tom Spencer runs out of room in a tight bend 1, he is up & ok – all 4 back for the second re-run.
** Slight delay to the restart as there is damage to the skirting under the air fence on B1 following Tom’s fall, hopefully it can be replaced quickly & we can continue with the final 3 heats**
Re-run x2: FTG.
Heat 14: Ablitt, Alcock, Foord, Woolley…62.8…2-4…44-40
Line Up: Alcock,
Watts Woolley, Ablitt, Foord
Heat 15: Bowtell, Morley, Ablitt, Trigger…59.8…5-1…49-41
Line-up: Morley, Bowtell, Ablitt, Trigger
Comments: FTG, the former Hammers showing their class & all we taught them at the Raceway to secure the win.
Courtesy of Speedway Updates.